Sharks polish off Wildcats

From left: Jonathan O'Neal, Kieran Doody, Spencer Schwartz, Andrew Heric and Greg Milliken pose for a photo after the Sharks' 41-12 victory.

The Malibu High School football team capped off their best season in school history on Friday, trouncing the visiting Villanova Wildcats by a score of 41-12. The victory was the Sharks’ ninth straight after an opening game loss, and improved the team’s record to 9-1.

The game was never in doubt. Malibu’s junior tailback Miles Edman was untouched as he scampered 65 yards to the end zone on the first play from scrimmage. On the Wildcats’ first drive, the Malibu defense did their usual fine job of stopping their opponent, recovering a Villanova fumble on the five yard line. The Sharks capped the ensuing drive with a 34-yard touchdown run by Edman to put the Sharks ahead by a score of 13-0.

On defense, the Sharks’ all-around tough guys Matt Nechak, Andrew Heric and Johnny O’Neal anchored the team’s effort with another hard-hitting game. Nechak also continued strong play on offense, scoring two touchdowns, both on 26-yard plays.

Malibu coach Rich Lawson showcased the offensive versatility of the team as he effectively mixed his powerful running attack with a potent passing game. Lawson used both Edman and Heric at the tailback position, running behind the Sharks’ powerful and fast offensive line. Quarterback O’Neal’s favorite receiver, Nechak was able to use his speed and height advantage in key situations to stretch the Wildcat defense and prevent Villanova’s line from keying on the Sharks’ runners.

The eighth-ranked Sharks compete in the Division XIII playoffs on Friday at 7:30 p.m. against ninth-ranked California School for the Deaf in Riverside.