Sharks put on a show in shutout victory

Senior tailback Sean Conrad runs for 180 yards and scores four touchdowns, including one on a punt return, in the 50-0 win. He even helps out on the defensive side, coming up with a sack on Viewpoint’s first offensive play of the game.

By Sam Rubinroit / Sports Staff Writer

The Malibu High School varsity football team continued its best start in school history on Friday night with a 50-0 win at home over Viewpoint. The point differential is a school record. The victory improves the Sharks’ record to 4-0.

Malibu’s offense revolves around a so-far unstoppable running game led by senior tailback Sean Conrad, who finished the game with four touchdowns and 180 yards. Conrad set the tone for the Sharks on both sides of the ball, coming up with a sack on the first defensive play of the game, forcing Viewpoint to punt on fourth down, and then returning it for a touchdown. He had three rushing touchdowns (17, 25, and 22 yards) on the night, giving him a total of 11 touchdowns on the season. Prior to the game, Conrad was ranked first in the state and 92nd in the nation in rushing yards with 823 and first in the nation in yards per game with 274, according to Maxpreps.com. The Web site also lists him for scoring the third-longest touchdown of the season at 95 yards.

“I think it’s awesome for him,” head coach Ray Humphrey said. “It’s a good opportunity that has opened doors for him, and it’s opening doors for Malibu football.”

Conrad had plenty of help from his offensive line, including seniors Austin Rowen and Niall Velazquez and juniors Kyle Parker, Nat Flor, Hap Henry and Jesse Conrad, Sean’s brother. “It’s a very good accomplishment, but of course, he couldn’t do it without his offensive line,” said Jesse Conrad of his brother’s contribution.

With college scouts in the stands to see Conrad, the rest of the team stepped up to put on a big show. The Sharks’ special teams were deadly, with two blocked punts by senior Juan Anderson and the punt returned for a touchdown by Conrad. Senior kicker Jonny Palmer kept the Patriots on their toes, with six touchbacks booted into the end zone and a 36-yard field goal.

The defense was not to be outdone, completely shutting down the Patriot’s offense. Rowen and Parker made key stops on third down conversions, forcing several Viewpoint punts.

“Everyone has stepped up to another level,” Humphrey said. “The defense is off the chain right now, and they’re playing with this attitude that no one can do anything on them.”

The rest of the offense besides Conrad worked well, opening the running game by going to the air. Junior quarterback Victor Tyler has quickly stepped up his game, his first year at the position after spending last year as a wide receiver. Tyler ran for two touchdowns from seven and 22 yards out, but also connected on a 34-yard throw to junior tight end Hunter Parr, who scored his first varsity touchdown.

The offense met the challenge posed by the loss of senior tight end Justin Hale, who went out in the previous game with an injured arm, as Parr stepped up with several key receptions.

“The team is really coming together,” Tyler said. “The defense looked great, the offense played well and they all did a great job out there.”

Although the Sharks are off to a perfect start, there is some reason for concern because the team is saddled with several losses to injuries, including sophomore Matthew Mason, junior Ryan Houge and seniors Hale and Brennan Lowe. Niall Velazquez and Hap Henry also played hurt. With only 23 players on the roster to start, depth could become an issue.

The Sharks face Flintridge Prep at Occidental College on Friday at 7:30 p.m. before beginning league play on the road against Grace Brethren. The Sharks return home Oct. 23 to face Fillmore in their league home opener at 7 p.m.

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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