In spite of the Carmageddon weekend, the Malibu High School Sharks football team was moving at full speed on Friday night, easily rolling past the Webb School Gauls, 28-7 in La Verne. It was the Sharks’ third victory in their past four games.
The Sharks found the end zone on their opening drive, keying off long passes from junior QB Chase Gardella to senior receiver Brennan Cassone, and capped by a 10 yard touchdown scramble by Gardella.
The Sharks fortunes were buoyed by the return of senior kicker Apollo Loomis, who was a perfect 4 for 4 on conversion attempts.
The Gauls opened the second quarter with a 75 yard touchdown run by Webb running back Ricky Gonzales. The big play would be the last time the Gauls would hit paydirt.
Junior kick returner Austin Jansen returned the ensuing kick 42 yards to the Gauls’ 47-yard line and the Sharks offense went to work. Sophomore Matt Vincent ran the ball well on screen passes until Gardella found his favorite target, Cassone, on a 20 yard fade route, extending the Sharks’ lead 14-7.
The Sharks opened the second half with another scoring drive capped by a Gardella 12-yard scamper. The Gauls’ subsequent possession resulted in a 42-yard interception return by junior safety Anthony Kodomichalos to the Gaul’s 3-yard line. Sophomore Matt Vincent was the carrier as the Sharks pounded the ball into the end zone behind the key blocks of tight end Kodomichalos, sophomore Jason Nikora, and senior fullback Eddie Johnstone. The Sharks led 28-7 mid way through the third quarter.
The lopsided game utilized a running clock through the fourth quarter, and the Sharks held on to win 28-7.
After the game, head coach Ray Humphrey said, “It was a young team we were playing. And because we were missing some of our own starters this week, we had our own young guys stepping up. We brought up two sophomores [defensive end Bronson Bard and offensive lineman Jason Nikora] and one freshman [linebacker Alec Stevenson] and they really helped us.
“Matt Vincent had a really good game running the ball, and it kept their defense honest, setting up our passing game.
“Our offensive line really got the job done. [Senior lineman] Jordan Klarenbeck stepped in for [senior captain] Alden Quartz, and Mario Yocupicio stepped in, and allowed us to do what we needed to do. [Junior defensive back] Anthony Kodamichalos came up big for us at safety – he had the interception, and almost the touchdown. “Kodo” [Kodamichalos] has made big plays two games in a row, so he’s coming along at free safety, and we’re really proud of him.
“This was a great opportunity for us. It gave our younger guys a chance to get some reps - which is good - because down the line we’re going to need them."
The Sharks improve to 3-2, the Gauls fall to 1-3.
Next for the Sharks, league competition begins Friday, 3:30 at home vs. Bell-Jeff.