In an ugly game played at Playa del Rey’s St. Bernard High School on Sept 18, St. Monica football escaped with a 21-13 victory after defensive back Jamal Young intercepted a pass on Malibu’s drive with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter.
Heavy fog and cold temperatures factored in the amount of turnovers and penalties for both sides. Mariners (2-1) quarterback Matthew Partyka, who completed 14 out of 23 passes for 132 yards and three touchdowns, was also intercepted three times, allowing Malibu (1-2) to get back into the game after a 14-0 deficit at halftime.
Malibu quarterback Brennan Cassone, who caught one of Partyka’s interceptions, was the highlight of otherwise woeful Malibu offense, completing 7 of 20 passes for 172 yards and one touchdown. On the ground, Malibu only managed 54 yards, with three rushers posting runs for loss. Saadiq Hassan led Malibu with 35 yards rushing on five attempts while also catching a pass for 25 yards. Apollo Loomis had two key receptions for the Sharks for a total of 75 yards.
“For St. Monica, running back Sean Martinez kept the offense moving on the ground, gaining 81 yards on 14 rushes. Sia’anga Moala added 55 yards to Mariners total 201 yards on the ground.”
During a scary moment with 6:37 left in the third quarter, Malibu running back Matt Mason lay motionless on the field, injured, as coaches and staff attended to him. Play was suspended for nearly half-hour as Mason was lifted off the field in an ambulance. His condition wasn’t immediately known.
Ironically, St. Monica’s dual threat Jamal Young was involved in the first play of the game in addition to the last. Young returned the kickoff for a touchdown, but it was called back on a personal foul call. Mariners got the ball back, however, and Partyka completed a 10-yard pass to receiver Kyle Farber with 5:32 left in the first quarter. St. Monica and Malibu alternated the next several possessions, as St. Monica tried to convert on fourth downs at midfield only to turn the ball over. Partyka finally connected with receiver Kyle Farber on a 9-yard touchdown pass to push the lead to 14-0. A St. Monica interception allowed Malibu to set up a scoring drive with 11:20 left in the fourth quarter, but the Mariners answered, with Partyka connecting with receiver Michael Doherty for a touchdown.
Hassan scored for Malibu with 2:47 left in the game and were threatening to possibly even the game when Young made the interception.
On the JV side, St. Monica defeated Malibu 38-2.