Guards run out of gas against Malibu!

September 26, 2008 by  

FOOTBALL: Bell-Jeff unable to stop the run and the result is a 23-8 nonleague road loss.
By Kristopher Wynne – Burbank Leader

MALIBU — The Bellermine- Jefferson football team seemed a step or two behind their opponent on both sides of the ball against Malibu.

The result was a 23-8 nonleague loss Saturday afternoon on the road.

Malibu (2-0) used key Bell-Jeff (1-2) turnovers and a potent running game to keep the Guards defense on the field for long stretches throughout the game.

Malibu gained 441 yards of total offense to Bell-Jeff’s 260, which proved to be the deciding factor in the game. The Sharks racked up 393 yards rushing behind a trio of running backs.

The Guards offense looked sharp on their opening drive, taking the ball deep into Sharks territory only to come up short and turn the ball over on downs at the Malibu 5-yard line.

“These are the same mistakes we have made the first two games,” Bell-Jeff Coach Rolando Aguirre said. “We move the ball down the field and turn it over without putting points on the board.”

Malibu senior tailback Sean Conrad blew past Bell-Jeff defenders on the first play from scrimmage, taking it 95 yards for the score. Sharks didn’t look back.

The Guards never managed to get back on track, as the relentless Malibu offense kept moving the football and wearing Bell-Jeff down.

Malibu quarterback Victor Tyler finished off a long drive with a six-yard touchdown run that gave his team a 13-0 lead going into halftime.

It was the third consecutive game that Bell-Jeff has been held scoreless in the first half.

A six-yard Conrad touchdown midway through the third quarter gave Malibu a comfortable 20-0 lead.

Conrad overpowered the Guards defense on his way to a career-high 313 yards rushing in 26 carries and two touchdowns.

“Conrad was fantastic, he looked sharp and their line did a great job of opening up holes for him and their other backs all game,” Aguirre said.

Trailing by three scores forced the Guards to open up their passing attack, which proved to be a bright spot.

Senior quarterback Mike Radoccia hit sophomore wide receiver Micah Shirley for a 53-yard pass to the Sharks 11-yard line that set up a one-yard Elliot Dennis touchdown run with 4:30 remaining in the third quarter.

Dennis added the two-point conversion, cutting the lead to 20-8. Dennis paced the Guards rushing attack with 57 yards in only six carries.

A late fourth quarter holding penalty negated a dazzling 29-yard touchdown catch and run by Shirley, who snagged the tipped pass from Radoccia at the Malibu 12-yard line and dodged two defenders on his way to the endzone.

Shirley had a game-high six catches for 105 yards, showcasing the big-play capability that the Guards were missing in their first two games this season.

Radoccia completed eight of 16 passes for 129 yards and no interceptions.

“We simply ran out of gas in the second half,” Aguirre said. “We were not prepared and it showed.”

-Photos by: Lucy Radoccia-

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