Varsity football loses to Malibu Sharks

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Ava Seccuro staff writer

The varsity football team lost to the Malibu Sharks 62-7 in their second game of the season, making their record 1-1. This is the first time the Normans have lost a game by 55 points since playing Lawndale High School in the 2017-2018 season.

With senior captain running back Nick Sullivan out by the second quarter with an injury, the team had to make changes to their plays and rosters. Senior captain running back Alex Vaca helped the offense adapt with a 30-yard carry and a field goal in the second quarter. Senior linebacker Jerick Kim played some emergency snaps at running back, with an offensive highlight being a 50-yard carry in the fourth quarter. Senior receiver Sami Yates had a 35-yard carry as well. More game successes include: junior quarterback Thomas Recupero making two successful tackles and junior running back Ilai Dardashti scoring on a punt return. Regardless of some of the members’ abilities to quickly adjust to new roles, the Sharks were still able to score a total of eight touchdowns and six field goals against the Normans.

“We knew from the very beginning [that] we have a small team, 22 players. We have a lot of freshmen and some of the freshmen have never played before,” head coach Jarrod Bunch said. “And besides that, we have a team full of guys that never started and never had a lot of time to play so we started off bad[ly].”

Malibu kicked off the first quarter with a touchdown and later earned a total of 55 points in the first half. With a win last week for the Normans against the 0-3 Sotomayor Wolves, hopes were high for the games to come. This loss, however, served as a shock to Bunch.

“This was not expected. I thought we had a better shot at winning,” Bunch said. “It just started off and just kept rolling. All I could do is try to keep the guys in the game as much as possible and try to learn something from it.”

Despite Dardashti returning a punt for a touchdown off blocks from the special teams unit, he described the successes as “not being enough to win.”

“When I scored, there was great blocking. It wasn’t just me…I’m happy that [my teammates] liked that I scored, but at the end of the day we still lost,” Dardashti said. “[There were] a bunch of small problems. Sometimes there wouldn’t be enough players on the field or just communication, so we just have to figure that out.”

The visible disappointment on the field after the loss can somehow be due to, according to Recupero, a lack of intensity during practice throughout the week.

“I mean it’s tough, but all we have to do right now is come back better than ever next week,” Recupero said. “It starts on Monday and we didn’t come out battling on Monday. We just have to do that next week to win.”

Bunch wants to keep progressing with the team throughout the season and learn from mistakes made in the games.

“We’re going to figure out who’s going to be a part of this team and who’s going to make this team better. We’re going to take this, look at the film, learn from it and move forward with those guys that showed effort and that really wanted to get something out of this game,” Bunch said. “It’s a learning thing.”

The team’s next game is the homecoming game against the 2-1 Cerritos Dons on Friday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m.The Normans played the Dons last season and lost 22-16.

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