LOS ANGELES — Flintridge Prep football Coach Perry Skaggs didn’t want his team to let Malibu High standout running back Sean Conrad single-handedly beat it.
For the most part, when considering Conrad has put together a rash of 300-yard rushing games, the Rebels contained him, but ended up beating themselves, as Flintridge Prep turned the ball over twice, leading to Sharks scores and, inevitably, the difference in Flintridge Prep’s 20-7 nonleague loss to Malibu at Occidental College on Friday night.
Flintridge Prep (1-4) hung tough with the undefeated Sharks (5-0) throughout, but fell behind, 13-0, as Malibu cashed in on drives set up by a fumble and an interception via the Rebels.
The Rebels’ 1-2 punch of running backs Joel Bryant and Adam Ross accounted for 223 yards on the ground, outrushing the Sharks tandem of Conrad and Jake Wisnicki, who combined for 217 yards.
The difference came in the fact that Conrad, who had 152 yards in 26 carries, had one touchdown and Wisnicki, who rushed for 65 yards in 10 carries, had two scores.
Ross, who rushed 15 times for 87 yards, had the Rebels’ only score.
Bryant had 136 yards on 17 carries and an interception on defense. It was the Rebels’ only takeaway. Malibu fumbled the ball three times, but recovered all three. Therein lied the difference.
Up 13-0 after Conrad’s 37-yard scoring run — his longest gain of the game — the Sharks were bestowed three straight personal-foul penalties. One came on the run, the next came on the point-after and the third came before the kickoff when Skaggs was arguing with an official.
The subsequent kickoff came from the Rebels 30. A perfectly placed pooch kick was fallen upon by Bryant at the Rebels 1.
Undaunted, the Rebels drove 99 yards in 13 plays and 5:57.
It culminated with Ross rumbling 10 yards up the middle for a score with 1:28 left in the third quarter, cutting the Rebels’ deficit to 13-7.
But Malibu answered with a clock-draining drive of its own.
The Sharks marched 58 yards in 11 plays, taking up 4:29 of clock before Wisnicki scored on a 13-yard carry.
In the end, Malibu barely outgained Prep, 266-237.
In the first half, Prep held Malibu to 99 total yards and a 6-0 lead, as Alec Storrie-Lombardi blocked a point-after attempt.
Flintridge Prep returns to Prep League play on Saturday against archrival Pasadena Poly.
GRANT GORDON is the sports editor. He can be reached at (818) 637-3225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.