PLAY DEL REY — On a St. Monica team stocked with offensive weapons, there is one that Malibu Head Coach Ray Humphrey has his eyes on.
St. Monica High School quarterback Matthew Partyka has been the subject of Humphrey’s game planning all week, the coach said. After watching game film from the Mariners’ season-opening 41-0 win over Animo, Humphrey was impressed by the shifty quarterback’s ability to lead the offense.
“[Partyka] looks good throwing the ball,” Humphrey said. “And the kid can run, too.”
Both attributes have helped the Mariners to a 1-1 record. Partyka has thrown for 447 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 88 yards and three scores thus far this season. While it’s just his second season playing organized football, Partyka has helped second-year head coach Larry Muno establish an up-tempo offense.
“[Muno] has done a great job getting the program turned around,” Humphrey said. “They are quick and run their stuff pretty well.”
Also on Humphrey’s radar on Saturday is wide receiver Sam Holguin, a player who missed most of last season due to injury. Holguin has been St. Monica’s leading receiver with eight catches for 233 yards and two scores. He said that he expects Partyka to target him all night.
Humphrey, whose team is 1-1, will look to defensive lineman Evan Anthony to create pressure on St. Monica’s offensive line all night. He’ll use Anthony in tandem with linebacker Laker Dohan to try to disrupt Partyka in the passing game.
As for Partyka’s take on Malibu’s defense, he is taking a wait-and-see attitude.
“We’re not going to change too much up,” he said.
And what they do is pass the ball. St. Monica’s Muno has a penchant for creative offensive plays and looks at this game as an opportunity to, as he describes it, “call some crazy stuff.”
“When you throw for as many yards as we do, it’s hard to not stick with what you’re doing,” Muno said. “The only thing is that we can’t turn the ball over.”
Turnovers ultimately doomed St. Monica last week against Christian as the team surrendered the ball twice inside of the five-yard line. Muno and Partyka were pleased with the way the team played sans the giveaways.
To limit turnovers, Muno said he may look to run the ball more often. Aside from Partyka, who is known to scramble, the Mariners employ a committee at running back that includes Sia’Anga Moala and Sean Martinez, who have combined for 100 yards and three touchdowns.
“If we have a game like last week, we should do pretty well,” Partyka said. “I don’t think we’ll see anything that will be too surprising.”