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Left Nathan Dowler from Malibu High School is blocked by a member of the St. Monicas football to allow Jamal Young also from the St. Monicas football team to run back a punt return at St. Bernard's High School in Playa Del-Rey as this is the home field for St. Monicas on Saturday 19th 2010 as St. Monicas hosted Malibu in a varsity football game and won 21-13 (photo by Morgan Genser)

PLAYA DEL REY — A strong defensive effort by St. Monica’s football team and a crucial late-game interception by Jamal Young paced the Mariners to a 21-13 victory over Malibu on Saturday night.

Young, who plays on both sides of the ball, also hooked up with St. Monica quarterback Matthew Partyka on a touchdown pass. Partyka finished the game with three scoring passes. He also connected with receivers Kyle Farber and Michael Doherty.

The win improves St. Monica’s record to 2-1.

“Malibu was a tough team,” St. Monica Head Coach Larry Muno said. “They came out and smacked us in the mouth.”

He said that his team appeared to be in a lull following a close 24-20 loss to Christian of El Cajon the week before. Muno said that it took his team a little time to come around. While he was happy with the win, he said his team was “a little sloppy” on offense.

Malibu (1-2 on the season) came out and aggressively tried to take the passing game away from the Mariners, Muno said.

“They just mixed up coverages,” Muno said.

With the offense struggling a bit, Muno said that it was his defense that proved to be the difference. The Mariners, led by defensive lineman Mau Lauaki, limited the Malibu Sharks to just 54 yards on the ground.

“[Malibu] did well passing the ball,” Muno said, “but we shut down their run.”

Up next for the Mariners is a road game against Brentwood on Saturday. The game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

Muno said that he expects a struggle from a Brentwood team that is 2-0 this season.

“We’ll have to work hard,” he said. “It’s going to be a challenge for us.”

daniela@smdp.com

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