Records don’t matter when it comes to a great rivalry such as Thousand Oaks and Westlake. Even with the Warriors off to their worst start in Jim Benkert’s 17 years as coach, Westlake battled to take a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter. Taylor Malm made a place for himself in the rivalry’s lore by scoring four touchdowns, as many as he had during the season entering the game. He also totaled 175 yards, 101 of them on the ground. “He was the difference in this game,” Thousand Oaks receiver Matt Luft said. “We’ve struggled running the ball all year. When he came out and established the run, that opened up the pass for the rest of us.” Malm and Luft combined to score the three fourth-quarter touchdowns to lead the comeback. Malm’s 3-yard run got Thousand Oaks within 31-28 near the beginning of the fourth quarter. Then on the Warriors’ next possession, Westlake quarterback Ryan Campbell couldn’t handle the snap, and Tony D’Ascenzo recovered for Thousand Oaks at the Westlake 38. However, the other thing about a rivalry is that a team never gives up. Thousand Oaks stormed back to score three touchdowns in less than four minutes to beat host Westlake 42-31 Friday in Marmonte League play. Three plays later, Luft used his 6-foot-5 frame to shield off the defender and catch a touchdown pass in the left corner of the end zone to give Thousand Oaks (5-1, 2-1) its first lead since the first quarter. Luft finished with 147 yards on eight catches. Lancers quarterback Ryan Cloney completed 23 of 28 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns. Westlake (1-5, 0-3) turned the ball over again when a low snap forced the punter to put his knee down, giving the Lancers the ball at the Westlake 17. It was another three plays before Malm was in the end zone on a 6-yard run. “This is Westlake week,” Malm said. “This is what we prepare for all season. We weren’t worried when we were down because we know we’re a second-half team.” Westlake got a boost from the return of defensive lineman Jeff Miller and receiver Marlon Bills from injuries. Bills scored on a 47-yard reception in the third quarter to give Westlake the 10-point lead. Thousand Oaks extended its series advantage to 13-10-3, including another fourth-quarter comeback in the final minute last year. The teams have combined to win five of the past six Marmonte League titles. “We’re not a bad team, though our record makes it look that way,” Benkert said. “We’re just a young team that can’t seem to stop making mistakes in the fourth quarter.” Matthew Kredell, (818)713-3607 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!