GRANADA HILLS — Maybe it’s time for Flintridge Prep football Coach Antonio Harrison to give an inspiring halftime speech before the game starts.
At least that’s what he joked after he saw his team put together an inspired performance in the second half for the second week in a row. It wasn’t enough to get the Rebels their first win, as their 20-point run was but a footnote in a lopsided loss, 47-20, on the road to Heritage Christian at Granada Hills High Saturday night.
“We’ve got to put it all together for four quarters, if we can do that we could be a pretty good football team,” said Harrison, whose team was down, 40-0, just 61 seconds into the third quarter and fell to 0-5 with Prep League starting next week against Pasadena Poly. “Right now, we’re allowing things to mentally get us out of sync and then we pull ourselves back together and we look great, but we need to be there from the beginning of the game.”
Flintridge Prep’s late surge started 1:15 into the third quarter on an 83-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Kyle Hamane that came after Heritage Christian scored touchdowns on its first two plays from scrimmages in the second half — on runs of 48 and 35 yards — to build a 28-0 halftime lead to 40-0.
Following a Heritage Christian (3-3) turnover on downs, Flintridge Prep launched an 11-play touchdown drive. Rebels quarterback Andrew Tsangeos capped the 70-yard march with a five-yard scrambling touchdown run with 3:27 to go in the third quarter.
The good times kept rolling for Prep when Elliot Witter recovered an onside kick at the 50-yard line five seconds later. It only took four plays for the Rebels to push into the end zone, with Hamane taking a reverse handoff for a two-yard touchdown run. Stefan Smith, who didn’t suffer any setbacks to an injury he’s been dealing with for two weeks and ran for 64 yards on 11 carries, set up the score with a 28-yard run.
Any thoughts of a comeback were snuffed out by the solid connection of Heritage Christian quarterback Jacob Padilla and wide receiver Alex Alcala. The duo’s third touchdown link of the game came on a 12-yard screen pass and gave the Warriors an insurmountable 47-20 lead with 9:47 to play.
Defensively, Flintridge Prep had some standouts. Hamane had an interception and Eric Kang had three tackles for a loss, including a sack. Brian Heintz also had a sack and Thomas Turchan had two tackles for a loss, along with Eric Fung, for the Rebels.
Still, Padilla completed 15 of 23 passes for 219 yards and the three scores in the game. Alcala caught nine passes for 138 yards and the three scores and also added a 48-yard touchdown run.
Padilla and Alcala helped dig the Rebels a big early hole on Heritage Christian’s homecoming night. Their first touchdown pass of the game was for seven yards and came 7:16 into the contest for a 7-0 lead.
Flintridge Prep went on to commit two turnovers in the first half, including a pick-six, and three in the game. An interception with 1:32 to play in the first half set up Padilla and Alcala's second touchdown, 17 yards through the air, with three seconds to spare before halftime.
In the first 24 minutes, Padilla completed 13 of 18 passes for 175 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Alcala had eight catches for 126 yards and the two scores in that span.
While the Rebels have gotten things moving in the right direction these late two games, they’ll have their aim set on a more successful league season as they return to Occidental College to host Pasadena Poly in Prep’s first home contest in four games Friday night.
“A lot of people forget because of how great the season was last year, but we were 1-4 in nonleague play last year,” said Harrison, whose team qualified for the playoffs and also won a CIF playoff game last year. “All we need to do is take first or second place in league and we’re automatically in playoffs.”