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Rebels football returns home with victory

Football: Prep hope to continue winning ways, while St. Francis, La Cañada look to get back on track.

September 19, 2012|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • The Flintridge Prep football opens at home this weekend with Malibu at Occidental College after defeating Villanova Prep this past weekend.
The Flintridge Prep football opens at home this weekend… (Cheryl A. Guerrero/Staff…)

After traveling more than 400 miles in its first three games, which included an overnight trip to Carlsbad and a trek to Ojai, the Flintridge Prep football team will finally open 2012 at home against Malibu High Friday night at Occidental College.

While the Rebels lost their first two games by a total of five points, they didn't return home empty handed after they defeated Villanova Prep, 48-8, Saturday to improve to 1-2 this season.

"The boys definitely needed that [win] to carry the momentum into our first home game," Flintridge Prep Coach Antonio Harrison said. "I am hoping that we can take that into this week's game and keep building on it."

Malibu will also enters Friday with a 1-2 record after playing two other Prep League opponents this season. The Sharks fell to St. Monica in their opener, 20-12, before defeating Chadwick, 32-29, and most recently falling to Pasadena Poly, 22-19.

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The Sharks have gone 2-1-1 against Prep since 2008. In Harrison's first year as the Rebels head coach in 2012, Prep and Malibu played to a tie. Last year the Rebels fell to the Sharks, 49-0, as they were overcome by injuries.

"Last year [against Malibu] we lost Clayton Weirick and Stefan Smith in the first quarter — our starting quarterback and starting running back and backup quarterback," Harrison said. "We haven't really had a true game with Malibu since that tie."

The Rebels are expected to enter Friday's game at full strength with the return of receiver Kareem Ismail from a sprained ankle.

"We get Kareem back to help us in the passing game, which we are going to need to establish more now moving forward," said Harrison after Weirick attempted two passes in the win over Villanova Prep.

Flintridge Prep has had plenty of success running the ball. The Rebels racked up 291 yards of offense against the Wildcats with 108 coming from Smith, who has 251 yards and three touchdowns this year, and 73 from Kurt Kozacik.

"We are excited with what our offense has been able to do. … I think our guys are used to the wing-T system and our line is a pretty veteran line and they've been busting their butts," Harrison said of his team's success running the ball. "They know for us to establish dominance we have to establish the run."

St. Francis vs. West Ranch at Valencia High, 7 p.m. Friday: A fumble in the waning minutes last Friday ended the Golden Knights chances to start the season 3-0, as the turnover secured La Mirada's 28-21 home victory over St. Francis.

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