"That's why I'm not mad at my players [who were in there at the end]."
Played amid sweltering heat upon Campbell Hall's field turf field, the Vikings (3-0) didn't seem to be all that affected by the temperature, but the Rebels (0-3) were quite the opposite, as no fewer than three Flintridge Prep players spent the second half with their shoulder pads and helmets off, sitting in the shade trying to rehydrate.
Eric Kazangian was one who left the game due to cramps, but he returned and was easily the biggest highlight for the Rebels.
The reigning All-Area selection recovered a fumble to set up Prep's first score and finished the game with 100 yards in nine carries.
"Eric's our go-to guy," Harrison said. "He's the heart and soul of our team."
Kazangian began Prep's initial second-half drive with carries of 35 and 23 yards to ignite the Rebels, who were down 26-7 after the intermission. Aided by a huge pass interference call against the Vikings on a third-down play, the Rebels marched on and culminated the drive with a 23-yard scoring hookup from quarterback Kyle McDonald to Daniel Jung.
The touchdown seemed to breathe life into the Rebels, who would get the ball back after a long Campbell Hall drive stalled when David Russell recovered another Vikings fumble.
But a three-and-out on the ensuing possession was followed by a backbreaking, 11-play, 56-yard scoring drive by the Vikings that chewed up 5:31 of clock and put the score to 33-14. The score took even longer in real time after Vikings receiver Josh Ross apparently injured his shoulder and was taken away by paramedics, resulting in roughly a 25-minute delay.
Having watched first-half leads dissipate in each of his team's first two games, the equally played second half on Friday was of some solace to Harrison.