"We basically have to win out our last three games and then have some crazy stuff happen to even have a possibility of making playoffs," first-year Rebels Coach Antonio Harrison said. "I was hoping our season wouldn't boil down to this, but basically this one and the next two are a must-win.
"We've made some adjustments in practice and we're hoping the boys come out and realize that, especially for these seniors, this is their last chance to do something in order to make the playoffs and also their last chance to play their school rival."
A tough Oct. 15 loss to Chadwick, in which the Rebels (0-5-1, 0-2 in league) led late in the fourth quarter, followed by last week's blowout loss to Rio Hondo Prep that they were never in, has put Prep in an 0-2 hole in league. Conversely, The Panthers (5-2), who are ranked seventh in the CIF Southern Section Northeast Division, come in at 2-0 after opening against the soft underbelly of the league in Viewpoint and Webb, who are both 0-2.
Leading the Panthers' offensive attack is senior running back Blake Edwards, who is dual threat out of the backfield with team-highs in rushing yards with 828 and receiving yards with 464. He also leads the team with 15 total touchdowns.
"The only way, I think, that you can stop a guy like that is you gotta go right after him." Harrison said. "From the opening whistle, you have to be on him all game so that you wear him down, tire him out and make it so he just doesn't want the ball anymore."
Poly's defense has also been solid, averaging just 11.7 points allowed per contest in its last three outings.
"Our concern is stopping those guys on their defensive line from getting after the quarterback," Harrison said.
Prep has had moments this season where it's shown the ability to manage games well and control the possession battle with its running game and the play of quarterback Kyle McDonald.