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Prep shut out at home

Football: Rebels fall to 1-2 with lopsided nonleague loss to Grace Brethren.

September 16, 2011|By Mario Aguirre, mario.aguirre@latimes.com

LOS ANGELES — The Flintridge Prep football team was already undermanned when it lost its most potent offensive player in the season opener.

On Friday, the Rebels kept piling players onto the injured list when they lost their second-best back and a couple other players in a 48-0 nonleague home loss to Grace Brethren at Occidental College.

Since losing senior Chris Wirthlin (deep contusion, right knee) in the opener, Kurt Kocazik has been Prep's go-to running back. But Kocazik sustained a high ankle sprain with 3:36 to play in the opening half and did not return.

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The junior, who was leading the team Friday in rushing yards with 46 in eight carries, was on crutches for the remainder of the game.

There's no timetable for either player to return.

It was a devastating blow for the Rebels (1-2), who also saw their leading receiver and starting outside linebacker in Daniel Jung (5 catches on 66 yards, all in the first half) go down.

With that and a couple other players exiting the game with cramps, Prep saw its 16-player roster dwindle down to 12.

"To be honest," Rebels Coach Antonio Harrison said, "I don't even know how we're going to field the next game."

For what it's worth, Prep controlled the first quarter before the injuries began to seep in. In fact, the Rebels limited the Lancers (2-0) to only one drive in the opening period.

But after that, Grace Brethren had its way.

The Lancers needed only two plays or less to score their first five touchdowns. They scored three times in the second quarter — twice after returning the ball into Prep territory and another on a two-play, 80-yard drive to break a scoreless tie with 8:36 left in the half after the Rebels missed a field goal.

To start the third, the Lancers scored off an 80-yard kickoff return and a 35-yard interception return by Jack Gilliland.

Gilliland (107 rushing yards in five carries) finished with four touchdowns, including scoring runs of 15 and 74 yards. His final touchdown gave Grace Brethren a 48-0 lead with 3:50 to play.

"If we don't have anyone to sub in," Harrison said, "I can't expect these guys to go [all] out for 48 minutes.

"They played their hearts out, they gave it all they had. But when there's no one there to back you up and give you a breather, what else can you do?"

Rebels quarterback Clayton Weirick completed 10 of 20 passes for 98 yards and one interception. Stefan Smith led the team in rushing with 60 yards on 20 carries and Kocazik came in second with an efficient 46 yards on eight carries.

Jung had five catches for 66 yards, all in the first half.

"We had a couple players cramp up, a high ankle sprain, a helmet to the shin," Harrison said. "But I'd expect them to cramp up, too, if they never got a break. We'll just take it from there and see what we could do next week."

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