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Flintridge Prep football can't hold lead

Football: Rebels suffer 32-30 overtime loss when 16-point lead dries up.

September 01, 2012|By Andrew Shortall

CARLSBAD — A new season appeared to do the Flintridge Prep football team a lot of good Saturday, but some of the same problems that plagued the Rebels last year resurfaced as the game went on against the Army and Navy Academy in Carlsbad.

Prep saw a 16-point fourth quarter lead cut down completely by the Warriors, who came all the way back for a 32-30 victory in overtime. It made for a long drive home for the Rebels, but their coach Antonio Harrison said they have to leave what happened to them back in Carlsbad.

"We totally beat ourselves today is what it was," Harrison said. "This was a great game, they played really well, but we did beat ourselves.

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"We can't take this loss into our next week of practice. We've got to let it go and know we should've beat this team."

It appeared a Flintridge Prep victory was imminent for most of the game, especially after Dylan Colliflower gave the Rebels a commanding 22-8 advantage on a 31-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. Kyle Hamane pushed the lead to 16 on a successful two-point conversion run.

The Rebels defense began to wear down with players cramping up in the final quarter, which forced Harrison to dig deep into his 19-man roster after starting running back and linebacker/safety Stefan Smith came out of the game in the first half with a leg injury.

"A lot of people think because we're up numbers — six or seven guys — that it's a different situation, and it is if everybody's healthy," said Harrison, whose team had to forfeit two games last year when injuries depleted an already-thin roster, "but we lose our starting center and our H-back and now we've got guys playing in positions they're not practicing in. We've got to get used to it."

Army-Navy took advantage, as the Warriors' 6-foot-1, 250 pound fullback Joe Naotola broke a 26-yard touchdown run on fourth-down-and-two and ran for the ensuing two-point try to cut Prep's lead to eight.

The Rebels offense, which started hot behind the running of Kurt Kozacik, who ran for two touchdowns and 186 yards in the first half and 251 total yards in 21 carries in the game, went cold.

Naotola, who finished with 42 rushing yards and two scores in five carries, helped tie the game when he broke a 12-yard touchdown run after Prep was held to a three-and-out, as Mike Luque, who finished with 87 rushing yards and two touchdowns in 11 carries, tied the game at 24 with a two-point run with four minutes left in regulation.

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