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Flintridge Prep football is back on track

Football: Rebels bounce back from two losses with 48-8 win at Villanova Prep.

September 15, 2012|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com

OJAI — For a victory a longtime coming, extending past two heartbreaking defeats this season into the previous year's string of losses marred by forfeits, perhaps it was a little surprising there was no raucous, over-the-top celebration.

Perhaps it was because of the sweltering conditions.

Or maybe it was that the Flintridge Prep football team knew the outcome long before halftime came.

Then again, it might very well have been the sentiments stressed by Flintridge Prep Coach Antonio Harrison, reminding his Rebels that what they had been through was exactly what host Villanova Prep was currently forging through.

"All respect goes to Villanova Prep for coming out here to play," said Harrison of a Villanova Prep squad that suited up 20 players after forfeiting a game a week earlier. "We were in that same situation last year. That's what I told the team, have class out there, we were right where they were."

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Nonetheless, there were still plenty of ear-to-ear grins for the Rebels and their faithful, as Flintridge Prep got the performance and the result it needed most with a resounding 48-8 nonleague win over Villanova Prep on a very hot early Saturday afternoon in Ojai.

"It feels great," said running back Stefan Smith, who had 108 yards on just four carries with two first-quarter touchdowns that propelled the Rebels to a 36-0 halftime lead that put the game away early. "It feels great because we've been working for so long."

Like Smith, Chad Cosse also had two touchdowns, with a scoring catch and an interception return for a touchdown, while Kurt Kozacik added a rushing score and had 73 yards on the ground in 10 carries.

"It was just a great overall win," said Cosse, who also keyed a commanding defensive performance that saw two defensive scores and limited Villanova Prep (0-4) to just 51 total yards.

The victory puts Flintridge Prep at 1-2 after nailbiting losses to Army-Navy, 32-30, and Heritage Christian, 19-16, in previous weeks in which the Rebels led in both games. It also ended a losing streak of 11 games — including two by forfeit last season — for the Rebels dating back to a victory over Bellarmine-Jefferson last year in the first week of the season.

"I'm completely happy with these boys," Harrison said. "They knew they had to come out of here with a victory to get our season going.

"It is a good feeling to get a win."

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