Rebels football continues run with rivalry win over Panthers

Football: Flintridge Prep improves to 2-0 in league with first win over Poly since 2007.

October 13, 2012|By Andrew J. Campa,
  • Flintridge Prep senior running back Kurt Kozacik ran for 170 yards and three touchdowns in Saturday's 46-33 win over Pasadena Poly.
Flintridge Prep senior running back Kurt Kozacik ran… (Libby Cline )

PASADENA — A season of redemption just hit another level for the Flintridge Prep football team Saturday afternoon.

The Rebels cashed in their feel-good status for one of league contender after knocking off host and traditional Prep League heavyweight Pasadena Poly, 46-33, at Babcock Field.

With the victory, the surging Rebels (4-3 overall, 2-0 in league), winners of three straight, are one of two undefeated squads in league and face the other, reigning five-time champion Rio Hondo Prep (6-1, 2-0), next week.

Yet, the focus wasn’t on the Kares on Saturday, but on the just-vanquished Panthers (4-2, 0-1).

“Honestly, we’ve fought so hard for this and everything we’ve been through the last couple of years, this is just like the highlight of our lives right now,” said Rebels senior running back Kurt Kozacik, who rushed 19 times for 170 yards and three touchdowns, and was in obvious pain after the game.


Flintridge Prep’s first victory over Poly since 2007 came thanks to the Rebels’ run attack, which gashed Poly for 292 yards, while Prep outscored Poly, 30-13, in the second half.

Kozacik scored the game-winning touchdown on a 23-yard run, which after a failed two-point conversion attempt, gave the Rebels a 38-27 lead with 8:24 left in the fourth.

Poly countered on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Nolan Mulligan (nine for 11 for 78 yards and two scores) to Parker Matthews with 6:26 remaining that brought the Panthers within 38-33 after Poly’s own failed two-point try.

The Panthers attempted onside kick on the following kickoff was recovered by Flintridge Prep at its 46 and led to a 56-yard touchdown run from junior tailback Stefan Smith with 6:14 left that gave the Rebels a 46-33 advantage.

Poly tried a final comeback, but was thwarted on a fourth and six at midfield with 2:40 left and the Rebels ran out the clock.

“Poly had a great offense and we had trouble stopping them at first,” said Rebels senior linebacker Dylan Colliflower, who finished with eight tackles and forced a key fumble to start the third quarter that set up a Kozacik score from three yards out and put the Rebels ahead, 24-20, at the 8:56 mark. “But we made some keys plays and I had a forced fumble and the defense responded.”

Kozacik’s score was answered by a 14-yard touchdown pass from Mulligan to Michael Bowman that gave Poly its last lead, 27-24, at 2:58 in the third.

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