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Stefan Smith, Flintridge Prep shine in win against Hawkins

Football: Senior running back has two touchdowns in Rebels' 21-13 victory.

November 01, 2013|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com

LOS ANGELES — Once all the lights worked properly, Stefan Smith was ready to go to work.

The start of Flintridge Prep's intersectional road contest against Hawkins was delayed for nearly 15 minutes while two of the four light poles briefly malfunctioned. It gave Smith, the standout senior running back on the Flintridge Prep football team, time to take a deep breath and think over the game plan while the lights slowly reset.

Smith quickly grabbed the spotlight, as he scored a pair of touchdowns to carry Flintridge Prep to a 21-13 victory Friday night.

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"Sometimes you have nerves before the game," said Smith, who helped Flintridge Prep win its second game in a row to improve to 2-7. "We wanted to get the game going, but the delay didn't affect us that much.

"A whole lot of things are starting to click for us on both sides of the ball. People are doing their jobs and we are starting to succeed."

Smith, a reigning All-Area pick, rushed for one touchdown and had a touchdown reception, giving him eight touchdowns in the last three games.

Flintridge Prep got busy after forcing a turnover. Linebacker Kevin Heintz recovered a fumble at the Hawkins 35-yard line, setting the stage for Smith's first score.

Smith scored on a six-yard run to give Flintridge Prep a 6-0 lead with 4:50 remaining in the first quarter.

The Rebels extended their lead to 14-0 when quarterback Andrew Tsangeos tossed a 10-yard touchdown pass to an uncovered Smith with 8:28 left in the second quarter. Tsangeos then raced to the end zone to complete the two-point play conversion to make it 14-0.

Smith recorded 88 yards rushing in 22 carries and collected 110 yards of total offense.

Hawkins, a first-year City Section program, cut the deficit to 14-6 on a two-yard run by running back Greg Johnson with 4:10 remaining in the third quarter.

Flintridge Prep took a 21-6 lead on a one-yard run by running back Elliot Witter with 10:42 left in the fourth quarter. Witter had 72 yards rushing in 16 carries. Tsangeos completed five of 13 passes for 109 yards.

The Hawks closed out the scoring with 1:30 to go on a two-yard run by Johnson.

Flintridge Prep Coach Antonio Harrison said it's important for the Rebels to finish the season strong.

"We are on a nice two-game run," said Harrison, the reigning All-Area Football Coach of the Year who guided the Rebels to a playoff appearance for the first time since 2008. "We want to take that momentum into the next game.

"Stefan had another great game. He just keeps on moving and getting it done. I like the way we were ready to play after the delay."

Heintz finished with a pair of fumble recoveries. Both came in the first quarter. Defensive back Riley Jones added an interception in the first half. The Rebels have forced six turnovers in their last two contests.

Flintridge Prep will conclude its regular season at 4:15 p.m. Friday with a league road game against Chadwick at L.A. Harbor College.

charles.rich@latimes.com

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