LA CAÑADA — Flintridge Prep football was one win away from having an undefeated regular season on its home field.
The final hurdle was visiting division powerhouse Mission College Prep.
Flintridge Prep was unable to handle Mission Prep, handing the visitors a large cushion early on the way to a 51-13 loss in nonleague CIF Southern Section Division I Eight-Man game Friday night.
"Sometimes things don't go the way you planned them," Rebels coach Russell White said.
Right out of the gate, Mission Prep (5-1) took it to the Rebels. Royal Brian Kowall took the opening kickoff 94 yards. After two encroachment calls on the Rebels, Vance Rocha scored on the first snap, going in from a yard out.
The ensuing drive for Flintridge Prep (4-4) ended when Royal Brayden Farr intercepted Rebels quarterback John Lytle and returned the ball 37 yards for another touchdown. Mission Prep, ranked No. 6 in the division, scored on a 31-yard touchdown scamper by Rocha to lead 21-0 with 9:38 left in the first.
"Spotting them 21 points was not in the game plan," White said.
Flintridge Prep scored first in the second quarter when Ben Grable hauled in an 18-yard scoring pass from Lytle to make the score 21-7. Mission Prep scored the next 30 points, putting to rest any suspense about the outcome.
"We hung in there and fought as much as we could," White said.
The visitors led 44-7 after three quarters, prompting a running clock in the fourth quarter.
Prep’s Tommy Porter found the corner of the end zone from seven yards away, hurdling the final defender to find pay dirt. Porter led his squad in rushing with 40 yards on eight carries with the one score.
Lytle went 25 of 40 for 180 yards, the one score and three interceptions.
Grable caught nine passes for 46 yards and the score. AJ Nicassio added six catches for 37 yards. Nick Davis had 52 yards on six catches.
"We thought we had action on the pass against them," White said. "It didn't quite work out all in our favor, but that was the game plan. We knew our running, because we are so young, was going to be zero."
Mission Prep, playing its first year in 8 Man, did the majority of its damage on the ground, producing five rushing touchdowns. Kowall led the way with 17 carries for 104 yards and a three-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Rocha finished with 78 yards on nine carries.
If all goes according to plan, Friday's game against the Royals will be the final regular-season game played on campus under temporary light banks. Prep athletic director Garrett Ohara reported that this past Monday the city council approved 60-foot-high banks of light and the school hopes to have them ready for next season.