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Flintridge Prep not able to match Windward in league opener

LOS ANGELES — Four touchdowns and 27 points in 37 seconds in the first quarter of Flintridge Prep football’s Prep League opener did not favor the Rebels.

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Rather, it was host Windward that scored the brunt of the points to take an early lead they would not relinquish in a wire-to-wire victory.

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In its Prep League eight-man opener, Flintridge Prep fought hard and stayed in the game throughout, but was ultimately unable to overtake the host Wildcats in a 65-42 defeat at Windward.

“I always knew they were a good team and a good program,” Rebels Coach Russell White said of a Windward team that joins a newly formed Prep League. “We had opportunities, just didn’t get execution on those opportunities.”

The Rebels’ offense tried to answer the Wildcats in the shootout. Windward returned two kickoffs for touchdowns and got another on a pick-six from its defense to gain the upper hand.

Flintridge Prep quarterback John Lytle led his team’s offensive attack, completing 16 of 32 passes for 289 yards and five touchdowns — three to Zach Kim, who finished with 157 yards in eight receptions. Kim also had an interception.

Charlie McCormick caught three balls for 81 yards, while Ben Grable hauled in five for 55.

Flintridge Prep (3-3) did its best to balance its offense with a running game, led by Alexander Payne’s 18 carries for 68 yards.

Overall, it was an impressive showing against a Windward (5-2, 1-0 in league) defense led by outstanding defensive tackle Marcus Joseph.

“That’s a grown man,” White said of Joseph. “Hell of a player. He disrupted our offense; our focus was mainly on him. I don’t know if we’ll face a player like him again.”

Lytle also threw three interceptions, the first of which Jasper Stratton took the other way for a touchdown to give the Wildcats a 21-6 lead. The touchdown was Windward’s third in less than a minute after the offense scored on its first possession and Jacob Garner ran one of his two special teams touchdowns on the ensuing kickoff off Lytle and found McCormick on a 65-yard touchdown.

Credit Flintridge Prep for answering the pick-six with a seven-play drive capped by a Lytle-to-Grable touchdown cutting the Windward lead to 21-14.

The teams traded the next three scores just before halftime, as the Wildcats led, 30-20, after kicking a field goal as time expired.

The Rebels cut the lead to three, 37-34, at the 5:38 mark of the third quarter on a second touchdown pass to Kim. The first came as the offense capitalized on Pearce Harris’ fumble recovery on the half’s first drive.

Momentum was short-lived, however, as Garner took an onside kick the other way for a touchdown to put the Wildcats back up by 11, 45-34.

It would trigger a 21-0 run that put the game away.

The Rebels showed more fight, making it a two-possession deficit on Matt Son’s touchdown from three yards out, then converting on the two-point conversion.

Windward scored late to leave no doubt. The Wildcats were led by 182 rushing yards from Aidan Gerst.

“We did some things, and then there were things we didn’t get a chance to capitalize on,” White said.

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“We gotta come ready all the time. We need to win the rest and hopefully they [Windward] stumble along the way.”

Flintridge Prep has a short week as it travels to Pierce College to face Milken on Thursday.

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