Rebels open with loss

LOS ANGELES — A second-quarter play of Saturday’s season opener told the tale of all of Flintridge Prep’s woes against St. Genevieve.

St. Genevieve quarterback Chris Navarro dropped back to pass on the Rebels’ 43-yard line and found receiver Rose Winston facing one-on-one coverage on the outside. Navarro lofted a pass, which Winston hauled in inside the 10, where he dragged a Rebel defender hanging onto his feet five yards into the end zone.

Winston’s prowess proved how strong the Valiants were for the Rebels.

Flintridge Prep couldn’t contain the Valiants’ attack on offense and couldn’t match their speed on defense, falling, 46-13, at Occidental College’s Patterson Field.

Rebel Coach Perry Skaggs attributed the loss to a number of factors.

He started with Flintridge Prep’s defense.

“We had guys at the right spots, but our tackling was shoddy,” said Skaggs, whose team lost to St. Genevieve, 45-20, to open the season a year ago.

Flintridge Prep, which went 3-7 last season and made the first round of the CIF Southern Section Northeast Division playoffs, allowed 372 total offensive yards on 40 plays, an average of 9.3 yards per play.

Navarro had 286 of those yards, including 156 rushing yards and three touchdowns in just 10 carries. Two of those carries resulted in touchdown runs of 44 and 78 yards, and his last was a five-yard run that ended the scoring in the fourth quarter.

“He’s a great runner and has a lot of confidence,” St. Genevieve Coach Eric Harris said of Navarro, last season’s Santa Fe League Most Valuable Player. “He’s a great passer too. He has pure grit. I trust him.”

Navarro also intercepted a pass, as St. Genevieve had five takeaways.

The Rebels made things easier for St. Genevieve (2-0), which is ranked sixth in the CIF Southern Section Northeast Division, with quick three-and-out possessions deep in their own territory. The punts and turnovers allowed St. Genevieve to have scoring drives of 45, 66, 43, 41, and 22 yards in the first half as the Valiants took a 28-0 lead into the half.

“Any time you’re going to give a team with that kind of talent that kind of field position, they’re going to score,” Skaggs said.

Added Harris, whose team went 9-3 in 2008: “We’re not very big, but we were able to use our speed against their offense. We were blowing gaps.”

Flintridge Prep made adjustments in the second half and found some success.

Running back Jordan Whaley hit open holes and finished with 80 rushing yards, including a four-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Eric Kazangian also had a 25-yard touchdown run for the Rebels, but indicative of Flintridge Prep’s struggles, the junior finished with 19 yards on the ground.

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