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Flintridge Prep football punches ticket to CIF eight-man playoffs

Flintridge Prep football punches ticket to CIF eight-man playoffs
Flintridge Prep quarterback John Lytle and the Rebels will head to Sage Hill to partake in a CIF Southern Section Division I eight-man first-round playoff game Friday. (Raul Roa | Staff Photographer)

Having played a difficult regular-season schedule, Flintridge Prep football coach Russell White wasn’t sure if it would result in his squad earning a CIF Southern Section Division I eight-man playoff berth.

Flintridge Prep competed against top-notch programs such as Cate, Villanova Prep, Chadwick and Windward, resulting in it finishing with a .500 record.

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White’s worries were quelled after the CIF Southern Section office released its playoff brackets for both divisions Monday.

Receiving an at-large entry, Flintridge Prep (4-4) will make the trip to Orange County to take on Sage Hill (9-0) in a first-round contest Friday. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., unless the schools mutually agree to another time.

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Flintridge Prep, which finished 1-2 for third in the Prep League behind Chadwick and Windward, will make its third consecutive trip to the playoffs since shifting to the eight-man level in 2016. The Rebels lost in the first round last season after reaching the semifinals in 2016.

“It’s great to be back in the playoffs and I’m very happy for our guys,” said White, who took over the program in 2016. “We played a lot of high-caliber teams and I thought we’d might a shot to make the playoffs. We made the playoffs last year without being a .500 team, but you just never know what’s going to happen.

“I don’t know much about Sage Hill, so we’ll have to do our homework and brush up on the things we’ve been doing well and what we still need some work on.”

Flintridge Prep concluded regular-season action Friday with a 66-28 league home defeat to Chadwick.

Flintridge Prep senior quarterback John Lytle completed 21 of 43 passes for 181 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. He rushed for 40 yards in seven carries and scored one touchdown.

Receiver Max Grable caught 13 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns and Zach Kim had four receptions for 50 yards and a touchdowns for the Rebels.

The Rebels are averaging 57.5 points per game, while yielding 43.

Like Flintridge Prep, Sage Hill moved to the eight-man level in 2016.

Sage Hill captured the Express League championship, going undefeated in the process, edging Avalon by one game. The Lightning stayed unbeaten following a 28-12 win against Downey Calvary Chapel on Saturday.

Sage Hill senior quarterback Darius Shayan-Smith completed six of 12 passes for 68 yards and tossed two touchdowns to propel Sage Hill against Calvary Chapel. He also scored on a 78-yard run.

The winner will face fourth-seeded Faith Baptist (7-2) or Mammoth (4-5) in a quarterfinal contest Nov. 9. Flintridge Prep defeated Mammoth,85-30, in a nonleague game Sept. 8.

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