Rebels let one out of the bag

SUN VALLEY — Flintridge Prep had it.

Going into the fourth quarter of its season-opening contest against St. Genevieve, the Rebels football team held a 20-7 advantage that — according to how the game had gone up until that point —was a comfortable lead which needn't any panic.

But the Valiants, led by quarterback Mark Chin, scored two unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the latter followed by a successful two-point conversion with 14 seconds remaining that ultimately gave the Valiants the 21-20 home nonleague victory Saturday night.

"We were surprised to be up," said Rebels Coach Antonio Harrison, whose program has dropped three straight season openers to St. Genevieve. "Nobody expected us to be winning in this game, so we let up."

Chin passed for 89 yards including two touchdowns and rushed for 40 yards solely in the fourth quarter that saw him almost single handedly keep the Valiants (1-1) alive with clutch completions and crucial first-down runs.

"Nobody on the team thought the game was over," Valiants Coach Tim Kenney said. "A 13 point lead isn't too difficult to overcome, so we were still confident."

Long before Chin led his squad to consecutive touchdown drives, and put an early damper on the Rebels season, it was Flintridge Prep quarterback Kyle McDonald who gave his team a 13-7 first-quarter advantage with a 16-yard touchdown strike to Kory Hamane and then a 31-yarder to Eric Kazangian, who also gave the Rebels their final score of the night with a 39-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

The rushing touchdown from Kazangian was made possible by Valiants running back Alex Vidal's fumble that was picked up by the Rebels in St. Genevieve territory.

Unfortunately for McDonald, Kazangian and the rest of the Rebels, all that's going to be remembered is an epic collapse in the fourth quarter.

However, Harrison says it needs to be forgotten, and fast.

"As football players, we have to have amnesia," Harrison said. "We just need to move on to the next day and keep going."

As shaky as the Rebels defense was in letting the game slip away late, it was a new offensive scheme that caused bad snaps and sometimes a stagnant offense throughout the game.

Quarterback Jordan Whaley lined up in the new shotgun offense but was ineffective due to bad snaps.

Whaley rushed for 34 yards and threw two interceptions, both to Andrew Arrendonlo who scored the first touchdown of the game that gave the Valiants the first of two leads they would have on the chilly night.

The second lead would prove to be too late in the game to overcome.

"The kids played hard, but it's on the coaches to not let something like this happen again," said Harrison.

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