ARCADIA — As if facing the No. 2-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Northeast Division wasn't a daunting enough task, the Flintridge Prep football team piled on even more pressure Friday night by committing three turnovers that led to touchdowns.
It was a contributing reason why the Rebels suffered a 49-0 Prep League loss to host Rio Hondo Prep.
Though Flintridge Prep was within striking distance at halftime, trailing, 14-0, it committed two turnovers in the third quarter as the Kares took a commanding 42-0 lead.
"We beat ourselves tonight," Rebels Coach Antonio Harrison said. "Every mistake that we made, they capitalized on and turned into a touchdown.
"The boys fought hard, but they learned a lesson that you don't just have to worry about the opponent beating you, but you got to worry about yourselves, too. So, we have to do our assignments."
After the Rebels yielded a first-quarter scoring pass, Flintridge Prep (1-7 overall, 0-3 league) quarterback Clayton Weirick threw the first of three interceptions on the night. Rio Hondo Prep (7-1, 3-0) returned it 25 yards and then scored on the next play, on a four-yard run, with 3:20 to play before halftime.
On the first drive of the third quarter, the Rebels punted on a fourth-and-four from their own 41 and the Kares scored on a 71-yard run after the recovery.
Then, following a scoring pass, Rio Hondo Prep blocked a Rebels' punt and recovered it in the end zone to take a 35-0 lead with 5:30 to play in the quarter.
The Kares, who recorded their fourth shutout win, amassed 289 rushing yards to the Rebels' 54.
Rio Hondo Prep's K.J. Moore led the way with three touchdowns, tallying 135 rushing yards on 11 carries (in three quarters of action).
Weirick completed seven of 20 passes for 50 yards for Flintridge Prep, which has two games remaining before pulling the curtain on the season. Junior running back Kurt Kozacik led the team with 33 rushing yards on 12 carries and sophomore Stefan Smith had 28 on 10 rushes.
There were a couple positives for the Rebels, who forced and recovered a pair of fumbles, but it ultimately wasn't enough to mask their errors.
"Hats off to Rio," Harrison said. "Rio's telling us we're the toughest, hardest-hitting team they've played so far in league. That's a compliment, because if there's one thing we teach our boys is to come and play every game."