LOS ANGELES — Since Flintridge Prep and Pasadena Poly participated in the CIF Southern Section Division XIII championship game in 2003, the rivalry has tilted heavily in Pasadena Poly's favor.
It's something the Panthers are well aware of, though standout running back Harrison Hodgkins doesn't put much stock into the recent dominance.
"It's less about the rivalry and more about the spirit of the game," said Hodgkins, who had three touchdowns Friday night to lead Pasadena Poly to a 20-0 Prep League victory against Flintridge Prep at Occidental College.
Harrison was the center of attention, as the senior running back rushed for two touchdowns and caught one to help the Panthers improve to 6-3, 2-2 in league. Hodgkins rushed for 129 yards in 19 carries and finished with 174 yards of total offense.
For good measure, he had an interception in the fourth quarter to preserve the Panthers' first shutout since a 28-0 nonleague home win against Sage Hill on Oct. 7.
Flintridge Prep lost its eighth consecutive game to fall to 1-8, 0-4. The Rebels have lost four in a row against the Panthers and dropped to 1-8 in the rivalry since 2003.
On a slick field that was wet from a pair of pregame storms, the Rebels committed four turnovers. Two came deep in Pasadena Poly territory.
Flintridge Prep quarterback Clayton Weirick completed 19 of 40 passes for 188 yards and three interceptions.
"We had a ton of chances and didn't capitalize," Flintridge Prep second-year Coach Antonio Harrison said. "Hats off to Poly. They came to play in a rivalry game.
"We didn't capitalize on their mistakes. Every time we'd get rolling, then they seemed to stop us in our tracks."
Flintridge Prep charged into Pasadena Poly and got a first down on a seven-yard run from running back Stefan Smith in the first quarter. However, the Panthers jarred the ball loose and Pasadena Poly linebacker Brad Olson recovered at the 37-yard line.
Hodgkins then broke through three tackle attempts and scored on a 43-yard run to give the Panthers a 7-0 lead with 4:12 left in the first quarter.
"I had tunnel vision when I ran on that play," Hodgkins said. "The things I did were because of my line, who made some great blocks and opened up holes."
Hodgkins then made it 13-0 on a 37-yard run with 4:07 remaining in the second quarter. Hodgkins finished the first half with 122 yards rushing in 13 carries.
Pasadena Poly defensive back Charlie Ramirez intercepted a pass by Weirick at the Panthers' one-yard line with 1:37 left in the second quarter to snuff out another Flintridge Prep scoring threat.
The Panthers, who won their second consecutive game, completed the scoring with 8:50 remaining in the third quarter. Pasadena Poly quarterback Nolan Mulligan lobbed a short pass up the middle to Hodgkins, who broke free and scored on a 45-yard reception.
Defensive back Davey Feess had a fourth-quarter interception for the Panthers, who will conclude the regular season Friday with a road game against Viewpoint with a playoff berth at stake. The Panthers will be at least tied for third with Viewpoint.
Flintridge Prep tight end Daniel Jung caught a team-high seven passes for 78 yards. Flintridge Prep also got an interception from linebacker Zayd Al-Marayati late in the third quarter.
"We are going to try to finish the season strong," said Harrison, whose team will close out the regular season Friday with a league game at Chadwick. "It's been a rough season, but we can either go out fighting or tuck our tails between our legs. We plan to go out fighting."