LOS ANGELES — Slow starts are something that have plagued the members of the Flintridge Prep football team during the first half of the season.
Flintridge Prep Coach Antonio Harrison couldn't isolate the trouble, but looked for a better fate when the Rebels started Prep League play Friday night against rival Pasadena Poly at Occidental College.
The first-quarter struggles didn't escape the Rebels, as they surrendered 21 points en route to a 41-8 home defeat.
“It's the same old story,” said Harrison, whose team dropped to 0-6 after making the playoffs last season. “Pasadena Poly came ready to play and we didn't.
“We just have trouble getting rolling in the first quarter. We've got to snap out of it and decide now if we want to get some wins or go 0-10.”
Flintridge Prep, playing its first game at Occidental since the first week of the season, saw Pasadena Poly come out prepared to answer the bell from the opening kickoff. The Panthers, who improved to 5-0 and are ranked No. 2 in the latest CIF Southern Section Northeast Division poll, took a quick 7-0 lead 15 seconds into the game on a 52-yard touchdown run by running back Griffin Carter on the first play from scrimmage.
Things got steadily worse for the Rebels moments later. The Panthers recovered the ensuing kickoff at the Flintridge Prep 26-yard line and capitalized on the miscue. Pasadena Poly quarterback Michael Bowman scored on a three-yard run to make it 14-0 with 10:07 left before Flintridge Prep could finally run an offensive play.
On Pasadena Poly's next drive, Bowman tossed a two-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Vincent Porter to extend the lead to 21-0 with 7:23 remaining in the opening quarter.
Carter made it 27-0 on a five-yard run with 7:17 left in the second quarter. Griffin then closed out the first-half scoring when he caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Bowman to raise the advantage to 34-0 with 3:23 left.
“Hats off to Poly,” Harrison said. “They did a great job.
“We shows sparks of brilliance later on in games, but we have to do it for four quarters.”
Flintridge Prep trimmed the deficit to 34-8 on a four-yard run by quarterback Andrew Tsangeos with 3:23 to play in the fourth quarter. Stefan Smith scored on a run for the two-point conversion. Smith collected 88 yards rushing in 20 carries. Tsangeos completed 13 of 22 passes for 77 yards and one interception.
The Panthers completed the scoring when Parker Matthews scored with 1:59 left.
Carter finished with 114 yards rushing in 10 carries.
Flintridge Prep will next face host Rio Hondo Prep in a league game at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Rio Hondo Prep won the Northeast Division championship last season.
“It doesn't get any easier,” Harrison said. “We have to step it up and play better.”