When Thadd MacNeal was coaching at Lakewood High, he was not loved by Millikan fans, as he had a tendency to beat the Rams by healthy margins. MacNeal was back in town on Friday night with his Carlsbad team, and his (new) Lancers wrote much the same story as his old ones did, halting the momentum of a thrilling start to the season for the Rams with a lopsided 52-7 defeat.
“It was great being back, it brings back a lot of memories, a lot of great times here, and on this field, too,” said MacNeal. “I’m just happy we could come in and get a victory.”
The game started inauspiciously for Millikan as quarterback Qeanu Campbell-Caldwell was intercepted by Carlsbad’s Gavin Johnson, with Johnson returning it for a touchdown. After a three-and out for the Rams, Carlsbad’s offense motored down the field and scored on a eight-yard touchdown pass. After holding the Rams to another pair of three-and-outs, they scored again on a 13-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Schmidt. Their next drive was a 53-yard touchdown to make it 28-0 just before the end of the first quarter.
The Rams battled back in the second quarter and held the Lancers to just 10 points, scoring a touchdown themselves just before halftime after a 49-yard completion from Campbell-Caldwell to star receiver Ezavier Staples, which set up another QCC-to-Staples connection, this one for a one-year touchdown, making it 38-7 Lancers at halftime. The Lancers would go on to score another pair of touchdowns in the second half. Cole Wright finished with a pair of scores for Carlsbad at receiver.
It was a tough loss for a Millikan team that came into the game flying high after the win over Carson.
“We’ve just got to watch the film and then throw it in the trash,” said Millikan coach Romeo Pellum. “We made a lot of mistakes—they’re a really good team and I don’t take anything away from that, but we made a lot of mistakes we’ve got to fix.”
Millikan will be on the road against Aquinas next week and then La Mirada the week after; they return home September 20 to host Jordan in the Moore League opener.