It was a tough opening night for Millikan (0-1) as they traveled down to Los Alamitos (1-0) and suffered a lopsided 59-0 loss to the Griffins on Friday night. Los Al got three touchdowns from their defense/special teams to post the emphatic non-league win.
“We just have to get better,” said Rams head coach Romeo Pellum after the game. “Los Al is a good football team, and this definitely prepared us for our league. That 59-0 is not us. We missed a lot of assignments today, missed tackles, drops, we have to get better. I have to get better as a coach, that’s on me. I’ll make sure I’m better, I’ll make sure my coaches are better and I’ll make sure the players are better, and we’ll be better against Jordan next week.”
Los Al’s star sophomore quarterback Malachi Nelson finished the game 13/23 for 249 yards and three touchdowns. Sophomore Makai Lemon had an interception on defense and also totaled four catches for 115 yards and a touchdown offensively, boosted by a 91-yard score on a quick screen.
Millikan quarterback Will Madonna was 13/33 for 112 yards on the night while tossing two interceptions. He did have some success with his legs, gaining 33 yards on six carries. His biggest pass play of the night went to Matthew Martinez for a 46 yard gain. Martinez finished with three grabs for 59 yards to lead the Rams.
The Rams were without the services of highly-touted freshman Ryan Pellum, who missed the game with a leg injury. The two-way talent participated in pregame warmups but was unable to go, and will hope to be available next week.
Tempers were high in the game, with a number of personal fouls called on both teams. Los Al was called for 16 penalties for 196 yards and had two players ejected, including Lemon who was charged for two personal fouls in the game. Millikan, meanwhile, received seven penalties for 52 yards.
“There’s a lot of tension between us and Los Al,” said Pellum, who coached in the youth program at Los Al. “It started at the freshman game yesterday and trickled over to now. They have a few ‘rah rah’ guys and a few ‘rah rah’ coaches, but they talked to today and they backed it up. Our guys talked and didn’t back it up, so it is what it is.”
Millikan will look to regroup before its Moore League opener next Friday night. The Rams will head to North Long Beach to take on the Jordan Panthers in their season opener.