Football Millikan

High School Football Preview: Millikan at Orange

The Millikan Rams (2-1) were the last team to play a Moore League football game this season, and after an impressive 35-6 win over Compton last Saturday, the Rams will venture outside the league for their next contest. The Rams will travel to Orange County for the second time this season to take on unbeaten Orange High (3-0) tonight at 7 p.m., in a game being played at El Modena High School.

The Rams struggled on the road in week one against a highly talented Los Alamitos team, but got right with a 48-0 scrimmage win over Santa Fe and the victory over Compton on their home field. Now Millikan will look to make the quick turnaround from Saturday to Thursday and slow down the Orange passing attack. The Panthers hold an impressive 25-16 road win over Villa Park and are coming off a 59-6 drubbing of Estancia last week.

“They’re 3-0, they’re a good team,” said Millikan head coach Romeo Pellum. “They only have 32 kids on their team, but they’re scrappy. They’re gonna throw the ball. They’re a spread team, and they’ll go empty (backfield) a lot.”

That’s a stark change of pace for a Millikan defense that handled Compton’s double-wing rushing attack less than a week ago. Fortunately, the Rams have an experienced secondary that’s been aided by the arrival of two-way freshman standout Ryan Pellum.

The Rams will look to slow down the Panthers’ attack, orchestrated by big lefty quarterback Daylen Pedroza. He’s got a few dangerous weapons in junior WR Raymond Casillas—who had 7 catches for 264 yards and 4 TD in a 40-9 win vs. La Mirada—and freshman RB/WR Kobe Boykin, who already has scholarship offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Pittsburgh.

Millikan will lean on Pellum, junior Tacario Davis, and seniors Royce Smith and Matthew Garcia to help contain the Panthers’ passing attack, and senior Gavin Broderick is an important pass-rusher up front. Offensively, the Rams could look to activate junior running back Ajae Gravelly against Orange’s 3-4 defensive front. Gravelly ran the ball 17 times against Compton, racking up 110 yards and a score.

“We’ve just gotta keep it going,” said Pellum. “We got some momentum going last week, so we’ve just got to build on that.”

We’ll provide live score updates on Twitter, and be sure to come back to The562.org for a full report and highlight video after the game.

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Tyler Hendrickson
Tyler Hendrickson was born and raised in Long Beach, and started covering sports in his hometown in 2010. After five years as a sportswriter, Tyler joined the athletic department at Long Beach State University in 2015. He spent more than four years in the athletic communications department, working primarily with the Dirtbags baseball program. Tyler also co-authored of The History of Long Beach Poly: Scholars & Champions.