The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.
There was a buzz at DeHaven Stadium on Friday night as Millikan welcomed a very talented team from St. Francis. Some local fans may remember the Golden Knights from last year’s CIF Southern Section Division 4 title game loss to Long Beach Poly. However, this game was all about the Rams.
Millikan celebrated the return of junior Ryan Pellum by feeding the 2021 Moore League Player of the Year early and often while the Rams ran away with a 54-28 victory.
“St. Francis is a great program,” Millikan coach Romeo Pellum said. “(Their coaches do) a great job over there. When I saw them against Poly, that’s the kind of team we need to play because that’s the standard.”
After serving a three-game suspension, Ryan Pellum looked spry and was on the receiving end of three passes from Millikan quarterback Myles Jackson on the opening drive of the game.
“It’s awesome to just put it all together,” Jackson said about having Pellum back. “It’s having a missing piece of the offense that teams can’t plan for. So, it was definitely important to get him back to our natural groove for the rest of the season.”
The biggest impact Pellum’s return had may have been for his teammate junior Jordan Anderson who had six catches for 187 yards and two touchdowns.
“I like to see (my teammates) bond without me, it’s nice to know that I don’t need to be there for them to do their job,” Pellum said.
“It’s great to have Ryan back,” Anderson said. “They can’t double team no more, I got my boy Gelo and Matthew Martinez on the outside as well, so we are just all eating.”
After Millikan kicker Jayden Icasiano connected on a 29-yard field goal to give the Rams a 3-0 lead, lineman Ethaniah Steffany and the Millikan defense set the tone as they forced a St. Francis to quickly punt on their opening drive. Steffany finished the night with three sacks and Craig Gordon chipped in a pair of sacks.
On the ensuing Millikan drive, Jackson connected with Pellum for a 62-yard touchdown to put the Rams up 10-0 with 1:23 left in the first quarter.
After forcing another punt, Millikan looked like they were going to score on the first play of their drive after Anderson broke free, but a fumble gave the ball right back to the Golden Knights.
St. Francis took advantage behind the rushing attack of John Clamette who scored on a 3-yard touchdown to make it a 10-8 game after a two-point conversion.
While Millikan’s aerial attack was the story of the night, running back Nygel Osborne got in on the action when he broke free for a 60-yard touchdown to give the Rams a 17-8 lead.
The Rams’ defense once again came up big and forced a three-and-out and Millikan’s offense was right back on the field.
Later in the first half, Millikan receiver Matthew Martinez made a highlight grab over two defenders that put the Rams at the 1-yard-line. A few plays later, Pellum stretched a run to the outside for a touchdown to put Millikan up 24-7.
Millikan led 48-16 at halftime.
Jackson completed 19 of his 32 pass attempts for 425 yards and three touchdowns. Pellum had four catches for 88 yards and one touchdown to go with three carries and 17 yards with one score. Icasiano finished the game 4-for-4 on field goal attempts.
Millikan will be traveling to Arizona next week to take on Sunrise Mountain.