This week, The562’s coverage is sponsored by Long Beach Gives. Visit LongBeachGives.org to find your cause! Donations will be accepted through Sept. 22.
The562’s coverage of Long Beach Wilson Athletics is sponsored by Joel Bitonio, Class of 2009.
The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.
Myles Jackson put on an absolute show at Wilson on Friday night.
Millikan’s junior quarterback was nearly perfect in the Moore League opener going 13-for-15 with 251 yards passing and six touchdowns, plus six carries for 101 yards rushing, in a 63-14 win over the Bruins.
“We put a lot of time and effort into what we do so it’s paying off,” Jackson said. “This is Millikan football and we’re trying to change the shape of what it’s been. We want to make a statement more to ourselves and show that we can play with the best of the best and I think we can do that when we bring it all together.”
Jackson had touchdown passes to Matt Martinez, Angelo Miranda, Jordan Anderson, and Nygel Osborne.
“Now he knows the offense and he’s comfortable with it and he knows what things should be,” Millikan coach Romeo Pellum said of Jackson. “The game has slowed down a lot for him and that’s helped him tremendously.”
Millikan (4-1, 1-0) is coming off an impressive overtime win in Arizona last week and has hit the ground running in preparing itself for league play. Coach Pellum said the final score on Friday doesn’t mean that much to his team.
“It wasn’t about sending a message, it was about us and doing what we do,” he said. “We did this on purpose. We wanted to go to Arizona for a playoff-like atmosphere and then turn around and play games like this because we have to get ready for the long game. I want it hard for these guys. A lot of times our practices are harder than the game. We’re going to get in what we need to get in and that’s what we did this week.”
Jackson got things started on the right foot, literally, when he ran the first two Rams offensive plays for 12 and 28 yards down the right sideline. Two plays later, he hit Martinez on a slant who took it 50 yards for the touchdown.
Wilson (0-4, 0-1) looked much improved on its first drive that featured 11 straight runs that ended with an 8-yard touchdown run from quarterback Ian Bond. The drive started with six straight runs from Christian Chapman, who scored a touchdown late and ran for 87 yards.
“The way Christian runs the ball with that intensity is fun to watch,” Wilson coach Scott Meyer said. “I love this team and we’re going to be okay. We just need to move on, we’ve got Compton next week, and we need to be ready for that.”
The Rams only needed a pair of runs from Nygel Osborne and a 5-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to Miranda to retake a 13-7 lead late in the first quarter. Osborne padded the lead on the next Millikan drive with a 10-yard touchdown. He finished with 147 yards on eight carries.
Anderson intercepted Bond on the ensuing Wilson drive, and then two plays later Jackson and Martinez hooked up again for a 20-yard touchdown over the middle. Martinez finished with four catches for 92 yards and two scores.
“We really built some chemistry in the offseason and now he’s one of my brothers and best friends,” Martinez said of he and Jackson. “On and off the field we have that connection so he knows when to get me the ball and I know when to catch it.”
“Martinez does everything right,” Pellum added. “I’m very confident that he’ll play at the next level. He is a great player and a great leader. He’s a four-year Ram and a program guy so it’s awesome.”
Jackson capped his impressive night with three touchdowns on his last three consecutive throws. The 60-yard touchdown to Anderson in the third quarter showed off Jackson’s poise and strong arm.
“It’s a trust thing and a chemistry thing and stuff that we drill in practice,” Jackson said. “With my receiving corps we’re one big family. So I have them over at my house, and I think that helps with the connection on the field. We all watch film and talk about when we should game plan for. I just want to make things happen for all my guys.”
Anderson finished with 103 yards receiving on four catches.
Millikan hosts Jordan on Friday night while Wilson travels to Compton.