Big plays have been the hallmark of this current era of Millikan Football, and the Rams used some early fireworks to put archrivals Lakewood into a 28-0 hole. The Lancers did their best to battle back, but couldn’t overcome that slow start in a 52-20 win for Millikan, keeping the Hamilton Trophy at Palo Verde & Spring.
Millikan head coach Romeo Pellum was reinstated on Thursday, and was successful in his first game back on the sidelines. Even with the win–on the heels of a tumultuous few weeks–he knows there’s things he wants his team to work on in the weeks ahead.
“Of course it was an emotional day for us, but that was still a sloppy game,” Pellum said after the win. “First day back, I haven’t been here, but the expectations are still the same. My expectations are very high, so I expect a better game and a cleaner game. We left a lot on the field and made a lot of mistakes. We did get the win that we needed but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
After missing Millikan’s game against Poly last week, junior QB Myles Jackson put on an impressive performance, finishing 17/29 for 233 yards and 4 TDs through the air, plus 11 carries for 90 yards and two more scores.
“I really wanted to play last week. Those are the types of games you look for, on TV and all that,” Jackson said. “But coming back, the first drive felt a little sluggish. Then it started clicking, I got on the same page with our offensive coordinator and other guys. We thought up a really good game plan coming into it and I thought we executed pretty well on offense.”
His favorite target was junior Jordan Anderson, who had five catches for 111 yards and three scores. Anderson said the energy on Millikan’s sideline was where it needed to be after all the turmoil the past few weeks.
“I just felt the family back, you know. We all ball together, that's all we want to do,” Anderson said. “We didn't really stress about last week you know, just came over here and bought this week.
Jackson and Anderson linked up for the opening score of the game with a 5-yard TD pass. They also connected for scores of 30 and 10 later in the night.
“Me and Myles go way back,” Anderson said, “The chemistry has always been there but this year it’s just getting way better than it was.”
The Rams didn’t score for the second time until early in the second quarter, when Jackson hit Charlie Broughton for a 15-yard score. On the Rams’ next possession, Jaden Hunt (13 carries, 133 yards) busted off a 50-yard score to take a 21-0 lead. Millikan then recovered a pooch kick on the ensuing kickoff, setting up a back-breaker TD from Jackson to Anderson on the very next play, making it 28-0 Rams with 4:37 left in the first half.
Lakewood did respond immediately after that score, as Kaleb Foster (7 carries, 114 yards) busted off an 80-yard TD run on the very next play from scrimmage. That capped a furious stretch of three touchdowns in 21 seconds and got the Lancers on the board.
The Rams responded with a scoring drive just before halftime, capped off by a short TD plunge from Jackson. That gave the visitors a 35-7 halftime advantage.
Coming out of the locker room, Lakewood had its best drive of the night, going 80 yards on 10 plays for a Noah Mallon TD plunge. Lancers head coach Justin Utupo was disappointed in how his team started the game, but hopes to keep them focused on the rest of the season, which could very well include a trip to the postseason,
“We preach starting fast, and we didn't do that today,” Utupo said. “And against a good football team, you can't afford to allow them to get up on you … With games like this, your cohesiveness can start to slip. You saw at the end on the sideline players and coaches were not happy. The biggest thing in situations like this, is you gotta stay together. There’s a lot left to play for this season, so we’ve just got to re-focus and stick together.”
Lakewood is on a bye next week and will return to league play against Wilson on Oct. 21. Meanwhile, Millikan hosts Compton next Friday night.