The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.
The Millikan Rams put on an exciting display to close out their spring football calendar on Wednesday, providing a game-like atmosphere for their annual intrasquad scrimmage. The Rams brought in a full referee crew and played under the lights at DeHaven Stadium, showing off their new and returning talent in a friendly yet competitive game.
Ultimately, the Blue side won out over the Gold in a 31-28 nail-biter, but the final score was less important than the reps and familiarity the group has gained this spring. And if Wednesday’s scrimmage was any indication, it’ll be another fun season on the gridiron for Rams fans.
“Today was just about us having fun,” said Millikan head coach Romeo Pellum, who saw noteworthy contributions from a number of new and returning players. “And the way we split the teams up kind of forced guys to step up and make plays, so that was a good thing. Overall I think it was good because we came out healthy. We’re going in the right direction.”
Both offenses showed off Millikan’s trademark big-play ability, and the Rams’ attack will be under new supervision in 2023 with Dave Pierson taking over as offensive coordinator. Pellum actually coached under Pearson at Santa Fe High School where Pierson was head coach for nine seasons.
“My first coaching job was for him,” said Pellum of Pierson. “He was a head coach for a long time, and to have him be a part of our team soon, it’ll be great for us, because I can still learn from him. He’s a mentor to me, he’s a teacher, and he can control his side of the ball. He’s one of the smartest offensive minds that I know at the high school level, so that’s huge for us.”
One of the standouts from the scrimmage was new QB JP Mialovski, who threw four TD passes, including the game-winner with less than 30 seconds left on the clock. The 6-foot-2 transfer from St. John Bosco will be a junior in the fall, and has already formed a rapport with Millikan’s top playmakers and his new OC.
“I feel like I fit in really well here, especially in this offense with Coach Pierson,” said Mialovski. “We’ve been meshing really well, I’ve been meshing with my guys on offense really well. We’re scheming up right now, and coach has really helped me out with the offense playbook. So I feel like we’re definitely at a good stage this early on.”
Two of his TD passes went to WR/CB Loyall Mouzon, who had a big night on both sides of the ball. Both of his TD grabs were 30-plus yards, and were the result of perfectly thrown dimes from Mialovski. Within a few days of the scrimmage, Mouzon received new scholarship offers from Utah State and UConn, giving the senior-to-be more than a half dozen D1 offers heading into summer.
“I think we learned a lot today as a team,” said Mouzon, who is new to Millikan this year. “And going forward, especially when we return, we’ve got to build the chemistry now if we want to go far and exceed expectations. I think I played well, but the main thing is as a team we grew and got better today.”
Mialovski opened the scoring by showing off his elusiveness in the pocket, scrambling away from a few defenders before unleashing a TD toss to running back (and birthday boy) Mason Popkin to give the Blue team an early lead.
The Blue defense got off to a great start, holding the Gold squad scoreless in the first half. Senior LB Riley Tuggle recorded a sack to finish off the opening drive of the game, then fellow LB Matt Robinosn hauled in an INT later in the first quarter. After Mialovski connected with Mouzon with a dime on a go route, Jayden Icasiano tacked on a 28-yard field goal to make the score 17-0 Blue at intermission.
The Gold squad would make things interesting in the second half, led by senior All-American Ryan Pellum. After Greg McClendon hauled in a TD pass to get them on the board, Mouzon responded with his second TD grab of the night to make it 24-7 in the third.
Senior Charlie Broughton then scored an 80-yard TD on an end around to start the next drive, and Pellum was able to make a big play on defense to make the game really interesting. Pellum stepped in front of a pass by Mialovski for an interception, then raced 25 yards to finish off the Pick 6 and make it a 24-21 game.
On his team’s next possession, Pellum hauled in a 14-yard slant pass from Jayden Rapp to give the Gold squad their first lead, 28-24, with two minutes left. It was no surprise to see Pellum shine late in the game, as a friendly scrimmage grew more competitive as the time ticked away.
“It's real fun because you're out there with your boys, but at the same time you get that game feel,” Pellum said. “Because you’ve got the refs out there and are running back and forth on offense and defense. So yeah, it's all around fun.”
Pellum’s TD allowed the Blue squad to practice a genuine two-minute drill, which opened with a sack from OL/DL Alex Romero. Mialovski immediately responded by finding Ed’Mari Binion over the middle for a 40-yard completion. Later in the drive, sophomore-to-be Alex Herrera went up for an impressive contested grab in the end zone to put the Blue team back in front, 31-28.
Mouzon sealed the game for Blue with an interception on the ensuing drive, setting off a celebration on Millikan’s home sideline.
Millikan will open its 2023 season on Aug, 18 with a trip to face Punahou in Honolulu, Hawai’i.