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Football Millikan

PREVIEW: Millikan at Punahou, Football

The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.

The Millikan Rams are making a big splash to start the 2023 high school football season, flying more than 2,500 miles to Honolulu, Hawaii to take on national powerhouse Punahou on Friday. It will be an afternoon game on the islands, scheduled for a 3 p.m. local time start, which translates to a 6 p.m. start time back in California.

CLICK HERE to watch the livestream, provided by the Punahou YouTube channel.

Punahou is one of the most talented and well-respected programs in Hawaii, and is a perennial Top 5 team in the state. Established in 1841, the school has produced a slew of notable alumni, including former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o, professional golfer Michelle Wie, and former U.S. President Barack Obama.

On the field, the Buff ‘n Blue are a powerhouse whether playing on and off the islands. Their last game against a team from the mainland was actually against another Long Beach school. Punahou won a neutral site game against Long Beach Poly on Aug. 31, 2019, defeating the Jackrabbits 45-0 at Moorpark High School.

This is the second consecutive season that Millikan has gone out of state for a game. Last year, the Rams picked up an overtime win at Sunrise Mountain High School in Arizona.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Rams head coach Romeo Pellum of the season opener. “Last year we went to Arizona, and that was a challenge for us. And I think this is an even bigger challenge. We have a five hour flight, playing the next day, a three hour time difference, and we’re playing against the number two team in Hawaii. If they were here, they would be the number five team in the Southern Section. So that’s a huge challenge for us. And I think that will be the toughest team we play all year, including playoffs. So if we can go there and take care of business that says a lot about our program.”


While the Rams will be playing their first game of the 2023 season, Punahou already has a game (and a victory) under their belts. The Buff ‘n Blue defeated another Hawaiian powerhouse, Miliani, in their season opener, 21-14. Punahou should have a solid passing game this season, with QB Ty McCutcheon (a Utah Tech commit) slinging the ball around. His favorite target in week one was Air Force commit Astin Hange, who had 7 catches for 192 yards, including a 93-yard score. McCutcheon was 14/24 for 258 yards and 2 TDs in the win.

Defensively, senior LB Alika Cavaco-Amoy, who is committed to the University of Hawaii, had a half dozen tackles for the Punahou defense. Senior OLB Blayne Shiraki had a monster night with four sacks for the Buff ‘n Blue and junior LB Josiah “Ko’o” Kia made some big plays as well.

Not to be forgotten, Millikan has its fair share of talent on both sides of the ball, led by All-American WR/DB Ryan Pellum, who is committed to USC. Pellum is a great equalizer given his ability to break one for a score at any moment, and he’s looking forward to the opportunity to play against some different competition.

“I'm just looking forward to playing some new people, outside of who I've played before,” Pellum said. “We've always played people in the Moore League from the time we were little kids, so it's gonna be exciting to play some new people, and some better competition.”

While the Rams do have plenty of returning talent, including a veteran offensive line and some good experience in the front seven on defense, there will be plenty of new faces playing important roles, including new quarterback JP Mialovski. This is about as tough an ask as you can make of a new signal-caller, and the Rams will need to find their rhythm quickly against a talented team that will be highly motivated to protect their home turf.

The562 is out in Hawaii to bring you coverage of Friday’s game, so be sure to follow along on Twitter for live updates and come back for full coverage from Honolulu.

Football Preview: Millikan Rams
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.