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Football Millikan

Football: Millikan Fades in Loss at Punahou

The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2023-24 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.

The proclaimed “Sons of Oahu” showed why they’re one of the best teams on either end of the Pacific Ocean on Friday afternoon in Honolulu, as Punahou wore down the visiting Millikan Rams, racking up over 500 yards of offense in a 51-7 victory.

Punahou improved to 2-0 on the season, scoring 45 unanswered points after Millikan briefly took the lead early in the second quarter. That lead lasted just 15 seconds, as Punahou senior Astin Hange ran back the ensuing kickoff back 90 yards for a score, putting the Buff ‘n Blue out in front for good.

“I think the punt return and the kickoff return–special teams really, that was the turning point of the game,” said Millikan head coach Romeo Pellum. “We competed at the beginning, we’ve just gotta be better. We have to play better, we have to execute better, we have to tackle better. We just have to become a better football team.”

Hange also set up the game’s first score via special teams, returning a Millikan punt all the way down to the 10-yard line. That set up Nelson Aau for a 10-yard TD plunge, which started his terrific game on the ground. The junior ran it 12 times for 136 yards and three touchdowns for Punahou. As a team, the Buff ‘n Blue averaged 6.28 yards per carry, piling up 226 rushing yards on 36 attempts.

Millikan ran it 13 times for 43 yards, without the services of three of their top running backs. Starting offensive tackle Alex Romero was also in street clothes, along with starting linebacker Matt Robinson and defensive end Ed’Mari Binion, leaving the Rams thinner than they would have liked given the long travel day on Thursday.

“The good takeaway is that no matter who we have, we’re able and ready to compete with anybody,” said Pellum. “It’s next man up, you know what I mean? There are no excuses. We came into this game expecting to win, and we lost. So I am disappointed, I am mad, because I had every intention of winning this game. That’s a beatable team, there are no excuses. They had a better day than us today.”


The Rams offense got its scoring drive started with a 16-yard carry from Michael Sherrills (9 carries, 33 yards), marking Millikan’s best run of the afternoon. On the fourth play of the drive, and third play into the second quarter, Rams junior quarterback JP Mialovski connected with wide receiver Loyall Mouzon on a go route, which the senior hauled in over his defender and took all the way for a 38-yard score. Jayden Icasiano’s extra point made it 7-6 Rams with 10:36 left in the second.

Mialovski was 17/32 in his Millikan debut, amassing 178 yards passing with a TD and an interception. His favorite target was senior Ryan Pellum (7 catches, 60 yards) who received plenty of attention from the Punahou defense. Charlie Broughton had four grabs for 42 yards.

Punahou senior quarterback Ty McCutcheon made a handful of big plays through the air, connecting on five passes that went 15+ yards down the field. The Utah Tech commit was 11/17 for 202 yards and a pair of scores.

After hauling in his touchdown, Mouzon picked up an interception on defense to immediately kill Punahou’s next offensive series, but that only delayed the inevitable. The Buff ‘n Blue would score touchdowns on each of their next three drives before halftime, turning a 7-6 deficit into a 35-7 lead at intermission. 

After Aau’s second 10-yard TD run, McCutcheon connected with freshman Zion White (3 catches, 85 yards) for a 30-yard TD strike. Then after a Rams three-and-out, a 54-yard bomb to Hange set up Aau for his third touchdown of the half.

After recess, the hosts added to their lead with a TD toss to Iosepa Lyman, then a 48-yard TD strike from Mauluma Kimata to Dash Watanabe to close the scoring.

The Buff ‘n Blue were able to put consistent pressure on Mialovski, sacking him four times, but Coach Pellum said he was pleased with his performance and that he solidified his role as QB1 for the Rams going forward. Defensively, Ethaniah Steffany had a pair of tackles for loss and EJ Enriquez scooped up a fumble recovery in the second half.

Both teams were fairly sloppy–no surprise for an early season game–with a total of 27 penalty flags thrown. Millikan was flagged 14 times for 97 yards while Punahou was called for 13 penalties for 140 yards.

Millikan will return to the mainland this weekend and start preparing for next Friday’s home opener against Cathedral. Punahou will actually be playing in California in just a few weeks. The Buff ‘n Blue visit Corona Centennial on Sept. 2.

VIDEO: Millikan vs. Punahou, Football
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.