Football Millikan

Preview: Millikan vs. Upland, Football

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

The562’s coverage of football in 2023-24 is sponsored in part by the MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center Foundation and Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital Foundation

On paper, Friday’s matchup between Millikan (2-1) and Upland (2-1) is about as even as you can get. The Rams and Highlanders are ranked No. 36 and No. 37, respectively, in the latest CalPreps rankings for the state of California, meaning this should be an incredibly even matchup.

But football games aren’t played on paper, and this one will be hosted at DeHaven Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff. It’s sure to be an electric atmosphere as usual for the Rams, who are looking for a third straight victory to close out their non-league schedule.

Millikan went on the road to St. Francis last week, earning a hard-fought 17-10 victory thanks to a fourth quarter TD pass from JP Mialovski to Loyall Mouzon. It was a solid performance from the Millikan defense, which had allowed an average of 42.5 points per game through the first two weeks of the season.

Upland, meanwhile, has shown an ability to score this season with senior QB Noah Sandoval running the show. He’s thrown for 680 yards in three games with 7 TDs and no interceptions. Junior Justin Benson has been his favorite target with 16 catches for 251 yards and a pair of TDs, though three different Highlanders have caught multiple TD passes so far this season.

Junior Trestin Castro is a Division I talent at cornerback for Upland, and already has a pair of INTs on the year. If he’s matched up with Millikan All-American Ryan Pellum on Friday night, that should be a good battle to watch on the perimeter.

After big wins over La Habra and Norco, Upland suffered a 35-23 loss against a good Villa Park program last Thursday. That gives the Highlanders an extra day of rest and preparation as they look for a tough road win over the Rams in a hostile environment.

Looking back to last season, Upland made it all the way to the CIF-SS Division 3 title game, where they came up a field goal short against Yorba Linda. Millikan reached the Division 4 quarter finals last season, making this a good test for the Rams before they enter Moore League play next week.

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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.