The562’s coverage of girls’ flag football in 2023-24 is sponsored by the Los Angeles Chargers.
The562’s coverage of Millikan athletics in the 2023-24 school year is sponsored by Curtis Boyer.
The562’s coverage of Lakewood Athletics is sponsored by J.P. Crawford, Class of 2013.
It was a low-scoring girls’ flag football matchup, as Millikan and Lakewood traded defensive blows throughout a game, combining for six interceptions in a 6-0 victory for the host Rams.
The first and only score of the game came towards the end of the first half, as Keira McFarland set the Rams up with nice field position following her first interception of the game. From there, QB Grace Shary put together her best drive of the day, hitting consecutive completions rolling out right to Kate Martin and Maggie Guillen, before rolling out again to hit Hailey Suttle for a touchdown from a few yards out.
The game stayed sluggish until late in the second half, when the Lancers made their biggest threat of the day led by backup QB Kari Davis, who was filling in for starter Dionna Bradley. A fourth down sack by Araya Banner set the Lancers up with the ball, where Davis found Serenity Brown for a nice gain. Davis then hit Michae Wells as Wells took the ball to the Millikan three yard line.
Unfortunately for the Lancers, that would be the closest they’d get, as the Rams put together a defensive stop at the goal line capped off by McFarland’s second interception of the game.
After the game, Lakewood Coach Leilani Utupo said her team needs to believe in themselves to finish out those drives with points.
“I believe in the athletes that we have on the team. I think that they are all playmakers but I think that for them the biggest thing is self belief, and then making sure they finish,” she said. “That’s always my thing, we have to finish, we have to finish. I tell them on offense, every caught ball is a touchdown. If it’s not a touchdown then what are we doing out here? So ultimately we just have to finish.”
Defense played the biggest role for both sides, the teams combined for a total of 10 turnovers. Millikan came up with five interceptions—getting three from McFarland as well as one apiece for Samantha Soria and Katelyn Torres. Lakewood got their lone interception from Briggs.
Millikan and Lakewood match up again at Lakewood on October 10 at 3:30 PM, as both teams will look to improve after getting a taste of their competition for the first time Tuesday.
“We hope to have (QB Dionna Bradley) back next week,” said Utupo. “I think that girls came out focused. We did a really good job on shutting them down defensively, but, I think that with a full team we will be able to compete a little bit better.”
“We’re just out here having fun,” said Millikan Coach Romeo Pellum. “I’m competitive, we’re competitive, we just want to win. It’s not about the rivalry, no matter who it is, we want to win the game. But, there’s a lot of things (we need to change.) We’ll watch the film and we’ll get better.”