The Millennium High football team was unable to bounce back from an early deficit in their 30-14 loss to Central California Athletic Alliance opponent Elliot Christian on Saturday, Oct. 26, at Kimball High’s Don Nicholson Stadium.
The Falcons (4-4, 1-2 CCAA) set aside their running attack in favor of their passing game in the second half. Millennium coach Jayson Dias said Elliot Christian’s 24-0 first quarter lead turned out to be too wide a margin for a Falcon offense that was unable to sustain its offensive drives.
“They came out flat,” Dias said. “They woke up in the second half ready to play.”
Elliot (3-5, 1-2 CCAA) held Millennium’s offense to 79 yards in the first half, and by the end the Falcons totaled 90 yards rushing and 159 yards passing, with senior quarterback Mojo Atwal connecting three times with senior tight end R.J. McKee for 73 yards.
Atwal said the offense had to compensate for two starting linemen, seniors Frank Ramirez and Luis Lopez, who were out with injuries. Millennium was also missing senior Raymond DelaRosa, one of the teams leading running backs, also out because of an injury.
“We’re banged up on the line, and I think that contributed to them putting pressure on us,” Atwal said.
“We were down big early and had to come back somehow, but it didn’t work out.”
Elliot hammered the Falcon defense with a persistent running game. Three Elliot players accounted for all of the Eagles’ 313 rushing yards on 51 carries, and Elliot quarterback Holden Butler passed for 117 yards.
Millennium got on the scoreboard in the second quarter when sophomore Brandon Hernandez intercepted a Holden pass on the 50-yard line and ran it back to the Elliot 25 to set up an eight-play touchdown drive, completed with Atwal’s 1-yard run and Atwal’s 2-point conversion pass to McKee.
Elliot scored again in the third quarter. Junior Izaiah Williams had a 29-yard kickoff return to set the Falcons up for a six-play, 54-yard drive, scoring on Atwal’s 3-yard touchdown pass to McKee in the end zone late in the third quarter.
Dias said the next two games – Saturday, Nov. 2 against Sierra Ridge/Rite of Passage at home, and Friday, Nov. 8, at Brookside Christian in Stockton – will decide if the Falcons make playoffs this year. He said the team has to work hard every day for the next two weeks to get ready.
“We have to win one of the next two games, and there are no guarantees,” Dias said.
Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or firstname.lastname@example.org.