Riding a four game winning-streak, the Milken Wildcat football team not only showed their dominance, but also that they could play quality football in their third year of existence. With a 48 to 20 win against the Hesperia Christian Patriots, the Wildcats electrified their largest crowd of the year. With their fans cheering them on, the football team shined, showing their strengths in running, defense, and big play ability.
The Wildcats were forced to play with a hand tied behind their back due to shoulder injuries to backup quarterback Jason Goldman ’16 and starting outside linebacker Michael Reisman ’16. However, with hundreds of fans in attendance and the Birmingham High School marching band performing, the Wildcats would not let these unfortunate injuries affect them.
The Wildcats got off to a quick start with Ariel Yosef ’17 rushing for a 38 yard touchdown. Not only was this Yosef’s first touchdown of the year but the first of his very promising Wildcat career.
The Wildcats continued their dominance with electrifying touchdown runs by Dakota Rosen ’15 and Slater Girocco ’15. However, Hesperia Christian responded with a score of their own on an eight-yard touchdown run, making the score 22-6 Wildcats. Girocco and the team were determined to win, as Girocco ran and threw for touchdowns before the end of the half, giving the Wildcats a 34 – 6 lead at halftime.
Though the lead seemed insurmountable, Hesperia Cristian refused to give up. After receiving the ball at the start of the second half, the Patriots drove the ball almost the length of the field to bring the game to 34 – 14.
However, Hesperia Christian had no response to the Wildcats’ offense and big play ability. On the first play of their next drive, Girocco scored on a 60 yard run. When asked about this run, Girocco said, “I was trying to pump up our team. In the previous games we had come out of halftime flat and I was hoping that this run would energize our team for the rest of the game.”
This is exactly what the Wildcats did. For the rest of the game, the Wildcats suffocated the Hesperia offense, only allowing 12 more points. Kyle Goldman ’17 had this to say about the Wildcats’ defensive effort in the second half: “I think we really came together as a team and kept pushing even when we got tired in order to get the win.”
With a 40 to 26 victory, the Wildcats proved their ability to both please the crowd and play quality, disciplined, and talented football. When asked about the game as a whole junior captain, Jake Fleshner ’15, said, “It was a great team effort that ended with a great team win. I think we did a great job on both sides of the football and excited the crowd with some big electric plays.”