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United Downey works its magic on Millikan
DOWNEY – Downey hadn't looked like a CIF-Southern Section champion in its first three games, and the problems seemed clear to Coach Jack Williams, his staff, and his team leaders.
The Vikings weren't on the same page, didn't trust in each other and lacked the chemistry required to contend in the San Gabriel Valley League and for another Southeast Division title.
They found it this week, and it fueled a comprehensive 51-23 nonleague victory Friday night over visiting Long Beach Millikan.
Jorge Reyna passed for 132 yards and three touchdowns, ran for 81 more and another score as the Vikings (2-2) rolled up 420 yards through three quarters before bringing on a mop-up crew for a fourth quarter played with a running clock.
Justin Huff ran for 106 of his 115 yards and a touchdown in the first half and Eric Carrillo gained 81 yards and scored two TDs, all in the second half, as Downey's offensive line opened huge holes for a dozen gains of at least 15 yards and 21 of 10 yards or more.
“We did a lot of things about team camaraderie and kind of built things up, and it showed,” Williams said. “We were looking for that sparkplug, looking for that fire, I'd say ... that magic, and it showed tonight.”
The Vikings, with a fully healthy offensive corps for the first time all season, totaled 23 first downs, 21 of them with the starters in, and limited the Rams (2-2) to just 110 yards before the fourth quarter, about a third of those on Anthony Cardswell's touchdown run after a fumble recovery.
Cardswell, who ran for 50 yards on eight first-half carries, picked up a ball that had been dropped twice and sprinted 37 yards to the end zone for a 7-0 lead with 1:14 to play in the first quarter. It was the Rams' only first down before halftime.
Downey scored on its next seven drives, five of them no longer than four or five plays, averaging 54 yards and just 1 minute, 48 seconds per drive.
The Vikings scored four TDs in the second quarter and two in the third, with Reyna finding Jacob Cook, Conor Hill and Carrillo for scores.
The Rams scored twice in the fourth quarter, both on passes by sophomore Jordan Lawton, who threw for 97 yards on 5-of-9 passing, with a 55-yarder to Malik Brown for the final tally.