Tetairoa McMillan’s one-handed interception highlights Servite victory over Orange Lutheran

Receiver Tetairoa McMillan shakes hands with quarterback Noah Fifita.
Servite receiver Tetairoa McMillan, right, shakes hands with quarterback Noah Fifita before game with Orange Lutheran on Thursday night. He made a one-handed interception later.
(Eric Sondheimer Los Angeles Times)

Many have come to shake their head in astonishment or roll their eyes in disbelief at the latest feat pulled off by Servite receiver/defensive back Tetairoa McMillan.

On Thursday night at Orange Coast College in a Trinity League opener against Orange Lutheran, McMillan did something that will make anyone’s highlight film.

In the second quarter, deep in the end zone, he leaped and used his right arm to come away with the coolest one-handed interception you could imagine. Yes, Odell Beckham Jr. would have been impressed. It was an extraordinary display of athleticism, and he made it look easy.

“I have never done that in my life,” said McMillan, who just started playing defense this season.

Earlier he caught a 72-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Noah Fifita, and before that he pulled down a 14-yard touchdown pass. He also had a 48-yard touchdown catch, all in the first half. The 6-foot-4 McMillan, also a star in volleyball, has committed to Oregon, and you have to wonder what the Ducks might do with his two-way talents.

As for the game itself, Servite opened a 35-0 lead, led 42-6 at halftime and cruised to its sixth consecutive victory, winning 56-12. Orange Lutheran dropped to 5-1. Yes, the Mater Dei vs. St. John Bosco game Friday night might decide the Trinity League title, but don’t count out Servite. The Friars end the regular season with consecutive games against Mater Dei and St. John Bosco.

Fifita was 15-of-17 passing for 348 yards and four touchdowns in the first half. He also ran for a touchdown. McMillan caught seven passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. His hands, size, coordination, agility and instincts have separated McMillan and made him a major headache for defensive coordinators.

Fifita finished the game 19-of-21 passing for 403 yards and five touchdowns. His future college coach, Arizona’s Jedd Fisch, was at the game. McMillan caught nine passes for 218 yards and four touchdowns.


“It was wow,” Servite coach Troy Thomas said of the interception.

“Regular,” was the comment of Fifita, who sees McMillan working on one-handed catches every day in practice.

Thomas, who played defensive back at Crespi and CSUN, said, “He’s actually becoming a real good defensive player. I couldn’t make that play. There are few guys that can do that. He’s one of them.”

St. John Bosco lineman Earnest Greene III has the size and athleticism to be an elite offensive lineman. It’s his mind set that makes him a success.

Sept. 29, 2021