High school football in Southern California: Best images from Friday night

The Los Alamitos football team enters the field through an inflatable tunnel with a cheerleader cheering nearby.
The Los Alamitos football team enters the field for their first game of the season against Millikan.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
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The first Friday night high school football games in Southern California were played after a 15-month absence.

At Los Alamitos High, the sounds of laughter could be heard in pregame warmups as players tried to sing along to the 1973 Elton John hit “Bennie and the Jets” blaring from the public address system.

It was a return to fun and games, although pandemic concerns haven’t vanished. Some were uncomfortable they couldn’t scream and yell from the bleachers without wearing a mask. Others were mindful to stay socially distanced.

Here are some of the best images from the Los Alamitos-Long Beach Millikan game:

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 Fans in the stands watch Los Alamitos play their first game of the season.
Fans watch Los Alamitos play their first game of the season against Millikan.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

The host Griffins would open a 32-point halftime lead while cruising to a 59-0 victory.

Los Alamitos cornerback Makai Lemon (14) intercepts a pass
Los Alamitos cornerback Makai Lemon (14) intercepts a pass before returning it for a touchdown against Millikan.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

“It’s very emotional being out here,” said Los Alamitos linebacker Mason Burt. “It’s a surreal feeling. This is something I’m going to remember the rest of my life getting this opportunity.”

Raymond and Caroline Burt watch the game while bundled up in coats and blankets.
Raymond and Caroline Burt, grandparents of Los Alamitos middle linebacker Mason Burt, watch the game from a socially distanced spot.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
Los Alamitos players close in on Millikan quarterback Will Madonna as he carries the ball.
Los Alamitos players close in on Millikan quarterback Will Madonna as he scrambles.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
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Los Alamitos defenders bring down Millikan running back Ajae Gravelly.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
Los Alamitos quarterback Malachi Nelson passes while surrounded by Millikan players.
Los Alamitos quarterback Malachi Nelson passes while under pressure by the Millikan rush.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)