By Chuck Reherman, Sports Editor – MUSTANG – Yukon went in looking to end a run of Mustang wins in the Canadian County Bedlam Battle and bring the trophy back to Yukon.
After 48 minutes, the trophy remaining in Mustang.
The Broncos took advantage of a sluggish starting Miller offense and turned big plays into a 31-0 lead enroute to a 31-14 win and Bronco Stadium.
The Millers ran only 18 first half plays and had 68 yards of offense, trailing the Broncos 17-0 at the intermission. YHS was more settled in the second half, but saw the Broncos put two more scores on the board before YHS recorded their first touchdown of the season.
It was not the start to the season that new YHS head coach Jeremy Reed was looking for and the Millers will get back to work on Monday correcting mistakes.
“The things that we do wrong in practice show up on the field on Friday night,” Reed said. “I was hopeful that wasn’t going to be the case, was praying that we would have successful and some of the things happened during practice showed back up tonight. That goes to show that practice matters.
“The offense was awful all night until the end,” he said. “For whatever reason we didn’t execute one play the first half with all 11 players doing their job. When you bust an assignment, it shines big time.
“Mustang played hard, but it was not a thing where their players were tricking us. It was our players and they know it, they didn’t execute. That will be a nice little learning tool on our part.
“We had great effort, the teams played hard. There was no time where I thought we were not giving great effort. It comes down to execution and we failed at that more than we succeeded.”
The Millers did have some bright spots in the game. The defense stopped Mustang on its opening possession, but the offense couldn’t respond. YHS crossed midfield only once in the first half.
The team did put together a drive on their first possession the of the second half, starting at their own 35 and marching to the Mustang 14. The Millers had the ball for 17 plays and took nine minutes and 38 seconds. But, on a fourth down and five play from the 14, Jalen Barnes was pushed out of bounds after a three-yard gain.
Yukon’s first touchdown came at the 5:42 mark of the fourth quarter on a 31-yard run by Antonio Washington. Washington took the pitch on an option, found a seam and weaved past three defenders for the score.
The touchdown capped a seven-play, 80-yard drive. Cody Burnett had a 21-yard run in the drive and Perry Olsen and Bryce Williams broke 11-yard runs. That cut the lead 31-7.
YHS added their second score with just over a minute remaining on the clock. After being pinned back at their own one-yard line on a punt, Washington again took a pitch and found a seam, going 88 yards before being dragged down at the eight yard line. A penalty on Mustang mocve the ball to the two and on the next play, Jackson Young kept the ball on an option and scored.
“I thought the defense was put behind the eight ball early in the because the offense was picking up first downs,” Reed said. “Our offense really hurt our football team tonight in giving our team a chance to win. Our defense had to play to many plays, that is the offense’s fault. The defense was getting tired out there and it wasn’t because of shape, it was having to play too many plays.
“To me, it falls straight on our offense, we just did not do what we were suppose to do executing,” he said. “We have to get better focus of what we are trying to achieve. Each rep. each drill, what we are trying to do. I know is sounds basic and cliché, but that is where we are at right now.”
Mustang’s first touchdown came at the 4:22 mark of the first quarter on a five-yard run by Damien Close. The score capped a nine-play 68-yard drive.
Jonmark Rogers’ 30-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter and a 21-yard field goal gave the Broncos their 17-0 halftime lead.
“Our play wasn’t do to effort, I don’t want anyone taking out of context that I’m giving up on the kids by any means. You can only call a spade and spade and we were really bad at executing on offense. Whether it was up front of the backfield, it was a lot of errors.”
The Millers did finish with 268 yards of offense, 244 on the ground. Washington finished with 134 yards rushing on only three carries. Olsen ran for 48 yards on 11 carries and Cody Burnett 33 on seven.
Mustang’s Carlos Thomas had 91 yards on 15 carries and Chaz Meadows 57 on six.
“It was good to get some positive things to happen at the end,” Reed said. “As I told them as the end, what was frustrating about that was the only difference was that all 11 players did their job and executed and did the job they had. We would have liked to have seen that earlier.”