Millers pull off upset of No. 3 Norman North

Late rally gives YHS 38-31 win

1335
Parker Kenley strides into the end zone for a Miller touchdown. (Photo by Chuck Reherman)

By Chuck Reherman, Sports Editor – NORMAN – “We just shocked the world!”

Those were the first words that Yukon head coach Jeremy Reed proclaimed to his team following Friday night’s game with Norman North.

The Millers just may have “shocked” the Oklahoma high school football world on Friday night, stunning No. 3 ranked Norman North 38-31 at Harve Collins Field in Norman.

The win snapped a five-game losing skid to the

Timberwolves and a 14-games overall. It was the first win since an October 2015 win over Putnam City.

Norman North was the state runner-up in class 6AI last season and the Timberwolves were again picked as one of the teams that had the best chance to reach the state finals. And, NNHS may still be that team, but the Millers put a blemish on that run with the win.

Yukon rallied from a 31-24 deficit in the fourth quarter, scoring the final two touchdowns to pull off the win.

Noah Davis’ 13-yard touchdown run with 46 seconds remaining gave the Millers the lead and when Owen Olsen intercepted a Ryan Peoples pass one play later, the Millers knew they had that first and big win for their new head coach and the program.

“This win was huge,” Reed said. “It ended a 14-game losing streak. It is the type of win that lets these kids know that we can step on the field with a lot of teams.

“Honestly, any win for this program would have been huge,” he added. “We could have played a JV team and just to get a win would have been big, because these kids were hungry for a win. And, to beat the No. 3 ranked team in the state, it shows that we can win games and have success.”

The Millers trailed 31-30 after Norman drove for a touchdown with 10:24 remaining in the game. But, when YHS had to punt with 6:07 left, the team knew it had to come up with a big defensive stop against a team that is one of the most explosive in the state.

Dillion Andraszek’s punt rolled to the North seven-yard line. The T-Wolves, behind the running of Dalyn Alexander moved the ball out to the 35 and was eating away at the clock. An incomplete pass and the defense sacking Ryan Peoples for a four-yard loss, forced a third and long situation.

And, then Denver Patterson came up with a sack of Peoples on third down, forcing a NNHS punt.

YHS got the ball back with 2:47 remaining and had 76-yards in front of them to take the lead.

Nollan Koon’s 15-yard run on first down, gave the team a spark. Quarterback Perry Olsen then passes 26 yards to Carvelle McKinley and a 15-yard face mask penalty on the play moved the ball to the 19. YHS got to the 15, but a holding penalty moved the ball back to the 27. Bryce Williams got 14 of that back on a second down play.

On third and four, the Millers were looking to get the first down, but a seam opened up in the north defense and Davis darted through it for the touchdown and a 36-31 lead. YHS went for the two-point conversion and Antonio Washington scored on an option play to the right to give the Millers a seven-point lead with 46 seconds left in the game.

Norman North had one shot left, but on the play, Owen Olsen stepped in front of Peoples’ pass and an interception and returned it 24 yards to the North 13-yard line.

“All we did is do what we do,” Reed said. “Our coaching staff was working relentlessly between series and looking at adjustments, they played us three different ways tonight and our staff was continually adjusting with them. That last series we found something on the option game back to the boundary that started the drive. And, then we found a match-up with Carvelle that was obviously a great match-up and a big time catch.

“We were able to do what we do as far as offense,” he added. “We didn’t have to panic or get into a rush situation. I thought that was great maturity. I don’t know if we are mature, but we were in the moment and it looked like a mature team.”

The Miller offense, after a lackluster performance in the opening week of the season, showed up big time against Norman North. YHS totaled 492 yards of offense and had 404 on the ground in 52 rushes.

Olsen had his “breakout” game as the Millers’ quarterback, rushing for 214 yards on 30 carries and two touchdowns. He also completed four fo six passes for 88 yards, giving 302 yards of total offense for the night.

“I thought our offense was able to answer the call all night,” Reed said. “No matter what was being thrown at us and we were able to move the football.

“And, our defense was just really good about bowing their neck and not allowing humongous play after humongous play. I was proud of how they played against a very, very explosive offense.”

It wasn’t the start that the Millers were looking for in the game, though. YHS went three and out to start the game and Norman North scored in only three plays on a two-yard run by Alexander. The score was set up on a 22-yard punt return by Drake Stoops to the Miller 29-yard line.

Norman North made it 11-0 in their next possession on a 28-yard field goal by Jackson Wilhite.

But, the third Miller possession of the night turned into the “charm.” The Millers got their offense going on that possession, driving 67-yards in six plays with Parker Kenley scoring on a 19-yard run. Olsen teamed up with McKinley on a 31-yard pass play to set up the score.

Caleb Hernandez’ interception of a Peoples pass three plays later, gave the Millers another spark and led to a 21-yard Kenley touchdown run and a 14-11 lead with 11:27 left in the half.

After Norman tied the game on a 24-yard field goal by Wilhite, the Millers took the lead on Ryan Lucas’ 31-yard field goal with 3:06 left in the half.

Perry Olsen’s eight-yard touchdown run with 1:01 left in the half gave YHS a 24-14 halftime advantage.

Norman North tied the game in the third quarter, but Olsen put together a 51-yard drive and scored from two-yards out, diving across the line to put YHS back in front, 30-24.

The Millers will open the home portion of their season on Friday against 0-2 Southmoore. Southmoore lost 53-6 to Westmoore Friday night.