By Chuck Reherman, Sports Editor – Yukon steps away from district play after one week to host it’s third of four straight home games.
The Millers, 2-2, will face Charles Page High School of Sand Springs, 2-2, for only the third time in the school’s history. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Miller Stadium.
The teams played last year with Sand Springs posting a 30-14 win. The only other meeting between the teams was in the 1997 state semifinals that the Millers won and advanced to the state finals.
It will be Sand Springs’ third straight road game and both of their wins have come on the road. The Sandites beat Sapulpa 30-16 last week and posted a 28-14 win over Putnam City Original the week before. Sand Spring’ losses came to Pulaski Academy out of Little Rock, Ark., 59-20 and to Choctaw High School.
The game will have an extra meaning to it. YHS head coach Jeremy Reed, who started his coaching career there as an offensive coordinator.
“This is a neat game for me, because that is where I started my coaching career, their head coach (Dustin Kinard) and I are good friends, he was the offensive line coach when I was the offensive coordinator. And, their defensive coordinator was my starting center when I was the OC.
“So, it is going to be a neat game,” he added. “I really, really think highly of Dustin, he has grown so much, I had never dreamed of him as a head coach, but he has done a phenominal job. They have been in the finals I think two of the last three years and Kevin Avey, just watching him as a player and now I get to see him as a coach is really cool for me.”
Reed said he has seen similiarities from his time in Sand Springs and now in Yukon and know his team will be in for another challenge.
The Sandites will bring in a strong running attack that averages more than 300-yards a game and has an experienced and big offensive line.
“Sand Springs reminds me a lot of Yukon, as far as the aspect of the town and the kids. They are very hard nosed kids, they are going to play the game very fast physical. They have a very good wrestling program there and they draw a lot of ton of football players out of that program.
“Their strength is in their down guys, they are very, very athletic in the front line and play hard on the defensive side of the ball. We seem like we face one very good defensive linemen every week and it holds true this week. They have good linebackers and they look like wrestlers.
“Offensively, they have a very good runningback that is as good as we have seen,” he added. “He rushed for 358 yards last week and has averaged 250 yards a game. He is the real deal and they do a good job of front, are very physical up front.
“The quarterback definitely is capable. They have struggled throwing the ball, but it is not that he can’t, it looks like they have some issues at wide receiver.
“I told the boys yesterday you can’t look at this as a 6AII versus a 6AI and that we are going to roll the ball out there and do what we want, we will be in trouble. They are a good football team and have played a tough schedule. They lost to Pulaski Academy, who I am very familiar with out of Arkansas. They won the state title last year.”
Runningback Payton Scott may be short in stature, but he is big on the field. The 5-5, 185-pound runningback has already rushed for over 1,000 yards this season and had 2,000 last year. He is a three-year starter for the Sandites.
Miron Krotzer is the key man on the offensive line and is slanked by experienced in Cameron Lierly and Caleb Mallory.
Defensively, Linebacker Dash Fleishman leads the linebacking corps along with Hayden Cramer and Luke Bratcher.
The Millers’ despite the 56-20 loss to Broken Arrow last week, had success on offense running the ball against the Tigers. Reed has seen progress with the offense and looks for another good night on the offensive end this week.
Yukon opened their option attack more last week and had big plays from runningbacks Parker Kenley and Bryce Williams and quarterback Perry Olsen. Kenley ran for 140-yards on six carries that included a 73-yard touchdown run.
“We ran the triple option very well Friday night,” Reed said. “In how we grade things, we were 69 percent success rate when we ran the triple option. That is a very advanced football play and we were getting multiple looks and Perry was getting multiple looks from a read standpoint, so we got better at that which is very encouraging.
“But, we are turning the football over entirely too much,” he added. “The goal is always one or less, we turned it over three times last week and that is too much. We can’t afford to do that. We have to have a big emphasis on ball security and not turning the ball over.
“Another thing, we have to be much better in pass protection. Perry can throw the ball and we have guys that can catch it, but the last two weeks we haven’t had the time for him to look like he can do anything but throw off his back foot. That is a huge emphasis us this week.”
Reed is also looking to keep the defense out of tough situations. YHS turned the ball over three times last week and gave Broken Arrow too many plays on offense.
“We were bad on offense at times when we didn’t need to be bad,” Reed said. “We did some good things on both sides of the ball and we need to get better at things.”