By Chuck Reherman, Sports Editor – Both Yukon and Edmond Santa Fe knew the stakes coming into the game. The winner would be the front runner to earn the final spot for the playoffs.
And, with the teams being evenly matched, the game would come down to who made less mistakes.
Yukon made the mistakes, Edmond Santa Fe capitalized and came away with a 17-10 win over the Millers in a district 6AI-1 game Friday night at Miller Stadium.
The loss dropped the Millers to 4-5 overall and 2-3 in district play, while Santa Fe is 5-4 and 3-2.
It was a game that saw the Millers miss chances to score or settle for a field goal. YHS did lead 10-3 in the first half, but a lost fumble at their own one-yard line and two interceptions inside the Santa Fe 40-yard line ended potential scoring drives.
“We just didn’t make plays when we needed to make plays,” Miller head coach Jeremy Reed said. “The kids played hard. The defense played well enough to get us the win. We turned the ball over and those are bad mistakes. We just didn’t put it in.
“We were pretty good between the 20’s I felt like,” he said. “But, we didn’t make plays.”
Santa Fe broke a 10-10 tie on a nine-yard touchdown run by Mbari Snoddy. The drive started after Dom Johnson returned a Miller punt 32-yards to Santa Fe 47-yard line.
The Wolves drove 53 yards in 10 plays. Kanan Hansen completed three passes for 36 yards, two on third down and one on fourth down that set up the score.
The Millers had a chance to tie the game, moving from their own 38 to the Santa Fe 37, but on a fourth and eight play, the pass fell incomplete and the ball was turned over to Santa Fe with 5:42 left in the game.
Yukon did not touch the ball again. Santa Fe drove from their own 37 to the Miller 11-yard line and on fourth down, tried a 30-yard field goal. The field goal was blocked, but a flag for roughing the snapper gave the ball back to Santa Fe, who ran the clock out, sending Santa Fe off the field celebrating and leaving the Millers dejected.
“I told the players after the game that I was sorry,” Reed said. “They fought, they did everything asked of them. In football, you have to make plays at certain times and tonight we weren’t in the category of making plays at the right time.
“It doesn’t make it any better, but that is football,” he added. “All the kids played really hard tonight, there was no lack of effort. We didn’t execute at the times we needed to execute and gave them an easy touchdown.”
The Miller defense had stopped a Santa Fe drive on the Wolves’ opening possession. Santa Fe had to settle for a field goal and a 3-0 lead at the 8:57 mark of the first quarter.
Yukon drove from their own 23 to the Santa Fe two, but were stopped there and Colton Humphrey tied the game on a 21-yard field goal with 29 seconds left in the quarter.
The Millers took the lead midway in the second quarter, putting together a 77-yard drive capped by Perry Olsen’s two-yard touchdown run.
Jalen Barnes started off the drive with a 39-yard run on the first play. Barnes had runs of nine, five and five and a pass interference call moved the ball inside the 10. Olsen’s score opened the 10-3 lead with 7:02 left in the half.
The Miller defense turned back a Santa Fe scoring attempt, stopping the Wolves at the three-yard line on a fourth down play.
But, on a second down and nine play, the Millers fumbled and Davion Richard recovered for Santa Fe at the one-yard line.
Snoddy scored on the next play to tie the game 10-10.
A Santa Fe interception gave the Wolves a chance to take the lead, but Jaylen Williams missed a 44-yard field goal on the last play of the half.
The Millers had the ball only three times in the second half. The first ended with a interception, the second by Kamron Love in the game. YHS had to punt on their second possession and turned the ball over on downs on the third.
The Millers will host Westmoore in the regular season finale at 7 p.m. this coming Friday at Miller Stadium.