By Chuck Reherman
EDMOND – Yukon knew going into Tuesday night’s match that it would face it’s toughest challenhe of the season.
The Millers came out knowing what they have to do now to make the playoffs.
Edmond North scored 27 seconds into the match and held on to hand Yukon a 4-2 district 6A-1 loss, at Edmond Santa Fe’s Wolves Stadium.
The Millers slipped to 1-3 in district and do have their backs against the wall in making the playoffs. YHS has two matches remaining (the Millers played Putnam City West late Thursday) and need win all two of three or all three to make the playoffs.
YHS has U.S. Grant (1-2 in district) and Westmoore (0-3) remaining in the schedule.
The Millers did find themselves down 3-0 before staging a comeback with a pair of goals that cut the lead to 3-2. But, North sealed the win with a fourth goal just 30 seconds after the Millers had scored.
“This game hinged on whether they had the big man (Darryl Dike) or not,” Miller head coach Neil Hilton said. “They haven’t had him all season with a hamstring and the came back for us. The kid is a beast, he is hard to stop and is incredible as a player. Probably the best high school soccer player that has played in this state.
“We put Colton (Humphrey) on him and he did a phenomenal job against him,” he added. “He was the only player we had that could stick with him. Away from that guy, it is an even game, but with him, they are a state champion contender.
“I was proud of the effort and the way our guys battled. As far as digging ourselves a hole, we have played the best teams in the district, so it looks like a hole, but the three remaining games are ones we are capable of winning and getting that fourth spot. It is just the way that things have worked out.”
Down 3-0 in the second half, the Millers did make a run at North and had chances to tie the match.
Zach Snow put the first score on the board with a penalty kick in the 51st minute. North had been called for a handball in the goal box.
The Millers continued to press the North defense and in the 70th minute, Oscar Delgado rocketed a shot that just cleared one defender and was out of reach for the North keeper to make it 3-2.
But, North countered on the kickoff, sent a long pass down the sideline and beat the defense for a goal 30 seconds later to take a 4-2 lead.
North had stunned the Millers in the opening minute when Dike broke past the defense and scored 27 seconds into the match.
North added a second goal 13 minutes in and Dike scored on a penalty kick in the 45th minute to make it a 3-0 score.
“We have played three very good teams back-to-back,” Hilton said. “They didn’t kill us so that is encouraging going into these next matches.
“If we can play the way we did tonight, we will compete these next three games,” he added. “We battled hard, had the chance and got back to 3-2 and we threw everyone forward and they caught us on the break.”
The Millers will host U.S. Grant on Tuesday and end the regular season on Friday with a home match against Westmoore. Both matches will kickoff off at 8 p.m.
By Chuck Reherman