By Chuck Reherman
Yukon opens the football season on the earliest date ever when the Millers face Ed-mond North tonight.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Miller Stadium.
It will also be the first time in at least 40 years that YHS has not faced Canadian County rival Mustang in the opener.
The Millers will open against a North team that is also looking to turn their program around. The Huskies finished 3-7 last year and have not had a winning season since 2013. YHS and ENHS have not met since that 2013 season.
The Huskies will bring in a somewhat inexperienced team, but one that the more ex-perienced Millers cannot over look as they begin their quest for a winning season and a playoff berth.
“We have seen Edmond North a lot the last two summers in team camps and seven-on-sevens,” Miller head coach Jeremy Reed said. “They have one starter back on of-fense and will be a multiple offense. We know what they like to do on offense. But, it is week zero, so it is hard to know a lot about each other. “You are not going to know what each other is going to do, you just have to go play according to your as-signments and trust what your training has been and go from there. The amount of game planning you get to have in a week zero game is pretty limited.
“We need to take care of the ball,” Reed said. “Ball security is a premium early in the season. If we take care of the ball we will be in great shape. I would say that is first and foremost. Then execution. Last year in our first game we didn’t execute at all and obviously we saw how that turned out. We just want to see our kids relax and execute.
“We have to keep flying to the ball on defense. We need to play assignment and stop the run, that is a big task just based off what their strengths are. Our defense has done well at that in our scrimmage.”
The Huskies will bring a spread style offense into the opener. Quarterback Colby Entwhistle steps into the starting quarterback role and will have runningback Blake Minnick back after he missed most of the season with an injury.
Jack Cheap a 6-4, 180-pound senior, returns after catching 20 passes last season.
The Millers will put the more experienced team on the field with seven starters back on defense and five on offense. Senior Jackson Young steps in and will run the of-fense at quarterback.
“There is a lot of excitement in finally getting to play a game,” Reed said. “It is amazing how many hours and days a football player puts in to play in the amount of games they get to play. It is a fun time and hopefully we will relax and enjoy it while playing well.
“The whole key is to not get so amped up and uptight that you don’t trust your training you had in practice,” he said. “The preparation we put in this spring, we are where we need to be schematically whether it is week zero, week one or if it is week four, we are concerned with special teams. There is no live action with it until you get into a game.
“I feel great at where we are at offensively and defensively, based on what we did in the spring and in fall camp. There have been a lot of things happen since we were last on the field, from our services projects we did this summer and with our kids giving back. I hope we have large crowds all season long and make this a big event all year long, every home football game.”
By Chuck Reherman