By Chuck Reherman
For Yukon, there is one streak the Millers are ready to break. And it begins tonight.
Yukon will be looking to end a Mustang streak when the teams kickoff in the annual Canadian County Bedlam Clash.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Miller Stadium. Tickets are $7 (except for senior citizens, which remains $5).
Mustang owns a four-game win streak over the Millers, which includes a 31-14 win last year. The Millers last won in 2013 and will be looking to begin a new streak tonight.
The Millers enter the game with a 1-0 record after opening the season with a 28-0 win over Edmond North last week at Miller Stadium. It will be the first time since the 1970’s that the two teams have not opened the season against each other. And, with that streak broken, Miller head coach Jeremy Reed is ready to continue the trend of breaking streaks.
“This game is obviously a huge thing in this part of the world,” Reed said. “It is as big as any rivalry, I know others may draw more people, but it is one of the top five in the state of drawing people in to watch the game. It is a big deal.
“Right now we are on the losing end of that and that is not the fun part to be on,” he said. “You can’t say anything because they have owned this series lately and it hasn’t even been close. It has not even been competitive.
“We are definitely right where we wanted to be going into this game,” he said. “That is why we wanted to play last week, until you get some of those struggles out we saw last year and we think getting those game reps will be a benefit to us. So, we will see Friday, but based off what we saw in the film from Edmond North and now going into our second game, we will have some of those things cleaned up that we might not have been able to clean up playing this week.”
The game is expected to feature defense. Both teams have experienced defenses returning. Mustang will bring in a somewhat inexperienced offense and have dealt with a quarterback battle through the off-season.
The Miller defense did shut down an Edmond North offense last week, sacking the quarterback 12 times and forcing 21 plays overall for minus yards. North had a minus 36 yards rushing and only 168 yards of offense total.
Mustang, though, is expected to bring in an offense that although inexperienced, will be more of a challenge and a defense that has nine starters returning.
“This is a typical Mustang team from what I am used to seeing,” Reed said. “They are good on defense, run to the ball very well and are experienced. The offense looks similar to what they have in the past from a schematic standpoint. They are breaking in a new offensive line, quarterback, runningbacks, that is where they have the least amount of experience.
The Miller offense did have their struggles last week. YHS put the ball on the ground four times and lost a pair of fumbles and finished with 180 yards total. But, Reed is looking to have several of those mistakes fixed going into the second game.
“The offense that executes and makes the least amount of mistakes gives their team a better chance to win the game,” Reed said. “Of course there are other factors that come in with like special teams that will come into play.
“Getting that first game under our belt helps our side,” he said. “Mustang has been pretty consistent in their coaching staff and getting a game under their belt may not be as important to them as it is to us. Five years from now, it may not be as important to me. But, right now, we are in two different places. They are in a program that is established, a lot of continuity and a foundation that has been laid for some time, where we are in the very early stages and we needed those games reps.”
The Broncos will bring in an offense that has a new coordinator (former Oklahoma State University quarterback Aso Pogi) and his young offense has been learning the tweaks to the system that was already in place.
Neither of the quarterbacks saw much playing time last year in the Bronco offense and the running game also saw limited carries.
“He is going to do the typical spread stuff that Mustang has run before,” Reed said. “They will still run the counter play that they have been good at for a while. They will have some new things that he will put an emphasis on, but it will be streamlined like most spread offenses.”
The game is expected to draw another sell-out crowd, especially since the Millers are coming in with a 1-0 record and the Broncos are expected to challenge for a playoff berth in District 6A-1.
“It is a neat setting when there is standing room only and I would expect no different this year,” Reed said. “It is a rivalry game and one we want to win, and we have to stay focused on this week and this game is huge this week, but after this week it is in the past and it doesn’t factor into your season after that.”
By Chuck Reherman