By Chuck Reherman
MUSTANG – Giving a team “the boot.”
That’s what Yukon had to do in the freshman version of Canadian County Bedlam.
The Millers, after losing a 13-point lead, mounted a late comeback bid and Gage Farha’s 27-yard field goal as time expired sent the Millers to a 29-27 win over Mustang Monday night at Bronco Field.
Yukon led 26-13 late in the third quarter, but saw Mustang use a pair of big plays to take a 27-26 lead with 5:05 remaining in the game.
Yukon mounted their comeback from there, overcoming a pair of holding penalties to get the winning kick away as time ran out.
“We had to make it exciting for sure,” Miller freshman head coach Aaron Dillard said. “At times we played really well, it was a game of highs and lows. We definitely got tired in the second half, we have a lot of kids both ways.
“It was the first time they had to play four quarters,” he said. “Last week we got the big lead on Edmond Memorial and all those guys got to sit the second half. But, overall it was a great job going out and getting the win late. We didn’t play that well though, honestly.”:
The Millers saw Mustang tie the game in the fourth quarter after completing a 75-yard touchdown pass, then kicking the extra point to take a 27-26 lead with 5:05 left in the game.
That’s when the Millers mounded their game winning drive.
Yukon had to overcome a holding penalty and on a third down and six play with quarterback Brayden Dutton scrambling for seven yards and the first down.
The Millers worked the ball down to the Mustang six-yard line and scored a touchdown on a run by Makari Slaughter. But, a second holding call moved the ball back to the 15-yard line with just under a minute to play.
Yukon ran the ball to the 10-yard line, but had to rush to the line to spike the ball, stopping the clock with one second remaining.
Farha came on and drilled the 27-yard field goal as time expired.
“When Mustang scored that touchdown we still had five minutes left and offensively we felt we hd moved the ball the entire game,” Dillard said. “we had been pretty dominant and in control, so we felt good as long as we took care of the ball and kept executing there at the end.
“We would have preferred to have scored the touchdown, but the field goal turned out to be just as good,” he added. “We had a lot of penalties at very key points and we didn’t tackle very well on defense. They hit us for a couple of big plays, but those are things that can be fixed.”
The Millers gave up a touchdown to open the game, but came back with a big score of their own on a 50-yard Slaughter run to cut the lead to 7-6 with 4:40 left in the first quarter.
On the kickoff, the Millers went for a short kick and recovered the ball at the Mustang 35-yard line.
Four plays later, Yukon had to lead after Joe Wythe scored on an eight-yard run. The score was set up on a 23-yard run by Dutton on a third down and six play. Wythe scored on the next play to open a 12-7 lead.
The Millers extended their lead to 18-7 with 29 seconds remaining in the half on a one-yard scoring run by Dutton. The score was set up Dutton completed a 35-yard pass to Tino Licastro and a 17-yard run by Slaughter.
The Broncos, though, scored on a 61-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the first half, to cut the lead to 18-13.
Yukon put together a =n eight play, 70-yard drive on the opening possession of the second half. Creach capped the drive on an eight-yard scoring run.
“This was a rivalry game and it is hard to win a rivalry game, but we are proud of the kids to get it done,” Dillard said. “We still have to get better, we have a long ways to go.
“We were really close on a lot of plays of breaking them,” he added. “It was good to have Makari back on the field, he did some good things. And our whole runningback corps did a good job. We were close to seeing some of those runs turn into big games. It is just a matter of blocking and execution.”
The Millers travel to Moore on Monday to face the Lions in a 5 p.m. kickoff.
“This will be our second road trip and hopefully we will play a cleaner game against Moore,” Dillard said. “We expect it to be another tough game, but one we can win.”
By Chuck Reherman