By Chuck Reherman
ENID – After a grueling four-game schedule Yukon needed “one of those games” to get their confidence back.
A nice little road trip to Enid was just what the Millers needed.
The Millers put together one of their most complete games of the season in rolling to a 54-0 win over Enid and spoiling the Plainsmen’s senior night at D. Bruce Selby Stadium.
YHS rolled to a 28-0 halftime lead that included a blocked punt for a touchdown (their third of the season) amassing over 200 yards of offense along the way en route to their biggest margin of victory in the past eight years.
The Millers also had a season high seven rushing touchdowns on the night and finished the game with 450 yards of offense.
“We needed that,” YHS head coach Jeremy Reed said. “We have had a rough stretch. Some of it has been self-inflicted and a bunch of it has been opponents. We knew we were getting better in a lot of areas along the way and sometimes that is hard for people to see and tonight we have seen that we have gotten a lot better and taken out a lot of frustration.
“We executed and did a lot of things very, very good on offense,” Reed said. “Our kids came ready to play. To be honest, I didn’t know if they would or not just based on where we are in the season. I was really, really proud of how they came out and treated tonight.”
The Miller defense also had their best night in the past six weeks. Besides recording their second true shutout (the defense had not allowed a point in their first two games of the season, but one team did score off YHS offensive mistakes), the Millers shut down Enid’s Will Phillips, who was closing in on 1,000 yards on the season and who Reed has said was probably the best runningback his team had faced this season.
Yukon’s defense held Enid to 90 yards of total offense on the night, including 31 in the second half.
“We did a great job on defense,” Reed said. “That is a really good runningback (Phillips), he has piled up a lot of yards on a lot of people this year and our defense did a phenomenal job. In today’s times, shutouts are not real common and that is another shutout for our defense and I could not be happier for those guys.
“They struggled to move the football on us,” he said. “That is what happens when you fly around and not that we haven’t been flying around, it has just been a rough four weeks.”
The Millers set the tone for the night from the start. After the defense forced a three and out against Enid’s offense, YHS put together a 10-play, 56-yard drive to take the initial lead. Noah Davis gave the Millers the lead on a six-yard run. The Millers kept the ball on the ground nine of those 10 plays and used runs of 10 and nine yards from Isaiah Butler and runs of nine and eight from Davis to set up the score with 5:30 left in the opening quarter.
The Millers scored on their second possession of the night on a 14-yard touchdown run from quarterback Jackson Young. Young also completed a 40-yard pass to Caden Hernandez. Cody Watson’s extra point opened a 14-0 lead with 55 seconds left in the opening quarter.
Yukon recorded its third blocked punt for a touchdown less than a minute later when Colton Humphrey blocked the punt of Creed Skidmore at the Enid four-yard line. After a scramble for the ball, Hernandez pounced on the loose ball in the end zone for the touchdown and a 21-0 lead nine seconds into the second quarter.
Enid did threaten one time, moving the ball to the Yukon eight-yard line, but the Miller defense stepped up and forced three plays for negative yards and Enid missed on a 32-yard field goal try.
“It was a big weight off of our shoulders,” YHS defensive end Owen Olsen said. “We have played bad the last four weeks and it feels good to get back in our rhythm. We felt like tonight we were flying around like we did the first four weeks and we reset that was good.
“It felt great getting the shutout, it was our third of the year,” he said. “We talked before the game that they shouldn’t be able to score on us and we were not going to let them score all night. And even when our twos when in, they held it up too and got a turnover as well.”
The Millers added another score after a 10-play, 80-yard drive that was capped by an Antonio Washington four-yard run. Washington had a 32-yard run in the drive, Butler had a 14-yard run and Davis a 12-yard run.
Yukon broke the game open on their opening possession of the second half, putting together a 10-play 65-yard drive that than the score to 34-0. Young kept the ball on a one-yard scoring run for the Millers’ fifth touchdown of the night.
The score was set up after Young tossed a 21-yard pass to Olsen and a 12-yard pass to Hernandez. Butler also had a 16-yard run.
The Millers made it a 40-0 lead early in the fourth quarter as Washington leaped into the end zone from two-yards out to end a 16-play, 70-yard drive. The score was set up after runs of 12 and 13 from Hernandez and a 10-yard run from Davis.
Davis scored his second touchdown of the game on a 15-yard run with 6:19 remaining and the second team got in on the scoring action on a 22-yard scoring run from Logan Grulkey with 3:06 remaining.
“We were able to throw the ball in some timely situations tonight,” Reed said. “We have wanted to do that a lot this year and just have had the situational type things and what the defense has given us. I was very happy with some of the things that have happened in the passing game. We had a chance to do a few more, but I didn’t want to do that after the score had gotten out of hand.
“Winning cures all,” he said. “There is no doubt tonight that the win will help us in a lot of areas. Now we can focus on week 10 and finishing strong.”
The Millers close out the season on Friday with a road game against Edmond Memorial. The game will be played at Edmond Santa Fe’s Stadium with kickoff set for 7 p.m.