By Chuck Reherman
Going into Tuesday night’s match, Yukon knew it had its back to the wall and needed something big to happen to keep their chance of making the playoffs alive.
The Millers got it by pulling off one of the biggest upsets of the season.
Yukon stunned then district leader Edmond North 2-1 in a shoot-out at Miller Stadium and got themselves back into the race for a playoff spot.
North had come in with a 2-0 district record and had only lost to one other team in Oklahoma (2-1 to Norman North), while the Millers came in with only one win under their belt.
YHS turned in their best performance of the season, stunning North with an early score and then holding off the Huskies with a solid defensive effort, allowing only one goal through the second half and two overtimes to send it to a shootout.
And, the Millers had not been successful in shoot-outs, losing four matches by way of penalty kicks.
“With the way the season has gone and how many times we have lost on PKs it was good for the boys to get a win that way,” Miller head coach Neil Hilton said. “It is amazing what one win can do, as far as in the dressing room, everyone was smiling, singing and dancing. It puts a completely different spin on how things have been going.
“It was a huge win for us,” he said. “In the 10 years I have been in the country, I know we have never beaten Edmond North, so it was a big achievement for us. I felt like we deserved it all in all. It was an even game and we showed enough heart and battling qualities to come out ont on top in the match.”
The Millers fought off Edmond North attempts in the two 10-minute overtimes and headed to the shoot-out phase of the match.
Yukon had struggled in first four shoot-outs, buyt Cody Watson gave the Millers a spark when he scored on the first attempt.
Edmond North missed on their first attempt and Gilberto Gonzales scored to open a 2-0 lead. North scored to make it 2-1, but when Jonathan Martinez hit his attempt to open a 3-1 lead, the Millers to smell the win.
North’s Abe Covarrubias had to hit his shot to keep North’s hope’s alive, but missed. North needed Yukon to missed their final two. But, when Caleb Ankrom sent his shot to the back of the net, the Millers spilled out onto the pitch in celebration.
“It puts us back in the playoff chase,” he said. “We have three tough games coming up on the road, but we have given ourselves a chance and that is all you can ask at this point. With the record we have, to give ourselves a chance is a positive.
“It was the best we have played since we came away with the win,” he said. “We have played at that level against other teams, we just didn’t get the win. We found a way to get the job done in this one.”
The Millers took the early lead when Gonzales got past his defender and the keeper to send the ball into an open net six minutes into the match.
Yukon travels to US Grant on Tuesday and closes the district season on Friday at Westmoore. Both are 8 p.m. matches.
By Chuck Reherman