By Chuck Reherman
STILLWATER – A promising night.
That’s what Yukon’s young Miller football team showed Friday night in it’s first and only pre-season scrimmage Friday night at Pioneer Stadium in Stillwater.
The Millers went up against the host team Stillwater, Ponca City, Norman and Putnam City North in the five-way scrimmage that featured a “rapid-fire” session, followed by a long drive session where the Millers faced Putnam City North then Norman is a 23-minute running clock session.
“I was really really pleased,” YHS head coach Jeremy Reed said. “I thought we came out and played very well for a first scrimmage. It is kind of crazy to look out there and see how many new faces there are on the varsity football team. I was very pleased.
“I thought we did a good job of executing on offense,” he said. “We are still trying to figure out who the quarterback is. We played a lot of players in the backfield at those three spots and at the receivers spots. I thought there was a lot of good things to look at on the offensive side.”
The Millers had success moving the ball in the rapid fire session on offense and scored four times, including a 40-yard run by Landon Donaho.
In the long drive session against Putnam City North, the Miller defense came up with a big play on North’s first offensive play, recovering a Panther fumble.
The Millers on their first possession drove the 40-yards in six plays and Isaiah Butler scored on a two-yard run.
PC North did score on their next possession to make it 7-7. The Millers came back with a score on their next possession, a 15-yard scoring run by Butler. Butler on an option to the outside, scored as he dove to the end zone. The play was set up on a 30-yard run by Donaho.
North did score late in the session to tie 14-14.
Reed said the Millers accomplishment what the coaching staff wanted to see in the scrimmage and came away with a good evaluation of the team.
“Just experience seeing how kids were going to compete that maybe we watched in a JV game or had not seen at all,” Reed said. “Just getting to watch our kids in a setting against other people and how they reacted to that was something we wanted to see. On Offense, we executed things really well. On defense coach (Dan) Nickles was a little upset at some of the big plays we gave up and that we need to shore those things up and be a little better in some specific areas. But overall as a team I thought it was a very positive night.”
In the second long drive session, the Millers scored on three possessions and used a 36-yard Cody Watson field goal on the last play to outscore Norman 17-14.
The Millers, as in the first session, stopped Norman on their first possession and scored from 40-yards out in five plays. A 27-yard run by quarterback Levi Davis set up the score.
Kobe Flow scored from five yards out one play later.
Norman did tie the contest with a one-yard run after connecting on a 36-yard pass play.
The Millers came back and scored on their second possession, a five-yard run by Caden Hernandez. Donaho set up the score with a 17-yard run.
Norman scored with 53 seconds remaining, but the Millers ran two plays, then used the 36-yard field goal from Watson.
Reed said the coaching staff will be able to evaluate the team’s performance more after watching the film.
“We will go back and watch the film and we will look at some things from a technique and a discipline standpoint of what we are asking them to do,” Reed said. “That’s thing things you will see on film and we will have a much better idea after we see the film.
“This definitely helped a lot as far as getting us ready for our first game,” he added. “Our kids were very confident after the scrimmage knowing that we played some very good football team. Stillwater, Norman and Putnam City North are very good football teams. Ponca City is better than they were a year ago I thought. It was good competition and we had success, so it was good for them.”
The Millers do play Norman the fourth game of the season on Sept. 27 in the district 6A-1 opener.
“We do it every year (face Norman in the scrimmage), we just get told what to do and that is fine. We went with our second groups there for half of it to get some other kids reps and finished with our one. It is no big deal, we kind of know each other pretty well.”
The Millers open the season on Friday with a road game at Edmond North. Kickoff is set or 7 p.m.