By Chuck Reherman
Friday night means one thing.
It’s football time.
Yukon opens its bid for a successful 2019 campaign on the road as the Millers travels to Edmond North for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Huskie Stadium on the high school campus. It will be the first ever meeting for the teams on North’s new football stadium.
The Millers open season three of the Jeremy Reed era and although the Yukon may not be the most experienced team, the Millers will be looking to make a splash in the season opener in their first of four straight road games.
The two teams met in the season opener last year and Yukon came away with a 28-0 win.
The Millers will face a North team that has more experience and is looking to erase the memory of an 0-10 20-18 campaign. But, YHS is also looking to prove itself and comes into the contest with a team that has more speed on offense and with the determination of being a strongest defensive team.
“This first week has gotten her fast, but our guys are ready to play,” Reed said. “The first week is always the toughest week to prepare for. Once you get into your schedule you will see things on film that you can game plan toward, but these early weeks, you have to be prepared with your base stuff and be good doing it. We will have the same scenario for the first two weeks in a row, since we will be the first opponent for our first two games. You just have to show up and play and react to whatever they show us.
“We have gotten to see 97 plays of generic football from them from their scrimmage,” Reed said. “Everyone is generic and holding onto something they will show.”
The Millers do return six starters overall from last year, five to the offense and one on defense. But, the offense has looked good in practice and moved the ball well during a scrimmage in Stillwater last week.
North does return their quarterback (Colby Entwhistle) who started eight games last season and has brothers Cormon and Cameron Goff who moved in from Millwood that are expected to give the Huskie’s offense a boost.
The Huskies will run a spread offense and Reed is looking for the Huskies to bring out their full reportoire to throw at a young Miller defense.
“Overall, North is a little better than last year, but as far as knowing a whole lot it is hard to tell because of the limited number of plays we have seen from them,” Reed said.
“Edmond North switched defensive coordinators and are now an odd front base, but you will never know what we will get because of the offense we run,” he said. “We know they will try and throw the ball around the field with the quarterback they have back.”
The one question people had going into the season was who the starting quarterback would be. Reed made that decision and told the team on Sunday.
Sophomore Brayden Dutton was named as the Miller starting quarterback for Friday night’s game. He has junior Levi Davis had been in a battle since the spring for the job.
“Brayden looked really good in the scrimmage, he graded out 96-97 percent,” Reed said. “He did a really good job of operating the offense and did a good job in all of the things we were asking him to do,
“It was a tough decision for coach (Keenan) Kellett and myself because we feel we have two guys that are worthy of starting. Levi did a lot of good things.
“We like some things that Brayden does better than Levi, but we do like some things that Levi does better than Brayden. It was a very, very close race and ultimately we just had to make a decision.
“I felt it was best to give a guy a full week’s preparation and give our team the knowledge of who would be starter. We told them it would be an ongoing competition and just because one someone starts week zero they may not be the starting quarterback the entire season and we will continue to coach both of those guys the way we have been coaching them.
“The message I did tell Brayden is that once we declare a guy, he is our guy and we are not in the business of making a kid nervous of being pulled out for making a mistake. He is the guy we feel is ready for week zero.
“Levi brings a lot of qualities to the team and is a guy we will use through out the season. It has been one of the closest quarterback battles I have had.”
North’s new defense will have to face a Yukon offense that features one of the fastest and deepest backfields the Millers have had.
Reed said the team had five players at B-back that will be used and the A-backs, led by returning starter Isaiah Butler, possess a lot of speed in getting to the corner.
“The key for us to come out with a win is to not turn the ball over and eliminate the big play of defense,” Reed said. “Offensively, we can’t put the ball on the ground or let them have a big play on defense and we need to play mistake free in special teams. That is the key to victory in these first two games. Eliminating those big momentum changes and allow a team to get into that high swing because of mistakes we make up big plays.”