By Chuck Reherman
Getting back on track.
That’’s what Yukon will be looking to do as the Millers make their third road trip in a row.
YHS will travel south to Moore to take on the Lions in a 7 p.m. kickoff Thursday at Moore Schools Stadium.
The Millers will be looking to bounce back from a nightmare loss to rival Mustang 38-0 last Friday in Mustang. The Millers enter the game 1-1 and will look to continue their win streak over the Lions, 0-1. Moore lost to rival Westmoore, 44-35, in the annual Moore War.
The Millers won last year’s battle 49-27 and have beaten the Lions the last four times the teams have met.
Moore does come in with a more experienced team than the Millers. The Lions return seven starters on offense and nine on defense and will give YHS another challenge.
“It is a short week, playing on Thursday night, so it is challenging for both teams,” Miller head coach Jeremy Reed said. “It definitely puts you on a different schedule when you play on Thursday instead of Friday. We will have a couple of days preparation and get ready to play.
“They have a lot of kids back from a year ago off a team that went to the playoffs,” he said. “Their quarterback is a very good player, he has committed to Kansas this summer. He is a big kid, hard to tackle when he runs. He does throw the ball, but his number one attribute is running the football.
“He is one you have to keep an eye on. He will definitely be involved heavily in their offense. They a lot of things that put attention on him. They also have a really good hardnosed runningback that if all your attention is on the quarterback you will give up yards on the perimeter. They have done a good job of building a package around the quarterback that allows them to take advantage of other people. It is just another one of those type of spread offenses.”
The Lions have built their offense around the quarterback, Daniel Hishaw Jr., who ran for 776 and 13 touchdowns last year and passed for 1,800 yards and 16 scores.
Jayce Gardner at tailback is a threat if too much attention is put on the quarterback and Hishaw does have receivers to throw the ball too as well.
The front line is anchored by Jalen Gordon (6-2, 285) and Jakari Sykes (6-1, 305).
“It’s like every week, if you don’t stop the run, you are in trouble,” Reed said. “We have to do a better job of tackling, stop the run and force people to throw the football.”
The Lions did show an explosive attack against Westmoore, scoring 37 points.
The Lion defense is experienced, but allowed 44 points in the loss to the Jags.
The Millers are looking to put last week’s loss to Mustang behind them. The Millers had 18 penalties and turned the ball over four times.
“There is a part of the game you want them to forget, but a part you want them to remember just so it doesn’t happen again,” Reed said. “We spent time yesterday going over some of the things that happened Friday.
“You have to evaulate and self evaulationd an be very honest with yourself of how you did and that goes for everybody,” he said. “Whether you are a coach, player or manager, of you are part of the organization you have a hand in it whether you win or lose. We just have to get the kids to reset and look at what we did not so well and what we did well, replicate the good things and fix the things we didn’t do so well.”
The Millers will be looking to get their offense back on track in the game. YHS had only 249 yards of offense (all on the ground) last week after rolling up over 400 the week before.
Moore will have to take on the challenge of facing a mutiple back attack. The Millers had 10 players carry the ball last week led by Makari Slaughter’s 112-yards on five carries.
“The first three games we are still figure out what our best line-up is and our best options to utilize the players,” Reed said. “We are constantly evaluating. Your goal is to be set up in a place on week four where you are playing your best football.
“We have some things to correct this week like penalties,” he said. “We will coach off what we have seen on the film to try and correct things that need to be corrected. It is one of those things you have to work through and we will spend out time correcting those on both sides of the ball.”
By Chuck Reherman