Millers open 6AI-1 play at NHS

Caden Hernandez uses a block from Colton DeKinder to spring free on a run during a game with Moore. The Millers return to the field Friday to face Norman in the District 6AI-1 opener. (Photo by Chuck Reherman)

By Chuck Reherman
Sports Editor
After a much needed bye week, Yukon returns to the football field this week to begin the “important part of the season.”
And, the Millers will face a stiff challenge right of the bat as YHS travels south to Norman to take on the Tigers.
Kickoff for the District 6A-1 contest is set for 7 p.m. at Harve Collins Field.
The Millers, 1-2, overall, will face an unbeaten Tiger team that is expected to be their best squad in recent years. NHS comes in after posting a 50-28 win over Moore last week in their final non-district game. The Millers also played Moore in its final non-district game and came up short 49-35.
The teams have had a long and storied history against each other. Yukon won last year’s contest 14-7.
The Tigers bring in a talented and experienced team and has been considered as one of the top teams in the west this season.
“We accomplished what we wanted to do during the bye week,” Millere head coach Jeremy Reed said. “We had some kids that needed to heal up during the week and it was a well timed bye week for us. Now, it is go time with getting into district play,
“They all count a little more now,” he said. “And, it doesn’t matter how good or bad you have been, it all starts over this week.”
The Millers spent their bye week working on correcting mistakes and Reed said both the offense and defense got out of the week what they needed.
It will be the final road trip to the start of the season for the Millers (fourth in a row) and YHS will play at a stadium where they have had success in the past.
“Norman is a very good team, offensively is the best we have seen and may be the best offense we will see all season,” Reed said. “They have a great quarterback, multiple options at receivers that make great catches week in and week out. The offensive line is very good, they really don’t have a weakness on the offensive side of the ball. They have done a good job capitalizing on plays.
“Defensively, they return a lot of guys from last year and run to the football as good as anyone we have played,” he said. “They have a lot of speed on the field, even their defensive line. They may be undersized, but they run to the ball well.
“As coaches, we knew this was going to be Norman’s year,” he said. “They won the conference as freshmen and we will go over there and see one of the best teams in our district right off the bat.”
The Tigers are led by Cade Horton, who has been the main force for the offense this season. Horton, a dual-sport star, is a commit to the University of Oklahoma, but is also a projected top round draft pick in baseball.
“They have scored a lot of points this season, but when you have all those weapons and are efficient at what you do, you can score a lot of points,” Reed said. “We know they are going to score some points, but we have to make them earn everything they get. We have to play good, hard, sound defense that makes them sustain drives. That is the biggest key we are looking out of our team, make them earn it.”