By Chuck Reherman
After earning a “marquee win” in their home opener last week, Yukon goes back on the road to face one of class 6A’s traditional powers.
The No. 10 ranked Millers will head east on Friday to take on No. 3 Jenks in a key Disrtrict 6AI-1 contest at 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Allan Trimble Stadium.
The Millers, 2-3 overall and 1-1 in district play, while the Trojans are also 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the district. Jenks rolled past Enid 62-0 last week.
It will be only the fourth time that the Millers have played on Jenks’ home field. YHS has not beaten the Trojans in seven previous meetings.
Both teams will bring in young squads, although the Trojans start mostly juniors and seniors, while the Millers will have seven sophomores and one freshman in their starting lineup.
The Millers come into the game following a 31-21 win over Edmond Santa Fe. A win that YHS head coach Jeremy Reed is looking to bolster the confidence of his young team heading into this week.
“Jenks is Jenks, they are probably the biggest named programsin the state of Oklahoma,” Reed said. “The biggest thing is that the players have to get past is not noticing the name on the jersey and the logo on the helmet and look at things that are happening on film.
“They are a good football tram, they have their share of good defensive players,” he said. “They have a new defensive coordinator who was at Mustang the last couple of years and they play fast and play hard. Are physical when they get there.
“Offensively, the graduated a lot of kids and have a new quarterback and almost a whole new cast and they are trying to work their way through it. Their runningback is a really good football player.”
The next step for the Miller program after beating one of the top programs in the west part of the state, is to now get an elusive win over a team from the east.
“Throughout the time Yukon and Santa Fe have played, we were 1-14 against them and to break a streak like that is a big step,” Reed said. “Santa Fe is a very good program over the last how many years and getting over that pyschological battle of can we beat one of the best teams in the west it is a big step for our kids.
“The way we were able to win was kind of picture perfect of what our program has been built on the last three years,” he said. “That develops more faith and trust in the coaches and programs and there are a lot of positives to built on.”
The Trojans are built around their linebacker corps of James Pruitt (6-1. 215) and Matt Ackerly (6-1, 200). The secondary also has some experience returning with Grant Lohr and Jayden Patrick.
The Jenks defense will have to face the top rushing team in the state in the Millers. Yukon comes into the game with 1,836 yards rushing (an average of 267.2 yards a game).
The Miller offense turned in their best overall performance last week in putting together four touchdown drives and not turning the ball over.
“They are a little different defensively, but who knows what they will do against us,” Reed said. “It will be a wait and see and we will find out at 7:30 p.m.”
The Millers may have a little bit of an edge going into the game. Defensive coordinator Dan Nickles had been the Jenks defensive coordinator the last couple of years before coming to Yukon.
He has given some insight to the players about Trojan football.
“It is going to help some, he has talked to our kids on a few different ocassions,” Reed said. “He has talked to them about our capabilities are in maybe relation to what he saw at Jenks. It is definitely a help and something we can look to to get guidance. They are starting to trust him a little more.
“We have to take in the same game plan we did last week,” he said. “We said if we don’t turn over the football that we were going to win. If we hold onto the ball and improve like we have we are in the right positions.”