By Chuck Reherman
The success of a sports season is characteristically decided by the number on wins and losses.
Yukon head coach Jeremy Reed is not determining the 2019 season by that number.
Yukon finished the season with a 4-6 record and to many that would regarded as a unsuccessful season. But, with what the Millers went through this season, Reed doesn’t see it that way.
The Millers started the season with a very inexperienced team and through the last half of the year started eight sophomores and one freshman in the rugged 6AI class.
“I feel if you were able to reverse things and go all the way back to this time last year, we just started looking at the massive amount of kids we were losing that played a big part in our first winning season in 6AI, I think there were a lot of people that had major doubts in us even being competitive,” Reed said. “From knowing where we were and where we ended up, there is a lot of huge successes to take even though there was only four total wins, there are some story lines within the season that should and could change the trajectory of the season.
“On defense we had to replace 10 of 11 starters this year and offensively we were breaking in a new quarterback and a new backfield,” he said. “We didn’t have any full time starters in the backfield and lost three starters up front. This time last year were looking around and saying we don’t have a lot of experience and this time around we know we have the majority of our team coming back.
“It is a much different feel and look going into this off season and makes it even a little more special of how the season went because of the impact players we lost and all the new people we had to do it with.”
And, this team, with all that inexperience, led the state in rushing this season. The Millers total 4,046 yards on the ground in 557 rushes, a 7.3 yard per carry average and scored 45 touchdowns.
In the last four games of the year, the Millers averaged 470 yards rushing and an average 55 points a game.
“From an offensive standpoint, there were only two games that I felt like we were not up to our level (Mustang and Jenks),” he said. “We had our moments, but when we did not pick up the quarterback sneak in the Jenks game it felt like things bad from there. Outside of those two weeks, we were in every game.
“When you look at the Norman game, if we don’t turn the ball over three times early, I feel like we win that game and against Moore, of we don’t turn it over two times before half, we win that game,” he said. “As good as the offense was early in the year when we were trying to break in a lot of young, new players, we contributed to the problem. Late in the year, something we don’t use as an excuse because reality is reality, we were playing a lot of new people.”
Camron Farmer led the team in rushing with 1,002 yards on 133 carries and Landon Donoho rushed for 909 on 138 rushes.
Caden Hernandez led the team in yards per carry, 13.5, gaining 729 on 54 carries and four of his six touchdowns were on rushes of 60-yards or more. Makari Slaughter finished with 789 yards on 84 carries, 9.3 yards per rush.
The Millers did end up finishing sixth in the district, but were within only a couple of points of reaching the playoffs. One-point losses to Westmoore (50-49) and Broken Arrow (43-42) could have turned the year in a 6-4 season had two-point conversions in the final minute of the game went the Millers way instead of their opponents.
“It was an interesting year that I think played out very well,” Reed said. “There are certain games that went different ways than what I projected maybe what I considered a bad way. There there some others that went in a good was that I didn’t perceive coming.
“It was a tale of two sides of the story,” he said. “I didn’t see some things happen early in the season that did happen, things primarily on the negative side and didn’t see some things that gelled for the positive late in the season. To some extend, this team exceeded expectations. I don’t know how many people would have projected us doing the things we did against Edmond Santa Fe or the losses we had against Broken Arrow and Westmoore.
“I think we are good enough to be playing week 11, obviously we didn’t win right games in our district, but this season was a huge success for our kids. It installed a different belief in these kids and we look to carry that on into the next season.”