By Chuck Reherman
When it comes to the Canadian County Bedlam Clash, everything gets thrown out the window.
It did Saturday night as Yukon battled back from a two score deficit to tie the game only to see Mustang answer and win the 2020 version of the Bedlam Clash, 35-21 at Miller Stadium.
The Millers had trailed 14-0 in the first quarter but battled back to come within a touchdown at halftime, then tie the game in the third quarter. And, the Millers did have chances in that second half, but were stopped inches shy of a first down on a fourth down play and a late fumble helped seal the MHS win.
The Broncos also broke out a new offensive scheme MHS dubbed the “the Dirty Dom” and used the running of Dominique Dunn to score a pair of late touchdowns and put the game away. Dunn, the starting tight end, was moved to the backfield in a wildcat position that gave the Miller defense problems. Dunn ran for four touchdowns and 109 yards to spark the Bronco offense.
“It was hard to climb back after digging that early hole,” Miller head coach Jeremy Reed said. “We did manage to come back, but it was pivotal moments in the game that made it tough. We have to be better in several different phases.
“Mustang completely out physicaled us tonight, especially on defense,” he said. “That is something we have to look at, evaluate and get better for this next week. We don’t have any excuses and will make any excuses, we just did not bring our physicality and the aggressiveness that I thought we had in the first two scrimmages. Kudos to them for developing a plan and sticking with it. They were very consistent with their plan and sticking to it. We all knew what was coming and we ultimately didn’t stop it.
“Mustang was content with just trying to smash us with their run game and we have to be better offensively. We had the one turnover late, but the missed fourth down hurt us. We punted a couple of times and we just have to be better.”
YHS trailed 21-14 at halftime, but came out swinging and marched 65-yards in 12-plays with Caden Hernandez scoring on a six-yard run midway into the quarter. Tristan Brooke helped set up the score with a 36-yard run and was just tripped up at the one-yard line.
After the Millers were hit with a five-yard penalty, Hernandez caught the corner and scored to bring YHS within one. Kaden Allen’s extra point tied the game with the extra point, 21-21, with 6:28 remaining.
That lead, though, didn’t last long. Mustang marched right back down the field on the running of Devyn Martin and Dunn to take the lead on a three-yard run by Dunn, 28-21 with 3:01 left in the third.
The Millers were driving for a tying touchdown, but saw their drive stopped on a fourth and three play at the MHS 28, being stopped short inches shy of the first down marker.
Mustang used that stop for a fourth Dunn touchdown of the night, scoring on a one-yard run. Mustang quarterback Ethan Young connected with Rylan Poteet on a 50-yard pass to set up the score.
Trailing 14-0, the Millers started to make their run late in the first quarter when Brayden Dunn connected on a 53-yard touchdown pass to Hernandez to make it a 14-7 game with 1:04 left in the quarter. Dutton completed only the one pass, but also ran for 165 yards and a touchdown on a night.
“We had some bright moments, I thought Brayden played very well,” Reed said. “He is a different player than he was a year ago. He adds a whole new element to our offense in my opinion. “We still have in my opinion the best team that we have had since I have been here,” he said. “We just got kind of punched in the face tonight and hopefully it wakes everybody up. We have a short week to get ready for Deer Creek since we played a day late.
“There were some things up front that we did well, some things that made us turn your head sideways at other. I thought we were wearing them down, they had more kids cramping than we did and I thought that would turn into a huge advantage for us in the fourth quarter. But we couldn’t get it close enough to take advantage of it.”
Yukon trailed 21-7 in the second quarter and did make it tighter at halftime, when Dutton scored on a 20-yard run with 6:05 left in the half. The Miller defense stopped Mustang and had one more chance, but had their drive stall at their own 46.
“We just have to get better,” Reed said. “We are hopeful that we have a long season and we told the team that is now a consolation prize, but you have to be grateful for the ability to play.
“This game never will be as big in my eyes as it does others, because it has no bearing for the playoffs,” he added. “Granted, we have been working and want to win this game as bad as anyone. But it doesn’t make or break our season. Once we get to week for is when we want to be playing out best football.”