By Chuck Reherman
For the second year in a row, Yukon was within one minute of pulling off an upset of east power Broken Arrow.
But, a minute turned out to be too much time to give the Tigers.
No. 3 ranked Broken Arrow drove 60-yards in the final 1:08 and Jake Raines 11-yard touchdown pass to Keyon Barnett with seven seconds remaining rallied the Tigers to a 27-22 District 6A-1 win over the Millers Thursday night at Miller Stadium.
Yukon had rallied to regain the lead with 1:08 remaining in the game on a one-yard scoring dive by Brayden Dutton and a key two-point conversion run from Chaz Bradley to take a 22-21 lead. But, like last year, Broken Arrow drove for the game winning touchdown and left the Millers with only one play.
The loss dropped the Millers to 4-3 overall and to 2-2 in the district race. Broken Arrow is 2-1 in district and 4-2 overall.
“We played a great game,” Miller head coach Jeremy Reed said about his team, who came into the contest with eight players missing from the lineup. “I told the kids afterward there is nobody to blame. Offense and defense I felt played great.
“I told them that at anytime in a game you are going to have some things you could have done better or some crucial moments you could have don better,” he said. “But, as a whole I could not be more proud of a team who were down six starters whether it was injuries or Covid and took one of the best teams in 6A1 again to the end.
“It felt a little like deja vu. How many of these games have I been a part of as head coach of Yukon. Several. It kills me, because we have been right there numerous times to kick down the door and every time the door gets shut on us right at the last second.”
Yukon saw Broken Arrow break a 14-14 tie midway in the fourth quarter on a 51-yard by Maurice Horn.
But, the Millers put together a drive of their own and Brayden Dutton’s one-yard scoring dive over the pile of bodies at the goal line brought YHS with one, 21-20, with 1:08 remaining.
The Millers made the decision to go for two and Dutton pitched the ball to Chaz Bradley on a sweep around the left side. Bradley avoided a tackle and as he was tripped up, dove to the end zone for the conversion and a 22-21 lead.
The drive went 80-yards in 12 plays. Bradley had runs of 14, 14 and 15 and Dutton a 15-yard run to set up the score.
Broken Arrow, though, came right back down the field and Raines’ TD pass to Barnett gave the Tigers the win.
“I wasn’t walking out of here without a chance to win,” Reed said of going for the two-point conversion. “Based on the games the happened like that last year, I felt like it was our time to win it. And, here we are again heartbroken again at the end of a game against a great opponent.
“We played extremely hard all game,” Reed said. “I have nothing negative thought regarding our game plan, our kids. I thought it was well performed by all.”
The Millers did get off to a solid start and led Broken Arrow 14-0 early in the second quarter of a fast paced game.
YHS scored on their first possession on an 18-yard run by Bradley that capped a 68-yard drive in nine plays and gave the Millers a 7-0 lead with 1:48 left in the opening quarter.
The Millers answered with their second score on their next possession on a four-yard run by Bradley, who finished the game with 106 yards on eight carries. Bradley scored on a four-yard run to make it 14-0 with 7:37 left in the half.
Broken Arrow cut the lead to 14-7 right before half on a one-yard run by Raines with 1:29 before the half and tied the game on a 17-yard run by Horn with 4:47 left in the third quarter.
“Our defense had some really big plays and made that great stop on a fourth down play,” Reed said. “We were highly disappointed and frustrated the last two weeks with how we had played defensively and felt it was some things we could control.
The kids chose to trust the things we were asking them to do and it showed in major ways,” he said. “Those are the best runningbacks we have seen all year. That No. 5 is either committed or been offered by Oregon and No. 2 is very good. It was probably the best O-line we have seen and the kids answered the call and made the corrections we needed to correct.”