By Chuck Reherman
The curtain will come down on Yukon’s 2022 football season a little earlier than the Millers were wanting or expecting it to.
The Millers will close out the campaign Thursday night hosting Edmond Santa Fe (who is also ending their year earlier than expected in a District 6AI-2 game at Miller Stadium. The game will also be senior night for the Millers with the introduction of players set for 6:30 p.m. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The game was moved to Thursday due to impending severe weather forecast for Friday.
It has been a rough season for both teams. YHS enters the game with a 1-7 record including a 0-6 mark in the district. Santa Fe is still looking for their first win of the season and is also 0-6 in the district. Both teams had playoff aspirations in the first year of the expanded 6AI playoffs.
The Millers come into the game on the heels of a 48-28 loss to Norman in the rain last week. Santa Fe fell to Owasso 13-7 on their home field.
The teams have mirrored each other this season. Both have had their struggles on offense, but have had chances to win games, only to be have something go wrong and lost. The Millers’ lone win was a 28-23 victory over Norman North the third week of the season. Norman North is set to finish as the District 6AI-2 runner-up.
“I don’t think anyone would have said the first of the season that you would have a zero win Santa Fe team playing a one win Yukon team in the last week of the season, I know we would not have predicted that,” Miller head coach Marshall Hahn said. “But, that is where we find ourselves. And you don’t have to watch very much tape to say that Santa Fe is the best 0-9 team I have ever seen in my life, They have talent, they have just lost some close games. I’m sure they are going to be playing pretty hard to get that first win and I know with us being home and Senior Night, I expect our kids to be exceptionally hard to try and wrap up the 2022 year with a little bit of a taste in our mouth than we have had.
“6AI football is good football,” he said. “I was looking at the standings and only six teams in 6AI have a chance to finish the season with a winning record. A couple of teams can finish .500, so there is a lot of parity. There are just a lot of good football teams and any of them can win on a given night.
“Our angle that we are going to play is that it is Senior Night. I don’t football is a game where you can go out and go through the motions, it is a pretty physical game and if you signed up to play I tend to believe you are going out with the intention of playing hard and playing physical or you are just setting yourself up for a miserable night. We always talk about being the most physical team doesn’t mean you win every battle, but that you want to get up and do it again. That is what we look to do Friday night.”
Santa Fe brings in a predominately running attack led by Demarius Robinson. The Wolves have a big front line anchored by John Ashford (6-5, 300) and Zion Nokes (6-2, 265).
“Santa Fe is big up front and their quarterback is a talented runner,” Hahn said. “They have had some injuries that has changed the offense throughout the year.
“On defense, their front seven are really impressive on film,” he said. “They size and speed and are a quality football team. They have held a lot of teams to their lowest point total of the season, they just haven’t been able to get a couple of bounces here and there. The first game of the year they lost to Jenks 13-10 and have a lot of games like that. They lost to Owasso 13-7 in the rain. They probably feel like they have been knocking on the door all year, they just haven’t gotten over the hump.
“If we don’t stop the run, we are going to have a long night. Have to at least bottle the run up. Their defense has not given up a lot of points, (Tulsa) Union was really the only game that has gotten away from them.”