By Blake Colston
OWASSO – Before this season began, Lucas Jones’ exploits as a wide receiver were not exactly legendary.
He didn’t record a single reception for Yukon as a sophomore and entered the year as a relative unknown inside the Class 6A-1 universe.
It’s safe to say the Owasso Rams and many others know his name quite well now. Jones torched a talented Owasso secondary for 182 yards and two touchdowns on 11 catches Friday night, one week after the 6-foot-2 receiver grabbed 12 passes for 175 yards and a score versus Edmond Memorial.
The third-ranked Rams used game-changing special teams plays, a physical, downhill rushing attack and some Yukon miscues to pull away for a 63-42 victory despite Jones’ career night.
“He’s really stepped up and become a guy for us that you know if you throw the ball in his direction, he will come down with it,” Yukon head coach Brent Barnes said. “We were putting the ball into space and letting him go get it.”
The trigger man for Jones’ big night, quarterback Holden Kee, completed 29 of 48 passes for 368 yards and three touchdowns, surpassing the 300-yard plateau for the third time in seven games.
The Kee-to-Jones connection kept the Millers afloat after they fell into a 14-0 hole that expanded to 34-14 by late in the first half.
“I was proud of our guys,” Barnes said, “But, it’s the same story. We’ve got to figure out why it takes us a little bit to settle into the game.”
Kee and Jones thought they’d completed a 16-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with less than a minute to play in the first half that would’ve made the score 34-20, but the official closest to the play in the far corner of the end zone ruled that Jones came down out of bounds.
Still, by late in the third quarter, Yukon had willed its way back to within two scores, 41-28, and, after a key fourth down stop in the red zone, the Millers had the ball back with momentum and a chance to trim the deficit even further. On the first play of Yukon’s ensuing drive, YHS fumbled, and the Rams recovered.
One play later, Chris Zaferis rumbled into the end zone for a touchdown that restored Owasso’s stranglehold on the game.
“If you’d have told me we’d be down 41-28 going into the fourth quarter with the ball, I would’ve taken it,” Barnes said. “We did a good job of fighting back. But we’ve really got to clean some things up this week.”
Yukon’s offense was not finished, though. Jones beat double coverage for a 31-yard score with 7:00 to play and Kenison Rogers tacked on a 15-yard touchdown catch with less than three minutes to go.
Yukon’s confidence, especially on offense, should remain high headed into a matchup with Edmond North Thursday at Miller Stadium.
Jones enters Week 8 as 6A-1’s leading receiver at 116 yards per game while Rogers is second at just less than 90 yards. Meanwhile, Kee’s 1,989 yards passing are tied for the lead in 6A-1 with Union’s Shaker Reisig. Kee has thrown for 13 touchdowns and ran for six more.