It has been two years since Yukon football has had the feeling of a win. On Friday night, the Millers got the sweet taste of victory with a 38-31 upset at Norman North.
Down 31-30 with 2:55 left on the clock, Yukon got the ball back with a chance to go win its first game in two years. The Millers did just that, as they went on a 76-yard drive, capped off with a Noah Davis run and two-point conversion to go up 38-31 with 46 seconds remaining.
Norman North would get one more chance to put a miracle drive together but on its first play of the possession, Yukon linebacker Owen Olsen got the interception and the victory was sealed.
“Our offense answered the call tonight and our defense bowed its neck against one of the most explosive offenses in the state,” Yukon coach Jeremy Reed said after the game. “Our coaching staff kept making adjustments in between each offensive possession and we found something in the option game going into that last drive.”
The game did not start the way Yukon had planned. The Millers got the ball first and went three-and-out on its opening possession. Norman North didn’t waste any time, as they went on a 34-yard touchdown drive and a successful two-point conversion to take an 8-0 early lead with 9:53 left in the opening quarter.
On Yukon’s second possession, the Millers drove the ball down to the Norman North 22-yard line but Yukon fumbled the ball and the Timberwolves recovered.
Norman North went on another scoring drive but the Miller defense bowed its neck on its own 11-yard line and forced the T-Wolves into a successful 28-yard field goal.
With 5:20 left in the first quarter, Yukon trailed 11-0. It was at that point, the Millers began to flex their muscles.
Yukon went on a 67-yard drive, capped off by an 18-yard touchdown run from Parker Kenley. After the Ryan Lucas extra-point, the Millers trailed Norman North 11-7 with 2:41 remaining in the first quarter.
“We didn’t panic early, “Reed said. “We showed great maturity tonight as a team.”
Norman North got the ball to midfield just before the end of the opening frame and decided to take shot down field to star receiver Drake Stoops but instead it was Yukon defensive back Caleb Hernandez who came up with the ball at the Miller 13-yard line.
The first quarter came to an end with Yukon trailing the T-Wolves 11-7 but the Millers were putting together another impressive drive.
Yukon opened the second quarter by capping off an 87-yard drive with another touchdown scamper from Kenley, this one coming from 28-yards out. The Lucas extra-point was again successful and the Millers had taken their first lead of the 2017 season with a 14-11 edge with 11:27 left in the first half.
Norman North then took its next possession and drove deep inside Yukon territory, but it was the Miller defense that again bowed its neck and forced a 22-yard field goal from the Timberwolves that knotted the score at 14-14 with 8:22 left in the second quarter.
Yukon then went on their third-consecutive scoring drive but this time it was the Norman North defense that bowed its neck and forced the Millers into a 31-yard field goal attempt from Lucas, which sailed through the uprights making the score 17-14 with 3:06 remaining before halftime.
The Miller defense played stout on Norman North’s next possession and forced the T-Wolves into a quick three-and-out, which gave the ball back to the Yukon offense with a chance to go and score again.
Yukon went 25 yards in two plays, capped off with an eight-yard touchdown run from quarterback Perry Olsen and a successful extra-point from Lucas to give the Millers a 24-14 lead heading into the halftime locker room.
Norman North came out of the gate swinging to open the second half, as they went on a 54-yard touchdown drive followed by a successful extra-point attempt to cut Yukon’s lead to 24-21 with 9:58 remaining in the third quarter.
Yukon took its first possession of the second half down to the T-Wolves 36-yard line but the Millers fumbled the ball away and Norman North went on another scoring drive but this time the Yukon defense held strong and forced the Timberwolves into a 37-yard field, which tied the score at 24-24 with 4:41 left in the third quarter.
The Millers then responded with a 51-yard scoring drive of their own that was capped off with a two-yard touchdown run from Perry Olsen. Norman North roughed Lucas on the extra-point attempt, so Reed decided to roll the dice and attempt the two-point conversion to go up eight points instead of seven. Yukon was stopped short of the goal line and the Millers lead was 30-24 at the end of the third.
To open up the fourth quarter, Norman North went on a 65-yard touchdown drive and after a successful extra-point, the T-Wolves took a 31-30 lead over Yukon with 10:24 remaining in the game.
Yukon got the ball to midfield on its next possession but was stopped on a third-and-long and forced to punt the ball back to Norman North.
The T-Wolves got two first downs but with the ball on their own 31 yard line and facing a third-down and 13 with 3:05 remaining in the game, Yukon’s defense got the stop they needed and forced Norman North to punt the ball back to the Millers and that’s when the magic happened for Yukon.
“Our motto is ‘Fight, Finish, Faith,’” Reed said. “We fought for each other tonight. Our brotherhood came out and showed up for us. This was a huge stepping stone in our program.”