Yukon senior quarterback Jackson Young was short and sweet when talking about the Millers’ showdown with Mustang at 7 p.m. Friday at Miller Stadium.
“We’ve had enough,” Young said. “We need to play with a chip on our shoulder. Words can’t describe what we feel. We are tired of this series being lopsided.”
The lopsided series Young refers to is the past four years in the Canadian County Bedlam showdown. The Broncos have owned this series, winning the last four match ups in blowout fashion.
“This is a huge game in this part of the world,” Yukon coach Jeremy Reed said. “I believe this rivalry is in the top five in the state when it comes to rivalry games. It’s a big deal. Right now, we are on the losing end of that. It’s not a fun side to be on. They’ve owned this series and it really hasn’t been close, not even competitive.”
For the first time in decades, Yukon decided to open its season against someone other than Mustang. The Millers hosted Edmond North in a Week Zero meeting last Friday and beat the Huskies 28-0 in a dominating defensive performance.
“The defense dominated,” Reed said. “Special teams was very good. We only had 35 snaps on offense, which is about half of what we normally get. It was an unusual game. We lost four possessions because of two special teams scores, a pick six by the defense and a fumble on the first play of the game. It was hard for us to get in rhythm and when we did, we just didn’t play as crisp as we play in practice. We expect it to be different this week.”
Reed added that having a game under their belt will help the Millers this week against Mustang.
“We are where we want to be with playing that first game last week,” he said. “We wanted to play and get some of those first-game struggles out. We believe getting the game reps will benefit us and help us to clean some things up.”
Mustang comes into Friday’s contest without having played a Zero Week game. The Broncos had two scrimmages in the preseason. The first was at Bixby and the second was their own scrimmage at the Bronco Pigksin Preview.
Mustang will get to test its offensive system under new offensive coordinator Aso Pogi. Pogi will bring a fast-paced, up-tempo offense to the Broncos.
Reed said this year’s version of Mustang looks no different than previous Bronco teams.
“It’s a typical Mustang team,” he said. “They are good on defense. They run to the ball and are physical. The offense is breaking in a new quarterback and several new offensive lineman but they will be able to get the job done.
Every offensive possession will be crucial. The team who can execute and has the least amount of mistakes will have the best chance to win.”
One of the things that makes Yukon/Mustang one of the better rivalries in the state is the atmosphere it creates.
Neither Bronco Stadium nor Miller Stadium have the seating capacity to hold the number of people who flock to this game.
“We expect standing room only,” Reed said “It’s a big thing for a kid to get to play in this environment. We expect it to be electric. This isn’t a friendly rivalry. There is a lot of bad blood, not a peaceful rivalry. It gets pretty heated.”
One of the dangers with this game is the aftermath for each team. Reed said he has tried to instill into his players that regardless of the outcome of this game, they still have to focus on the rest of the season.
“This is a big game,” he said. “We want to win this game because it is a rivalry game, but we can’t build it up too much.”
With such a dominating performance against Edmond North last week, Reed said the front seven of his defense will have to be careful to not expect that level of outcome every week.
“It was as dominating of a performance as I have seen,” he said. “We have to be careful to not expect that against every opponent. We have to understand that this is football and plays are going to happen, touchdowns are going to happen. People are going to score and just because they do, doesn’t mean we are all of the sudden a bad defense. It’s rare to shutout anyone in this era of football.”
Tickets for the Yukon/Mustang game are $7 for everyone other than senior citizens, who pay $5. This will be the only game of the season Yukon will charge $7. Mustang charged $7 last year when the game was played at Bronco Stadium.