One of the most difficult things to do in sports is to come back to play after coming off the emotional high of a big win.
That is what Yukon is going to face at 7 p.m. Friday when the Millers host Moore at Miller Stadium in their final pre-district game.
“We had a great visit yesterday after our lifting session,” Yukon coach Jeremy Reed said. “We are going to find a lot out about our team’s maturity this week. We are saying the right things right now. Our leadership council gave a speech, but we won’t find out until the lights come on Friday.”
Reed acknowledged the significance of the win against Mustang for the Yukon students and the community, but doesn’t want his players to lose focus on what they have in front of them this week.
“This is uncharted territory for our players,” Reed said. “I always say you can’t go down a path until you have been down it before. I told our guys to rely on the coaches who have had the type of success we have had early in the season.”
Moore is coming off a season-opening loss to its rival Westmoore in the annual “Moore-War” game between the two schools. The Lions struggled on both sides of the ball against the Jaguars.
Reed said he expects to see a much-improved Moore team come Friday.
“They have quite a few good-looking athletes,” Reed said. “The quarterback is a good player. He can do a lot of different things for them. They have good complimentary players around him. They we will be a lot better than they were against Westmoore. We are both coming off rivalry games, so we have to be prepared for the best Moore team on Friday.”
Yukon’s defense has been the highlight of the season through the first two games. The Millers have yet to allow a single point to an opposing offense.
Reed said his defense’s success began back in off-season workouts.
“Our mindset defensively has completely changed,” Reed said. “We have a swagger to us. We started to develop that in the off-season. We challenged them mentally. They really controlled the game the other night. The offense went up and down the field, but we had some crazy miscues on that side of the ball. We have to eliminate those turnovers. Turnovers are always a concern. We need to learn from our mistakes.”
Reed also said he wants to see improvement in another area of the offense.
“We have got to get better with our quarterback-center exchange,” Reed said. “We have got to hold on to the football. We need to play a game without turnovers. Our execution is much better than it was last year, we just need to clean up the turnovers.”
Reed talked about playing in front of a sold out crowd Friday and his team staying focused on the task at hand and not worry about the big picture.
“It was an electric environment,” Reed said. “It was fun to coach in and I know our guys had a great time playing in it. Our mentality has to stay week-to-week. We are avoiding the big picture. Our focus is on Moore and no one else.”