It has been two decades since the Yukon football program could say it was 4-0 to start a season.
The drought is over, as the Millers battled to beat a pesky Norman bunch 14-7 Thursday in the district opener for both teams.
Not only did Yukon move to 4-0, the Millers now sit at 1-0 in district play going into the toughest portion of their schedule.
“This was a great team victory tonight,” Yukon coach Jeremy Reed said. “The defense played phenomenal. We knew they were going to get some plays. They have some good players over there and they are well-coached.”
Thursday’s game was originally scheduled to be played Friday, but with the threat of inclement weather, the two schools decided to move the game to Thursday.
“This gives us a big momentum booster going into next week,” Yukon quarterback Jackson Young said. “They (Norman) are a good team. We didn’t win this game with talent. We had to use discipline, toughness and ball security and our defense played great.”
Neither team could get much going offensively early in the contest. They traded punts several times and the game was scoreless heading into the second quarter.
After Yukon was able to get Norman off the field for the second time, the Millers’ offense went to work. They went on a methodical 8-plus minute drive that went for 80 yards and was capped by a 14-yard touchdown pass from Young to Colton DeKinder on third and goal from the 14. Cody Watson was good with the point after attempt and Yukon led 7-0 with 1:47 remaining in the first half.
That would be the score going into the halftime locker room.
Norman came out of halftime swinging. The Tigers opened the third quarter with a 69-yard scoring drive that was capped by a 39-yard touchdown pass and a successful extra-point to tie the game at 7-7.
Yukon would again go on another long, methodical drive that would take up the rest of the quarter and leak into the fourth when Young went on a 2-yard quarterback sneak into the end zone followed by a Watson extra-point to give the Millers a 14-7 advantage with 11:57 remaining in the game.
Norman took its next possession and drove it to the Yukon two-yard-line, but the Millers forced a 22-yard field goal attempt that sailed left of the uprights.
Yukon took over at its own 20 with hopes of running the clock out. The Millers drove to midfield, but were then forced to punt.
The Tigers got their final shot with a little more than three minutes remaining, but Yukon’s defense stayed strong and forced an incomplete pass on fourth and long inside Norman’s territory. Yukon would get the ball back and run out the clock and seal its fourth win of the season.
“The game plan was to keep the ball away from them,” Reed said. We wanted to be patient and use the short side of the field a lot. We wanted to score a little more, but I am proud of the guys for going out there and executing.”
Up next, the Millers will face Edmond Santa Fe at 7 p.m. Sept. 28 in their first road test of the year. The Timberwolves are also unbeaten on the season at 4-0 (1-0).