By TERRY GROOVER
It’s bedlam week.
Yukon and Mustang will lace up the shoulder pads and snap on their helmets this Friday for their annual Canadian County version of bedlam.
To say the two teams don’t like one another would be an understatement. Hate might not be a strong enough word.
But it will all come to a head at 7 p.m. when the lights come on in Bronco Stadium and the first whistle is blown.
Yukon’s stacked defense will be looking for a way to stop what Mustang coach Lee Blankenship is calling his PHAST offense.
As many people enjoyed Labor Day sitting by the pool or at the lake, the coaching staff for the Yukon Millers, along with their players, were on the field getting ready for the game.
Reed said he spent Sunday watching game film from the Broncos’ scrimmage Friday trying to get an idea of what his players would be going up against.
“I know the staff at Mustang has been preparing for us for a very long time,” Reed said.
The coach said looking at the film, it appears Mustang is better this year than last. They return a bulk of their starters from last year’s team, which he called very young. Among those are four of five offensive lineman along with the quarter back and running back.
“They return a lot of experience on the offensive side in contrast to last year when everyone was new,” he said.
Defensively, the Broncos also returns several starters.
“I definitely think they are playing good football,” he said. “We will have a great opponent to go against.”
Reed said he expects to the Broncos to operate out of a spread offense and to utilize both a running and passing game.
Defensively, they will be different.
“With a new staff, you don’t know what they will do. So, we’ll prepare and do what we do and see which team can do best on that side of the ball,” he said.
One area that Reed said will be a concern is keeping emotions in check.
“It’s a long week for those kids. … A lot of aniticpation, a lot of hype. Everywhere they go, someone is going to talk to them about the game. While they are here, we’ve got to keep them tempered down and focused on what really matters. That is us. We respect Mustang. We respect their staff … but ultimately we’ve got to take care of ourselves, be focused on what we do and do it at the highest level we can,” Reed said.
The coach said it is more important to focus on Yukon’s team than to put an emphasis on the opponent.
“We will try to keep them toned down a bit, but we know it is a fun and a big week for a kid playing in this game. It is pretty special,” he said.
Tickets for the Yukon-Mustang game are $7 each for anyone in kindergarten to 64. Tickets for those over 65 are $5. That is the same price it has been for the past few years.
More than 10,000 people are expected to fill Bronco Stadium for this year’s game. Officials warn those attending that Mustang Road is under construction and that drivers should plan for a little extra travel time through alternate routes.