By MICHAEL KINNEY
For the Yukon Review
MOORE — Yukon traveled to Moore Thursday night looking to pick up its second win of the season. After a bad loss to rival Mustang the week before, they had plenty of incentive to play a much cleaner game.
However, the Millers mistakes hurt their chances of pulling out a victory as they fell 49-35 to the Lions at Moore Stadium.
“It’s a little bit frustrating,” Yukon coach Jeremy Reed said. “I liked the effort in the second half. We gave up eight points in the second half. Kind of shot ourselves in the foot. A lot.”
With less than two minutes left in the game, Yukon was knocking on Moore’s door.
Trailing by two touchdowns, they drove deep into Lions’ territory and were looking to make it a one-score game.
From the six-yard line, Caden Hernandez took a pitch from quarterback Levi Davis.
Hernandez bullied his way down to the one-yard line, giving the Millers a chance to score on the next play.
However, as the Lions were getting off Hernandez, he kicked one of the players.
Yukon was assessed a personal foul and pushed back 15 yards.
“Until we decide to grow up and be mature, we’re going to continue to get beat because of our undisciplined,” Reed said. “I don’t know what to say other than that is a selfish act.”
The next play, Davis just missed hitting Colton Phinny in the end zone for a touchdown. Two plays later, the Millers fumbled, and the Lions recovered the loose ball before running out the clock.
Yukon finished the day with 498 yards of offense. That included 463 yards on the ground.
Cameron Farmer led the charge with 128 yards on 14 carries. Hernandez added 101 yards, while Landon Donoho rushed for 90.
However, Yukon’s defense gave up 575 yards. MHS had a balanced attack of 267 yards on the ground and 297 through the air.
Wideout Brandon Girard caught 5 passes for 245 yards.
The start of the game was nearly a blur as both teams traded scores in the first quarter. Makari Slaughter, who ran through a defender at the goalline to start the second quarter, gave Yukon a 14-12 lead.
The Yukon defense couldn’t slow down the Moore offense in the first half.
They picked up two more touchdowns and the Millers found themselves trailing 26-14 with six minutes left I the half.
It looked like the Lions were on the verge of going up by three touchdowns late in the half, but Nate Hahn came up with an interception in the end zone to end the threat.
Unfortunately for the Millers, that wasn’t the end of the scoring. Instead of just taking a knee and running out the clock, Yukon attempted to run its offense deep in their own territory. With under 10 seconds left Donoho fumbled for the second time.
This time Moore was able to snag it out of the air and return it for a score. Moore held a 41-21 halftime advantage.
Yukon took the opening possession of the second half and drove 80 yards in 13 plays before Slaughter scored off the right side. The deficit was closed to 41-28.
After the Yukon defense forced Moore to punt, the Millers got the ball back on their own 3-yard line.
During the ensuing drive, Slaughter was gang tackled and laid motionless on the ground for more than 20 minutes. He was put on a stretcher then carted off the field to an awaiting ambulance.
Without Slaughter, the Millers had to find others to step up. That included Isaiah Butler who caught the Miller’s first pass of the night two plays later.
Donoho finished the drive with a short TD run and cut the deficit to 41-35 with 7:15 left in the game.
“We had a chance,” Reed said. “But we have a long way to go.”
Yukon has next week off before district play begins in two weeks at Norman.