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Yukon looks to ground Norman’s high-flying offense

Yukon’s offensive line will look to help sustain drives this Friday when the Millers travel to Norman to open district play. Yukon is coming off a bye week and will face a team that coach Jeremy Reed says may be one of the best in the district. Photo / Terry Groover

Despite having perennial powerhouses like Jenks and Broken Arrow on its schedule, Yukon coach Jeremy Reed said his team’s opponent this week could be the best they face all year.
The Millers, who are coming off a bye week, travel to Norman on Friday to meet the Tigers, who are entering the game undefeated behind the passing attack of OU recruit Cade Horton.
Horton will lead the Tigers’ run-and-gun offense after completing 23-of-33 passes last Thursday against Moore in a 50-28 win that Reed said was closer than the score shows.
Horton’s favorite receiver last week was Andrew Young, who had three touchdown receptions for 126 yards.
Reed said, “They are the best offense we’ve seen, and could be the best offense we see all year. They’ve got a great quarterback and multiple options at receiver.”
Those receivers, he said, make great catches week-in and week-out.
“They aren’t highlight reel catches, because they do it every week,” he said.
In addition, the Tigers have a solid offensive line to protect Horton.
“They don’t really have a weakness on the offensive side of the ball,” Reed said.
Meanwhile, on defense, the Tigers return the bulk of their starters from last year’s team.
“They return a lot of players from last year, and they run to the ball. They have a lot of speed on the field. Weightwise, they are a little undersized, but play with great speed,” he said.
Reed also said the seniors on the Norman team won the conference championship as freshmen.
“We are going to go there and see one of the best teams in the district right off the bat,” he said.
Yukon (1-2) had an extra week to prepare for this Friday’s game.
That was a good thing, Reed said, because it gave the team an opportunity to clean up some concerns and to allow the team to heal.
“We accomplished what we wanted to during the bye week. We had some kids who need to heal up. It was a well-timed bye week for us,” he said. “Now, it’s ‘go time,’ getting into district play.”
Yukon’s defense has been susceptible to big plays from opponents. Reed said that is one area he hopes to see improvement in.
“They (Norman) have not had a problem scoring … at all. When you’ve got all those weapons and you are efficient, that’s what you do. You score a lot of points,” Reed said.
One way to combat that, Reed said, is for Yukon to sustain drives — and that capability is there.
Yukon’s focus has been more on the run game than passing.
Fans can expect more of that this week.
Last year, Yukon faced a similar Norman team and came out on top of a low-scoring, 14-7, game.
But to do that again, Yukon’s defense will need to step up.
“We’ve got to be better on our base fundamentals. This group is going to put pressure on every single position to be better. We’ve got to be better. That’s all there is to it. That was our goal last week in our bye week, and continues to be our message,” he said.
The team is prepared, Reed said.
“They understand where we are at, where we need to get to and how to get there. It’s a matter of putting four quarters of football together,” Reed said.
Game time Friday is 7 p.m.

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