For The Yukon Review
Landon Donoho is not built to watch football games from the sidelines. But that is exactly where he stood Sept. 27 as his Yukon squad took it on the chin against Norman High.
So when Donoho got back into the lineup last week, the Millers senior runningback wanted to seemingly make every play count.
With his team riding a three-game losing streak, Donoho helped lead Yukon to a 31-21 win over Edmond Santa Fe at Millers Stadium Friday.
“Tough loss against Norman. I really wish I could have been there for that. Glad I could be here this week to help,” Donoho said. “I think the key was just the love for one another, trusting in one another. Making sure everybody is doing their job. That’s all Yukon is about. I’m glad I’m here.”
Trailing by 10 points, ESF had the ball and was trying to drive down the field late in the game to cut into the deficit. With 2:02 left on the clock,
Wolves quarterback Jorgen Olsen heaved a pass down the right sideline toward a receiver.
However, it was Yukon defensive back Collin Grulkey who leapt up and snagged the interception and essentially ended the night as a celebration erupted on the sideline.
“I was just trying to close it out for the team,” Grulkey said. “Just do my job. I saw him go deep, and I was supposed to have him, so I got over the top. I saw the ball go up, and I knew I had to make a play.”
Yukon began the night on a high note when ESF fumbled the opening kickoff and the Millers recovered it on the 18-yard line. They had a chance to jump onto the scoreboard first.
However, YHS was unable to reach the end zone and settled on a Cody Watson field goal.
As Yukon lined up for a field goal, officials stopped the game due to lightning in the area. After a 50-minute delay, the game resumed.
Once it did, the Wolves struck quickly. Olsen scored on a 48-yard touchdown run to take a 7-3 advantage in the first quarter.
The Millers recovered another ESF fumble after the Wolves (3-2, 1-1) muffed the punt return midway through the first quarter. That led to a one-yard touchdown run.
However, Santa Fe stormed back and retook the lead on a Micah Snoddy TD run.
When Yukon got the ball back, they pounded the middle of the Wolves defense. Donoho was a battering ram that tenderized the middle of the Wolves defense, while Camron Farmer and Wesley Adams kept them off balance.
“My mindset was to just read my action keys, do my job right,” Donoho said, “and keep fighting for those extra yards. Get every little bit you can.”
Farmer scored from two yards out with 37 seconds left to put the Millers up 17-14.
Coming out of halftime, the Millers got the ball. They preceded to drive the ball down the field, and Brayden Dutton scored from the one-yard line. YHS found themselves leading 24-14.
On the ensuing ESF possession, Yukon’s Joe Wythe and Daxton Keese double-teamed for a sack on Olsen, which forced the Wolves to punt two plays later.
Yukon had the ball on the Wolves 28-yard line. Even though a field goal would have made it a 13 point advantage, Reed decided to go for it on fourth down.
Santa Fe got the stop and took over on downs. Two plays later Ethan Hyce sprinted 57 yards for a score and cut the YHS lead down to 24-21 with 9:48 left in the fourth quarter.
However, Dutton led the Millers (2-3, 1-1) on another long, time-consuming drive that ended with a touchdown to put Yukon up by 10
“That’s definitely one of the biggest wins since I’ve been at Yukon,” Yukon coach Jeremy Reed said. “I would say it and the Norman North win in year one are the biggest since I’ve been here. What a joy to watch these kids tonight.”