For the first time in at least four years, the Yukon Millers will hit the field in a scrimmage at Miller Stadium.
The Millers abandoned plans to travel to Stillwater this Friday to participate in a multi-team scrimmage, and instead will turn their focus to Class 5A powerhouse Bishop McGuiness, who will visit Miller Stadium.
“This is new territory,” said fourth-year head coach Jeremy Reed.
The decision to switch from the Stillwater scrimmage to hosting a scrimmage had much to do with the coronavirus pandemic.
“I talked with (athletic director) Mike Clark specifically about going to Stillwater. We love going there and look forward to it. I am a fan of seeing multiple teams and offenses, but it’s not worth the risk,” he said.
The main concern is putting players on a bus for a lengthy trip without knowing if an athlete they played against might have been exposed to the virus.
An exposure could put games in jeopardy.
“We made the decision not to go there,” Reed said.
At about the same time, Yukon’s head coach got a call from Bishop McGuiness about potentially scrimmaging.
“We agreed there were ways to scrimmage at Yukon,” Reed said.
The coach said he is looking forward to seeing what his team might have to offer.
“My first concern is completely Yukon. … We’re going to accomplish what we need to accomplish. We will get to see how they react when aren’t out there telling them what to do,” Reed said.
It will be the team’s first interaction with an opponent who isn’t a teammate since last November.
The junior varsity will hit the field first for two 10-play series of defense versus offense and a four-play series on both sides of the ball to finish. In all, there will be about 40 plays, Reed said.
The varsity squad will begin about 7:15 p.m.
With two series of 10 plays each of offense and defense for both the first and second teams.
Then, there will be a 12-minute running clock.
Reed said special teams will also participate, although it will be a dead-ball situation, meaning there won’t be any returns.
The idea is to provide a “game-like” situation for the team.
“We’re not looking to break any records on our first scrimmage,” Reed said.
The Millers return the bulk of its starters from last year, and for the first time in four years, Reed has a returning starter at quarterback in Brayden Dutton.
Dutton, who is only a junior, played an integral role in Yukon’s powerful ground attack last year.
“I am very eager to see our kids compete against an opponent. They want to do that and are looking forward to doing that,” Reed said.
The coach said he is looking for execution on both sides of the ball.
“We are so detail-
oriented, especially in our O-line and skill positions. We want to see the ball carriers protecting the football,” Reed said.
Defensively, the focus will be on how well the team tackles.
“We want to see them in all situations. How are they executing different things with different schemes,” he said.
But don’t expect to see any surprises at the scrimmage. Reed said it will be mostly base material.
The goal is to see what areas need work before the Ada Cougars come to visit in another scrimmage on Aug. 28.
Friday’s scrimmage is open to the public. However, those attending are asked to wear a mask. In addition, fans should plan on having their temperature taken.
The district also has marked off bleachers for social distancing.