Yukon’s run-heavy offense got a little spark from the air Friday as the Millers pummeled the Deer Creek Antlers 62-20 in a game that was not nearly as close as the final score indicated.
The Millers (1-1) rushed for more than 400 yards, which is typical of a Jeremy Reed-coached team.
However, Yukon also had a 68-yard scoring connection between Brayden Dutton and Caden Hernandez.
It was one of three touchdown passes thrown Friday by the Millers.
“I thought our offense played well, and our defense came back and played much, much better,” Reed said. “Everything we did in special teams was pretty good. It was a well-rounded night.”
Deer Creek got on the board first, taking its opening drive down the field in 11 plays. However, they got stymied at the Yukon-22 and was forced to settle for a 32-yard field goal.
The Millers responded with a score of their own after the Antlers’ kick went unreturned.
The Millers used nice runs from Makari Slaughter and Triston Brooks to drive the ball down to the six yardline, where Dutton drove the ball in.
With the extra point, Yukon was up 7-3.
The Millers’ defense found its legs in the second series, forcing a three-and-out for the Antlers.
The ensuing punt was shanked, and Yukon took over at the Deer Creek 45.
The Millers’ ground game continued to pummel Deer Creek’s defense, moving the ball to the Antlers 16 in just four plays.
Brooks took a pitch to the right and drove the final 16 yards to put Yukon up 14-3.
From there, Yukon never looked back.
The offense racked up 41 points in the first half, including a wide-open pass between Dutton and Colby Baker, that ended in the end zone.
The Millers’ defense also recovered a fumble and three interceptions on the night.
For most of the second half, Dutton, Hernandez and Slaughter never set foot on the field.
The offense was turned over to backup Logan Troxell and running backs Jakob Culbertson and Jesse Eakers.
Reed said he was pleased with his team’s performance.
“It was nice to come out and show some improvements in those areas we had talked about all week,” Reed said.
Asked about the team’s offensive performance, especially the passing game, Reed said it was something they have been working on.
“I’ve said a million times, it’s not that I don’t want to throw the ball, it’s that we have to be able to protect, throw it and catch it. Tonight, we were able to do those things really well. It sure helps when you can do that. It makes big plays, and really deflates a defense that is geared up to stop the run game,” he said.
As for the defense, which struggled the previous week against rival Mustang, the Yukon coach said the team played to the level that they were expected to.
“They got to be who they are. The game plan Mustang did the previous week was a good one, and that forced some changes,” he said. “It was good to learn from that and look at some things this week. It was fun to get to watch us run our actual defense.”
The Miller defense is expected to be tested again this week when they travel to Norman to face a Norman North team that beat Memorial 46-7 last Friday.