Yukon coach Jeremy Reed knows two things about the Norman Tigers — they are better than many teams expected and they have some very talented players.
The Tigers are next up for the Yukon Millers, who enter district play with a 2-1 record.
The Millers defeated Norman North last week 41-24 while the Tigers will enter the game 0-1 after losing in overtime to the Mustang Broncos.
It was the Tigers’ first game after being sidelined the first two weeks by the coronavirus pandemic.
“They have been quarantined,” Reed said.
“They did that with only two practices.”
“That” was taking the Broncos to overtime and nearly pulling off the road upset.
This week, Reed expects the Tigers to be prepared for battle because they will have had a full week to practice and three game films from the Millers to review.
Of course, there is no secret to what Yukon will do — pound the ball.
Yukon is averaging more than 400 yards on the ground through three games, and Reed said that is not going to change.
Led by four running backs who can drive the ball up the middle and a quarterback who isn’t afraid to take the hit, Yukon plans to force themselves on their opponents.
The Tigers mix up their offense.
They are led by a sophomore quarterback and have a Division I receiver in their ranks.
Wide receiver Jaden Bray is a 6-3, 190-pound senior who is an Oklahoma State University commit.
“They try to get him the ball a bunch,” Reed said.
Quarterback Tias McClarty made his debut during the Mustang game.
He connected on 10 of 18 passes and scored two touchdowns.
McClarity also ran 17 times for 108 yards.
“Things are looking up for the Tigers,” Reed said.
The coach said he expects Yukon to continue to have success, but first the team must avoid the issues it has had the last three trips to Norman — early turnovers.
Defensively, the Tigers are similar to what they have been in the past, the coach said.
They return four from last year’s squad and will move to the ball well, Reed said.
Reed’s team made a strong comeback after falling behind last week to Norman North. He said that should help the team’s confidence going into this week’s game.
“Being successful on both sides of the ball and facing being behind. We’ve seen several scenarios to help us get ready for games that matter the most,” Reed said.
Most important, he said, is the fact that his team has learned how to react on the road.
“It’s a moment you can point back to. We know we are not going to panic or play with less energy,” he said.
As for his plans, Reed said to expect the Millers to continue doing what they do.
“We’re pretty boring with what we do. We do the same things over and over. We’ll determine where we choose to adapt. For us, it is wait and see on the run,” he said.