YUKON — It was a wild shoot-out from the opening quarter, but early dominance by Yukon's offense was offset in the second half by a resurgent Stillwater team. Yukon's homecoming at its brand new stadium was spoiled Friday night as Stillwater trimmed the Millers 35-28 in a Class 6A football game.
The teams were tied 21-21 at halftime. Yukon quarterback Corben Jones passed for 110 and two touchdowns before the break, but the Millers' downfall included penalties and defensive busts.
Jesse Vester opened the third quarter with a 38-yard catch-and-run touchdown. He broke several tackles and did not stop carrying Yukon defenders until he reached the end zone. The conversion kick gave Stillwater a 28-21 lead.
“He came off and I said, ‘That's being a man right there.' He just absolutely took over on that play, and man … Holy cow,” Stillwater coach Tucker Barnard said. “He said, ‘I want to win. You know, I want to win.' That's really… It's a mentality change. They have to will themselves to do more than even they think they can do sometimes.”
Stillwater took a two-touchdown lead when Darian Williams caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Jerame Littell.
Yukon battled back to cut the lead in half when Austin Roberts scored from 3 yards.
Yukon (1-2) needed to convert an onside kick to give the team hope. But when the Millers failed, Stillwater needed only two runs and a victory formation to seal the game.
Stillwater is 2-1 this season. The Pioneers were 1-9 in 2010.
Littell added an 11-yard TD pass to Vester in the first half. After Yukon took a 14-7 lead, Vester returned a kick 76 yards for a TD. He followed several blocks before breaking free.
“In my head, I was pretty sure they weren't going to kick to me,” Vester said. “East Central didn't kick to me, Edmond Memorial didn't kick to me. So, I got my opportunity, and it parted like the Red Sea, so I did what I do best. I just ran as fast as I could, didn't let anyone catch me.”