MIDWEST CITY — In Yukon's 42-17 pasting of Midwest City on Thursday night, the biggest play of the game was made in the waning seconds of the first half by a sophomore defensive back for the Millers.
Yukon jumped to a 21-7 lead in the second quarter, but Midwest City was rallying. The Bombers had already scored once to cut the deficit to one touchdown, and it appeared they were about to score again, facing second and three on the Yukon 18.
Instead, Yukon's Tucker Doyle picked off an errant pass from Midwest City quarterback Cedric Fair in the end zone and returned it 100 yards for a Millers' touchdown.
What looked to be a tie game at halftime suddenly became a 28-14 Yukon advantage in the locker room.
Yukon then dominated the second half of the District 6A-4 showdown. The Millers cleared a big hurdle toward making the playoffs, while the Bombers' playoff chances are now in peril.
“It gave us a lot of momentum,” Yukon coach Todd Wilson said. “It was a huge play.”
Yukon running back A.J. West said the Millers' locker room was elated at halftime because of Doyle's interception return.
“We were all hyped up and were ready to go,” he said. “It was a big momentum swing for us.”
Doyle said he fell back in the Millers' zone defense, reading the quarterback's eyes.
“I read him the whole way,” Doyle said. “I just dropped back in my coverage and I only saw one guy in my zone.
“I saw him staring him down so I just broke on the pass. I had some good blocks on the interception and I got to take it to the house.”
Doyle sprinted to the Bomber sideline and raced untouched to the end zone.
“I just saw it open up and was trying not to get caught,” he said.
The Bombers still had chances in the third quarter. They opened the third period with a 12-play drive that stalled at the Yukon 3.
On the drive, the Bombers overcame a third and 25 when Fair scrambled 39 yards and a fourth and 12 when Fair connected on a 27-yard pass to Cornell Neal.
But Midwest City settled on kicking a 20-yard field goal on fourth and goal after reaching the Millers' 3.
With the Bombers trailing 28-17, Midwest City's Connor Kinsey then intercepted his second pass of the game on the very next play from scrimmage, setting up the Bombers at the Yukon 16.
But on fourth and one from the Millers 7, Fair was stopped short of a first down. Three plays later, West broke the Bombers' back with an 81-yard touchdown run.
“I saw they had the right side overloaded and I figured there would be a cutback,” West said. “The linebacker came in and I cut it back and there was a good hole.”
West finished the night with 15 carries for 149 yards and two touchdowns. Yukon quarterback Hayden Somerville connected on two touchdown passes to Codey Sanchez for the Millers' first two scores. Yukon's defense held the Bombers to only 97 yards rushing.
Neal had six catches for 151 yards for the Bombers, including a 40-yard touchdown on a screen pass where he broke several tackles.
Zac Brannon had six receptions for 113 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown grab from Fair for the Bombers' first score.
The win improves Yukon to 3-2 in district play and 3-5 on the season. Midwest City falls to 2-3 in district play and 2-6 on the season.
Doyle called the victory a must-win if the Millers are going to make the playoffs.
“This was like punching the ticket to go to the playoffs,” Doyle said.