YUKON — According to Andrew Dixon, the goals of the Edmond North defense are clearly defined.
“Shutout, no yards, just absolute dominating defense,” Dixon said.
With the first two goals in the tank less than three minutes into the game, Edmond North spent the next 45 minutes trying to achieve the third — and did a pretty good job of it, leading the way to a 20-9 win over Yukon at Miller Stadium on Thursday night.
Yukon kicked a field goal on its first possession, after a fumble gave the Millers the ball at the Edmond North 26. Yukon gained only five yards before Branden Brus' 38-yard kick made it 3-0, but that was more than enough to ignite the Huskies' defense.
“It built us up, put a fire in us for the rest of the game when they got that field goal,” Dixon said. “We had it in our mind that we were gonna come out here and get a shutout. That's what we focus on every game of the entire year.
“We want to lead the way for our offense to go get points.”
That's how it worked on a couple of occasions Thursday. Edmond North scored two second-quarter touchdowns, including an 80-yard pass from Stephen McClernon to Luke Rossi, with both scores coming after the defense forced turnovers on downs inside the Huskies' 30.
“Our defense steps it up when we need them,” Rossi said. “If we need to lean on them, we can anytime. When they're out there getting stops, it gets our momentum going. When our defense is on the field, we always feel like we're about to get the ball back.”
Yukon rushed 27 times for 34 yards, which includes a pair of crucial sacks when the Millers had driven to the Edmond North 15 early in the fourth quarter.
Yukon quarterback Hayden Somerville threw for 280 yards, but managed only one big play, hitting Caelan Groce for a 62-yard score in the second quarter.
On the other side, Edmond North's offense was efficient if not overpowering. McClernon threw for 207 yards on 14-of-19 passing, connecting with Rossi for two big plays.
The run game added 173 yards, with Richard McCauley providing a first-half burst. He had 57 yards on nine carries, but it was Ezel McIntee who helped the Huskies control the ball and the clock in the second half.
After accounting for one yard on five carries before halftime, he rushed nine times for 79 yards afterward.
“Ezel's coming along for us, and we really needed that spark,” first-year Edmond North coach Scott Burger said. “That's the Ezel I had been hearing about when I got the job. That's what's gonna put this offense over the top, with him running hard like that.”
Of course, it was field goal kicker Trevor Moore, a North Texas commit, who accounted for all of the Huskies' second half points. He narrowly missed a 47-yard kick late in the first half, but hit from 42 and 37 yards in the second.
The 42-yarder was into a strong south wind. When Burger called for the field goal, he said he could hear the voices behind him.
“It was like, ‘Field goal?'” Burger said with a smile. “I know what he can do. He's got a great leg. I had no doubt he was gonna make that.”
The win moves the Huskies to 3-0 in District 6A-4 play, tied with Norman North for the lead. Factoring in Midwest City's loss to Putnam City North on Thursday, the Oct. 18 meeting between Edmond North and Norman North will put the winner in a strong control of the district.