EDMOND — With less than nine minutes to play, second-ranked Edmond North was one good punch away from being knocked out.
Trailing Yukon 33-24, and with all the momentum on the opposite sideline, the Huskies managed a turnaround, scoring the game's final 17 points for a 41-33 win Thursday night at Wantland Stadium.
“We just never had a sense of panic,” Edmond North coach Jeremy Dombek said. “I told the guys, if we're a great team, we'll find a way to win. And that's what happened.
“Those are questions you always have about your football team. That's a situation we haven't been in, and to see our kids respond in that fashion against a good football team says a lot. Now we've got to build on it.”
Late in the third quarter, Yukon scored on a 94-yard touchdown pass that was tipped, then bounced off another player's shoulder pad before Codey Sanchez grabbed it and ran the final 55 yards to score. Moments later, Chance Leggett came up with a diving interception and the Millers (1-5) appeared on their way to an upset.
But an Edmond North defense that had struggled to make a third-down stop for three quarters suddenly began stuffing plays at the line and creating turnovers. The offense that had been hit-and-miss in the second half found a groove with the power run game.
And suddenly, Edmond North was in total control.
“We had our backs against the wall,” linebacker Brock Byford said. “Once we saw that, we knew we had to play lights out, and that's what we did. We came through.”
Yukon quarterback Hayden Somerville threw for 355 yards, coming up with clutch plays, especially on third downs throughout the game. But when the momentum swung, he was in the Huskies' crosshairs. Edmond North caused a fumble on a quarterback sack, blocked a punt and intercepted a pass on three of Yukon's final four possessions.
“I put that all on our defensive line,” Byford said. “They were getting a lot of pressure. They played their butts off, and I'm proud of them.”
Defensive lineman Andrew Dixon came up with an interception of a Yukon screen pass that set up North's final touchdown.
Running backs Michael Farmer and Marque Depp posted identical second-half stats, each carrying the ball nine times for 57 yards and a touchdown, taking the pressure off the passing game that had carried the offense in the first half.
More than anything, Dombek was pleased to see his team fight its way out of a fourth-quarter deficit to remain undefeated at 6-0 heading into a road game at Norman North, which will have major implications on the district title race.
“We had a lot of adversity,” the coach said. “We fought through it and found a way to win. That's all that matters right now.”