YUKON — Everything seems to be changing at Yukon.
New head coach Bill Young, who has spent more than three decades at the top level of college football, and briefly in the NFL, is installing a new defensive system.
And Brian Sauser, a former head coach at a couple of Iowa high schools, is bringing a different offensive scheme to Yukon.
So the learning curve has made for some tough August practices at Miller Stadium.
“We’re a long way from being a good football team,” Young said. “Our players and coaches are all working extremely hard, but we’ve got a long way to go right now.”
Sauser is putting in an offense that uses no-huddle and shotgun principles similar to what the Millers have run in the past, but he is more focused on one- and two-tight end sets that benefit the run game.
It seems like a perfect marriage, considering Yukon’s offensive strengths this season are at running back and offensive line.
Shane Block, a 6-foot-5, 275-pound offensive tackle who has a scholarship offer from North Texas, anchors the front along with Tyler Stilwell (6-3, 265).
A trio of running backs will get their chance to carry the ball, and all three have varsity experience. Hunter Sconce and Caleb Davis were useful backs last year, while Morgan Neal rushed for 1,600 yards at Tuttle.
“We’ll definitely be a run-first team, but we want to play fast,” Sauser said. “We try to be as diverse as we can, but in a way that’s simple for our kids to learn.
“We want to formation people to death, but run five or six basic plays.”
Christian Gordon steps into the starting quarterback role, and can provide dual-threat capabilities.
“He’s got good speed, a smart kid,” Sauser said. “He’s done a really good job managing the offense. He understands things really quickly, which helps.”
Cooper Stanley, Ryan Andraszek, Hunter Blanchard and Noah Gillett anchor the Millers’ front seven, while safety Tucker Doyle (6-2, 200) provides a big body on the back end.
“One of our issues is that we have so many guys playing two ways,” Young said. “If our success is going to be based on anything, it’ll be based on us developing a two-deep, because guys at this level just can’t play a whole game both ways.”