YUKON — Todd Wilson wasn't going to drive down Rodney Dangerfield Boulevard. The Yukon football coach knows respect at the end of the season is far more valuable than respect at the beginning.
"I don't want to use the phrase, 'We don't get any respect,'" Wilson said after his Millers knocked off No. 6-ranked Mustang 43-28 Friday night. "But we were a playoff team, and we have a lot of kids back.
"The fact that we started out where we were (in preseason rankings) doesn't matter. It's where you end up."
Regardless of whether anyone was paying attention to Yukon before, they should take note of the Millers' commanding Class 6A victory Friday night before an overflow crowd of 10,000 or more at Miller Pride Stadium.
"We made a big statement," senior Kollin Retter said. "We went out there and hit them in the mouth. This is just the start of a great season."
Retter was one of three receivers to catch a touchdown pass from junior quarterback Corben Jones, with Jordan Edwards scoring twice. Jones finished 27 of 39 for 346 yards and rushed 14 times for 72 yards. His brother, Terry, had 120 yards and two touchdowns on 23 rushing attempts.
Defensively, Yukon held the Broncos' usually high-powered offense to 57 yards in the first half and 175 for the game.
The Millers won just about every aspect of the game, but none was more important than their offensive line.
"They were mauling them," Corben Jones said of the Millers' front five. "Everybody thought it was a question mark coming into the year to see if our line could match up, but they went above and beyond what everyone thought they were gonna do."
The Millers found success with the power run game, punctuated by Terry Jones' final carry of the night — a 12-yard touchdown in which he was nearly stopped at the 5. But he and his blockers kept driving the pile to tack on the final TD.
"We handled them better than anyone thought we would," senior tackle Travis Henning said. "We knew we'd be ready. It was just time to show it, and we did.
"I think people realize who we are now after this."
As for respect, the Millers should have a little now.
"We're not looking for respect," Corben Jones said. "We're just looking to win games. And along with winning games comes respect."