7-0 Jackets Head to District Crown Game

The Llano Yellowjackets fought off a very good Lago Vista team Friday night to take a 44-27 victory home and their 7th win in a row.  The Jackets began the game just fine.  Taking the kick-off, Llano had runs by senior Case Kuykendall, and senior Austin Hulon. And on second and 7, Case found junior Abel Prince for the 47 yard strike.  Diego Perez’s  extra point was good and the Jackets lead 7-0.

Not so fast though.  The Vikings came right back with their own score, and four plays later they too had scored. 7-7.

In his varsity debut, Sam Sueltenfuss took the Jacket kick-off and had a fine 26 yard return up to the 36 yard line.  But, three plays later, a Jacket interception got the ball rolling for the Vikings.  Only a saving tackle by senior Jared Beasley kept the run back from being a TD.  Two plays later the Vikings took the lead at 14-7.

Llano, not often this season playing from behind, still had kinks to work out.  Yet Case dropped back on the next possession and hit Jared with a perfect pass for a 45 yard gain down to the Vikings’ 20 yard line. 5 plays later, the Jackets settled for a Diego 21 yard field goal and the score was 14-10 Vikings.

The second quarter felt even more strange, as another interception gave the Vikings the ball and they scored in 6 plays and went ahead 21-10.  Llano needed a score.  Runs of 14 and 53 yards by Case put the ball on the Viking 10 yards line, where Abel carried it in on the first play with a 10 yard TD run.  21-17.

The Jacket defense held on the next set of downs.  Mason Baker, Lance Pierce, Cade Ligon, Hayden Manahan, Jaxson Rhea and Luke Keller were at their best.  No missed tackles. Held the Vikings on fourth and four and Llano took over.

Case for 1 yard.  Austin caught a Case pass for 12.  Case for 12 more.  Then a super effort by Austin, after catching a Case pass, went rambling for 4o yards down to the 6 yard line, where Case then threw to Maddox  for the score and the Jacket lead at halftime 24-21. WHEWWW!!!

While it seemed closer, the Jacket offense had run up 317 yards at halftime, to the Vikings 152.  The Jacket offensive line had opened just enough running lanes for Case, Austin, Abel and fullback Mason Baker  Plus pass blocked so that Case was not sacked.  Dalton Enberg, Matthew Whitley, Zach Watson, Ross Edwards and seniors Colin Mayes with Luke Hicks were  great.  Much help from  Trevor Cowan and Jesus Chacon helped the Jackets to the halftime lead.

The third quarter saw the Vikings come out determined.  Taking the kick-off and beginning on the 30 yard line, here came the Vikings.  Four yards, 11 yards on a pass, 17 more on a run, 7 more on a pass.  Three first downs.  But on a fourth down try, again the Jacket defense held and Llano had the ball.  Strong play on defense by Guillermo Davilla, Abel, Luke, and always great, safety Aiden Cuthbertson.  Tackles by sophomore Ricky de la Torre and senior Zane Toney-Fielding, Cade, Dillon Milum, and Anthony Ysais….team tackling was on the menue.

Llano’s ball.  7 yard pass to junior Maddox Green.  Then off to the races by Hulon.  Right up the middle with good blocking by Whitley and Dalton.  68 yards and the TD.  Now Jackets lead 31-21.     Next.  Jackets hold on three plays.  Ricky and Abel make key tackles.  Llano’s ball.  Case for 9 more on two carries.  And another great throw and catch.  67 yards from Case to Jared and the TD.  Diego good…38-21.  And the final score, Mason busted in from the one yard line to end the Jacket scoring with a 44-21 lead.

Back in the second quarter, Llano’s Case Kuykendall dropped back, threw a pass to Maddox Green, out in the flat.  Ball bounced.  Looked like an incomplete pass.  But was thrown backward.  It is like a pitch-out.  All relaxed.  Even the Viking defense. Streaking down field, Hulan.  Maddox throws a perfect strike and a 40 yard gain that leads to a score.

Something I have never seen.  Near end of third quarter.  On fourth down Coach Green sends Diego out to try a 37 yard field goal.  He kicks.  It is good….but wait…a 10 yard penalty on Lago Vista.  Llano elects to take the 3 points off the scoreboard.  Line up on the 11….10 yards by Case.  Mason scores. Wow…confidence….

Lance Pierce had another fumble recovery in the third quarter that lead to a Jacket score.

Three Yellowjackets had more than 100 yards total offense…Hulon, Beasley, and Case.  Case had a total of 385 yards offense, running and throwing.  Maddox had 6 catches for 49 yards, and the 40 pass to Austin.  Abel ran and caught passes. And played defense.  Diego was 6 for 6 on extra points and one field goal. And one very important tackle.

Hard fought win….One asked me if I were worried?  Let me tell you about worried…and maybe worried is not the right word.  Let’s use “concerned”….Concerned is when you are down by the score of 31-21 with 2:27 left in the game. (San Saba).  Who was concerned?

Well…the Bible says the Meek shall inherit the earth.  The Meek are unlikely to be concerned….yeh…their going to be in pretty good shape someday.  And one of my all-time favorites…Alfred E. Neiman.  Buck tooth, freckled face, tassled hair, taxie cab ears…”What, me Worry” guy.   So I put me lot with the Meek and Alfred.  Not worried…but at times “concerned”.

The real dark horse of 3AAA District 13 Division 1  is Blanco. Here they are playing for the District Championship against Llano.  Blanco is 6-1.  Played some good schools.  Have a State Championship hanging on the wall.  Have an experienced quarterback.  Good running backs….strong defense.  Llano is playing for the Championship.  What this team, these seniors have been thinking about since last November.  Can’t sleep on this very good Blanco team.  They are playing for the same marbles. Let’s make this Championship game one to remember.  Llano rolls to 8-0.

 

 

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Jackets 7-0, Lago Vista Tough Foe

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Jackets 6-0, Down Comfort 49-17

The Llano Yellowjackets downed the undefeated Comfort Bobcats Friday night in Jacket Stadium by the score of 49-17.  The 6-0 Bobcats were ranked in the top 20 in most polls in the State.

Comfort’s skills began at the beginning, as they took the opening kick-off and drove for 15 plays and gained 88 yards, running and passing against the Jackets.  3 penalties hurt the Bobcats, but a failed 37 yard field goal ended the drive, and Llano took over on the 20 yard line.

Four plays later, the Jackets were in the end zone.  A run by Austin Hulon, and a 28 yard run  by senior quarterback Case Kuykendall put the ball on the 50 yard line.  A 34 yard pass to senior Quincy Prince, set up the TD strike by Case to senior Jared Beasley for 16 yards.  Llano did not run another play in the quarter. Score 7-0.

Comfort began another drive, this one lasting 14 plays, and this time the Bobcats were successful on a 38 yard field goal. Score 7-3.

Llano began on the 42 yard line.  28 Yard pass to Beasley, a run by Austin, and then a 34 yard TD run by Case. Diego kicks good.  Llano has run 7 plays.  Score 14-3.

The Jacket defense was rough on the Bobcats.  Middle linebacker Mason Baker played sideline to sideline.  Senior Cade Ligon played in the Bobcats backfield, while senior lineman Guillermo Davilla anchored the line play.  Great linebacker play by sophomores Hayden Manahan, & Ricky de la Torre.

Sophomore Jaxson Rhea and senior Lance Pierce I guess play wherever they want to.  Making tackles all over the field.  Lance even picked off a failed pass in the third quarter for a TD.  This front four of Llano plays best against fast and quick players, like themselves.

Love the secondary.  Abel Prince and Luke Keller, with help from Hulon are so solid at cornerback.  And all great open field tacklers.  Bring forth safety play by senior Aiden Cuthbertson, Michael Silva, and Zane Toney-Fielding with Dillon Milum…strong bunch.  Aiden has about 6 tackles in the backfield this season. Don’t see that too often.  Defense is blessed with smart backups in Anthony Ysais, Trevor Cowan and Jake Self.

Mason, lining up in the backfield, scored from 15 yards out and Llano was ahead 21-3 at halftime.  Trevor Cowan caught a 15 yard pass from Case for a touchdown in the third quarter. Quincy also had a fun 16 yard end around run for a big first down in the third quarter..And Luke changed hats for a moment and made catching passes look easy, as he caught a pass from Case and scored from 25 yards out. 49-17. Jackets looked good.  Allowing the Bobcat quarterback to run back a kick-off for 98 yards was the one strange thing that happened.  So…Llano still is not perfect.  That’s’ why Llano still goes to practice everyday.

The Jacket offense rolls, but need to avoid any let down.  The line played great.  Dalton Enberg, Colin Mayes and Luke Hicks are playing like seniors.  Strong play still by Zach Watson, Matthew Whitley, sophomore Ross Edwards, plus Darrell Sandeford and Jesus Chacon…all play hard, and must keep getting better.  Love the play on offense of junior Maddox Green,  seniors Bode Gann and Jake Self.  All too play hard.  Nice to see Bode burst for a 25 yard TD run late.  He was not letting up…. And…Diego was 7 for 7 on extra points!!

Llano has now beaten three teams in a row that were undefeated.  San Saba, Ballinger, and Comfort.  Their combined records are now 15-3.  All three losses to the Jackets.

Lago Vista was picked by Texas Football to win our District.  Lago Vista beat Llano last year.  Llano should want to play the Vikings very bad.  Lago has always played Llano, in my opinion,  better than they were.  They will do the same Friday night in Lago.  Llano rolls to 7-0.

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Two Undefeated Teams Meet

This Friday night is special, due to both District teams come into the game with undefeated records. Comfort is 6-0 and will be looking for that big number 7. Llano at 5-0 too feels like answering the call.

It has been many years since the Jackets have played in such an important game. All know that Comfort has it sights on Llano. Blanco in our District also will be thinking they should have the inside track on October 23. And Pre-season District favorite Lago Vista on October 16 thinks they too will have the best shot at the Jackets playing on their home field. All today, think they will win the District.

Llano will win because I think the Jackets will have the best team. But the best team does not always win. Things like no turnovers, fewer penalties, and fewer dropped passes does win games. And most often, the blocking of the offensive line decide the contest. Llano’s offensive line is good. Come District play, this week, they must play better.

Seniors Dalton Enberg, Colin Mayes, Luke Hicks are leaders. Two year starter Matthew Whitley can be dominating. Junior Zach Watson is very sound. Young Sophomore Ross Edwards has gotten seasoned. Jesus Chacon, Darrell Sandeford provide strong backup. This core group of lineman will need to to play great against Comfort. Keeping your cool….concentration on snap counts, careful on being downfield are just a short list of things you need to be thinking about all week. Llano will win if this group plays great.

Mentioned it once before, but this is the third game in a row that the Jackets play an undefeated team. San Saba, Ballinger, and now Comfort. With the Somerset game being cancelled last week, I think maybe Coach Green knew his team. Maybe the week off will work out just fine.

I’ve gotten so superstious as I grow older…worrying about wearing the same Jacket shirts to the game. Parking near the same spot. I have a very old cow I was going to sale before football season began. Now at 5-0, I can’t sale her. She maybe carrying some of that luck. I now hope it is very cold weather before she goes to those green pastures above, but for now, she stays right where she is. If you were to drive past my home, and see and old gray cow enjoying the last days of a very long life, know that she too has a stake in this football season. Llano on to 6-0.

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Jacket Defense Blanks Bearcats

From most perspectives, the offense fuels the motor, that makes things goes. Great football teams play on both sides of the football. The Llano Yellowjackets now have a 5-0 record after taking down the # 14 2-AA Ballinger Bearcats at Jacket Stadium Friday night, 34-0. The defense showed up too.

The Jacket offense is averaging over 40 points per game. Great numbers on anyones scale. But the 55 points allowed in 5 games are numbers not seen since the days of defensive coordinator Karl McCormack’s days in the mid to late 1990s’. Under Head Coaches John Parchman, Leon Fueller, and later “Coach Mac”, the Jackets lead with defense. 25 years or so…ago.

I’ve have been saying since last year, few could match Llano’s linebackers. Middle linebacker Mason Baker, a starter for three years has been the leader of such a group. But with graduation, expectations could afford to be lessened. In steps not seen, sophomores Ricky de la Torre and Hayden Manahan lined up next to Mason, and a beat has not been missed. Put seniors Michael Silva in the mix with Anthony Ysalis and you have a tremendous group of linebackers. Then bring in sophomore Jackson Rhea on the defensive line. You would think that would be enough. But Jackson lines up with All District performers Cade Ligon and Guillermo Davila, both seniors. Insert also, senior Lance pierce, who leads the team in total tackles, and has two fumble recoveries and an interception. The line is aggressive and quick. Lined up with any combination of our front 7, you have the makings of …maybe…a great defense.

I said before, I love our secondary. Seniors Aiden Cuthbertson and Luke Keller. Newcomer but old hand and senior Austin Hulon make these seniors a fabalous group. Junior Abel Prince at the other cornerback put athletes at all four spots. All have interceptions this year. But Dillon Milum, a senior, is fighting for more playing time.

With Ballinger backed up on their own 6 yard line in the third quarter, the Bearcats quarterback broke the line of scrimmage. Off trying to get to the sidelines, but with great athletism, cornerback Luke Keller stayed out in front making the fleet quarterback to have to weave back in forth. But he made it to the sidelines. And from afar, came linebacker Dillon Milum out racing all to pull the runner down from behind, after a 74 yard run. No one knew Dillon was fast…too. But to put an end to any threat of a Bearcat score, three plays later, Dillon stepped in front of the of the Bearcat pass, and added an interception to his resume.

Just a mention, but so important. Going down on kick offs and covering punts sometimes is nothing but effort and hard work. Baker, Abel, Michael Silva, Ricky, And Zane Toney-Fielding along with the tackleing machine, Diego Perez, all had great effort on special teams.

The Jackets scored 34 points in the first half Friday. Case Kuykendall had is hand in all five Tds. Two runs, three passes. One to Maddox Green for 35 yards, after a one handed catch, and two by Quincy Prince. A 52 and a 32 yarders from Case. Llano slowed the ball game down after the half. Abel, senior Bode Gann, and Austin had their hands on the running game the second half. Senior Jake Self too got several carries. All sound players in the running game.

The Somerset game this week has been cancelled. If I were Somerset, I would not want to play Llano either.

Two weeks off. Jackets have several players that might can get well. Several just could use a break. The 5-0 Jackets still have a long road ahead. Comfort in our District is next, October 9 here in Llano. Comfort is 5-0. This will be the third week in a row that Llano plays an undefeated team. No one is going to be easy. Getting prepared mentally is just as important as physically being prepared. Fans too, can rest up. Saw Todd Keller before the San Saba game. Had his game face on, and was preparing for a good game. It paid off. We’re all in on this season. But a rest maybe good.

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Jackets Beat # 4 San Saba in Barnburner

The Llano Yellowjackets played in one of the most exciting games in the history of Jacket football Friday night. In the 2020 Homecoming Game, the Jackets played one of the top 3-AAA Div. II schools in the State. Ranked # 4 in the State, the Armadillos came in the contest having won 16 of their last 17 games. Harris Polling had put the “Dillos as a 4 point favorite.

If going down to the wire has any meaning, maybe this game is the poster child. With 2:27 left in the fourth quarter, San Saba had marched down to the Jacket 4 yard line, and kicked the field goal to go ahead 31 to 21.

On the kick-off Llano got the ball on the 40 yard line. Junior quarterback Maddox Green completed a pass for 6 yards to senior Trevor Cowan putting the Jackets with a fourth and 4 decision. Case Kuykendall came into the backfield, and ran for 16 yards and a first down. Then junior quarterback Maddox hit senior Quincy Prince for a 10 yard gain to the 28 yard line. Green again to Prince into the end zone and a catch that will be in every highlight film. 28 yard TD !! Interference by San Saba did not matter. Quincy came down with the football. Diego Perez kicked his fourth extra point of the game and the score was 31-28, San Saba.

Now…what to do….few choices. On side kick. 1:16 left in the game. Diego lined up. It had to be perfect. And perfect happens seldomly. On side kicks are practiced by everyone. Every team. So few times it works. Kick has to go 10 yards , but then not to be covered by the receiving team. The ball has to take a slow two bouncer, then it bounces high. Very high. About the 10 yard marker. That is when the opportunity comes when the kicking team can rush down and cover the ball before the receiving team pounces. Diego kicks…one bounce…two bounces…the the ball goes head high to all. And senior safety Aiden Cuthbertson comes flying down the field and up he goes and catches the ball and secures it for Llano. Perfect.

Llano’s ball on the 45 yard line. Case moves out wide. Two defenders move over to cover the player San Saba believes to be the one Maddox will go to. The Safety too takes a few steps over to Case’s side of the field. Maddox throws incomplete on first down. Second down, Maddox to senior Jared Beasley on a great sliding catch just pass the first down marker and out of bounds. Clock stops. Llano now has the ball on the 34 yard line. Maddox to Quincy for 10 more. First down on the 24.

Maddox scrambles, but with his eyes down field. Case is covered. But Quincy with one cornerback to get by goes to the middle of the field and Maddox fires. Quincy catches and drives pass defenders into the end zone. Touchdown!!! Diego kicks good. 35-31 score, with 44 seconds to play.

Llano kicks a scrib kick, and San Saba covers on the 30. But on first down, senior Lance Pierce breaks the Armadillos’ heart, as he steps in front of the San Saba receiver and intercepts to end threat with 4 seconds left. Llano is now 4-0. San Saba 3-1.

Llano’s win was a team effort if there ever was one. The offensive line blocked well enough (not perfect yet) to give Case and Maddox time to throw. Both quarterbacks ended the night 8 of 18 each. Case and Maddox have 15 TD passes between them for the season. Pretty good line blocking.

I think Llano coaches figured early two things. San Saba could do two things. They could run the football, and they could stop the run. Except for Cases’ runs of 16, 25 and 39 yard runs, Llano generated only 10 more yards running by Austin Hulon, Abel Prince, Bode Gann and Maddox, with 7 runs generating minus yards. Besides that, Hulon and Abel were needed badly on defense. Could not wear them out running against a very strong defense line.

San Saba had a tremendous running attack, with Sears and Shahan pounding the football. Both very large backs. Austin and Aiden from the safety positions were the last resort many times, and pulling these large ball carriers down was yeoman’s work…every play. Luke Keller and Abel at cornerbacks had just as hard a game. The line and linebackers had their hardest and maybe best games, but fighting the ‘Dillos offensive lineman too, was work against the big and strong ‘Dillos. San Saba had a great running attack Over 250 rushing for San Saba.

Senior middle linebacker Mason Baker, Guillermo, Cade, Lance, Hayden Manahan, Jackson Rhea, Hulon, Michael Silva, Ricky de la Torre, Trevor, Dillon Milum, and Zane Toney-Fielding played their hearts out. Tremendous effort, and everyone played their parts. But maybe no one more than Aiden Cuthbertson. This senior showed up to play.

No easy task against 14th ranked Ballinger this week at Jacket Stadium. Llano is 3-3 all time against the Bearcats. Ballinger was in Llano’s district a few years back. 1966 and 1967!! Just tough old West Texas kids. They are 4-0, and will also, give the Jackets all they can handle. No one said this was going to be easy. But the Jackets proved this week they could play with anyone. Proved it to themselves. The most important people in the room.

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Llano Pounds Dogs; San Saba Next

The 2020 LLano Yellowjackets jumped on host Bandera Friday night early, and never let up. The 52-0 win was a nice pay back from last season when a good Bulldog team beat a good Llano team. Llano moves on with a 3-0 record, playing the #4 ranked San Saba Armadillos in Jacket Stadium this Friday night.

The Jackets did their best to keep their cards close to the vest Friday night, not going early to Quincy Prince or Jared Beasley in the passing game. Senior quarterback Case Kuykendall guided his team with a rushing attack and only one pass attempt in the first quarter. Case scored first from 49 yards out on a scat-back patented run for a 7-0 lead after Diego Perez kicked his 12 consecutive extra point of the young season. There was but 2 minutes 14 seconds gone in the game.

Senior Austin Hulon continued his assault on defenses with his take no prisoners running style. But as the game progressed, junior Abel Prince took his turns, as did Junior Bode Gann, Mason Baker, and Jake Self. All ran hard. Case finished the game with 161 yards rushing.

Eventually we got to see the likes of Quincy taking a 25 yard TD pass from junior quarterback Maddox Green, and Case hitting fleeting wide receiver Jared Beasley for a 50 yard strike. The offense continued the attack. Bode ran a TD in from 17 yards out, and Austin went in from 4 yards in the second quarter. Mason Baker found the goal line in the third quarter. Diego had 4 Touch backs in the first three quarters. Such a blessed weapon. No kick off returns. Oh…and senior Trevor Cowan had his first varsity catch, a 22 yarder for a first down in the first quarter.

Concerns still exist. Junior Zach Watson, along with senior Luke Hicks were seen together on the bench while talking over their injuries. The offensive line still held up Senior center Dalton Enberg is the workhorse, as with fellow lineman Matthew Whitley and Sophomore Rose Edwards. Senior Colin Mayes gets better every game. Jesus Chacon and #68 ( I will find out who you are by next week ) also contributed. Everyone finding their roles.

I often spoken about roles. Loved seeing senior Zane Toney-Fielding get his chances at kicking extra points and kick-offs. He may not beat out Diego, but so good to know he his ready and available. Good job.

Special Team Plus Players: Aiden and Hayden! Great effort.

The defense is good. Very good. But a real test this week against a very good San Saba team. The Armidilloss are 16-1 over the past 17 games. But the cornerbacks of Luke Keller and Abel Prince look secure. Luke got his first interception this season, and decided to just go ahead and take it 45 yards for the TD. Great heads up play. Second week in a row the defense has scored. Odd statistic ….Defensive lineman Cade Ligon leads in the team in tackles, along with cornerback Abel Prince with 23 each. Guess no one told Cade he was a down lineman. And those under classmen!! Hayden Manahan (Sophomore), Jackson Rhea (Sophomore), and linebacker Ricky de la Torre( Sophomore) are superb. The leadership from the seniors still leads the parade. Mason, Lance, Michael Silva, Guillermo Davilla, Anthony Ysais are just getting better. Great leadership. And not to forget senior DB Dillon Milum. Having strong senior year. Still so many tackles made by Aiden Cuthbertson from the safety position. Austin Hulon getting playing time also at safety. I just love the shutout.

San Saba will be no Bandera. From all accounts, this team is for real. Quarterback Shahan is an athlete. His Grandfather, Keith Shahan was a spectacular athlete. I played against him from 1962 thru high school. Good athletic family. Their top defensive player, Logan Glover is a pre-season All-State pick. I think this is right, but let me know if not. Llano last played San Saba in 1995. Very bad blood here for many years. San Saba often beat Llano when Llano could least afford a lost. Llano beat San Saba many times when they were down,…badly. Stopped playing because such dislikes. I love the renewed contest. Great old rivalry, that needed to continue. This time, San Saba is not down. But a Jacket win sure could reignite the old flames.

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Jackets 2-0 After Trip to Sonora

The Llano Yellowjackets traveled 135 miles to Sonora Friday night and took a 41-8 contest. Llano scored in its’ first two possessions, had about 210 yards of offense in the first half, and scored its first defensive touchdown of the young season. With the win, Llano evened its over-all record against the Broncos to 6-6.

While Llano did not have the crisp feel of the game last week, a win is a win is a win. I also caught my self saying, ” we can’t expect perfection every week”. The Jackets are a good football team here in the second week of the season. But, soon I will mention, some of the players still are learning each others’ name. I exaggerate, and maybe it is me, but a long ways to go.

Playing away is usually considered harder than playing on ones home field. Coaches know that distraction can create mistakes. Even the smallest mistakes. It was early in last season, when Jacket receivers missed catching the football. I counted 5 touches when the five different receivers did not bring the football in. The smallest thing, from 5 of the best. Distractions.

55 years ago, Llano ISD started putting money in the budget to feed the football players before games, sometimes after the game. The Jackets went to a restaurant here in Llano named “Club Llano”. Every meal was a chicken fried steak and baked potato. I know for a fact, it was the first chicken fried steak many had ever eaten. Except for the occasional fried chicken, deer meat was on the menue…every day at home. It was my first time. Then when we went out of town, and ate at a restaurant, same menue. Chicken fried steak. Distractions. You have got to be aware of such menaces.

About the third game last season, the Jacket receivers found the formula. Catching the football with their hands, and not their bodies. Receiving changed over night. Prince and Case and Jared all became elite receivers. Catching high or low, it was with their hands extended, away from the out reach of defenders. Give offensive coordinator Coach Ryan Priem much credit. Thousands of passes in practice. It takes work. But it has worked. A passing attack over the last 14 games unmatched in school history.

I thought after last season, it would be awhile before Llano had such a tanacious running back as unanimous All District running back as Donaven Arellano. It took about 8 months. Llano has 4 or 5 very good running backs, and actually, some still in the making. But today, don’t get in the way of senior Austin Hulon. No hand tackleing that # 33. Once last night he was knocked backward in the backfield. Straight back at you Bronco, and must have run over 4 defenders before they took him down after a 15 yard gain. Nice blocking too, from Dalton Enberg, Matthew Whitley and Colin Mayes.

Roll playing is a key to success. Bode Gann can do so many things. Mason Baker, wow. Hope Coach Green doesn’t line him up a quarterback. Case and Maddox will have to move to the line. Abel Prince ran the ball. Quick, and fast. And to finish the offense, Quincy ( 2 TDs), Jared Beasley ( Beautiful eyes open catch for TD), Case, Maddox, and two TDs from Baker…all performed. Oh yea, Diego Perez 5 of 5 extra points, 11 for 11 on the season. So dependable.

The defense played good. Playing a team that only runs the football is tough. Sonora had a tough evening fighting off the likes of linebackers Hayden Manahan, Gann, Michael Silva, Ricky de la Torre, and senior Anthony Ysais. Senior Dillon Milum had a very good game. Senior Trevor Cowan had his best game on the varsity. Very strong effort. Sophomore Jackson Rhea and senior Lance Pierce are two folks no one wants to see in a dark alley. Tough young men. And Aiden Cuthbertson was sound at safety. With that Bronco running game, Cade Ligon and Guillermo Davila held their own in the middle of the line. Defense has allowed 24 points in two games. Two fumble recoveries Friday night, one by Jackson, and then “the scoop” TD by Mason.

Prediction: Gatesville fought hard against top 20 ranked Glen Rose Friday night, and were a 34 point underdog. Lost by 11. Look for the Hornets to win 4 games in that very tough 4AAA District….And Sonora will make the play-offs.

Llano has a 16-8 advantage over the history of playing Bandera. But in 2002 Llano played the Bulldogs at Bandera. With a Llano win against the 4-5 home team, the Jackets would make the playoffs. In a two over-time loss, Llano goes home. Bandera won the State Championship. The good 2019 Jacket team last season should have beat Bandera, but did not. Let some distraction happen on the way to Bandera, and bad things can happen. Not a team to go to sleep on. But great chicken fried steaks at Old Spanish Trail Restaurant.!!

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Jackets Sting Hornets 45-16 in Home Opener

The 2020 debut of the Llano Yellowjackets was a great success. On a game that began at 7:30 PM, and the temperature was a sizzling 100 degrees, and likely 20 degrees hotter down on the field, the Jackets took care of business. The win came near to evening our lifetime record against Gatesville to 4-5. records were challenged. And most important, help came in the form of new varsity players moving up, and making a difference.

I will start with the defense. Llano held the Hornets to 96 yards of total offense in the first half of play. Forced 5 punts, and allowed only one play over 20 yards. Old reliables played great. Up front, All District performers in 2019, Guillermo Davilla and Cade Ligon manhandled the trenches in the middle, often caving down the three interior lineman of the Hornets. What difference makers these two seniors are. But newcomer Lance Pierce brought home the most gold pieces, with 7 solo tackles and was in on 11 assets. Sophomore Jackson Rhea was strong on the other defensive end position. And, man are our linebackers active. Always lead by three year starter Mason Baker at middle linebacker…but with his tutelage, sophomore linebackers Ricky de la Torre and Hayden Manahan played well in their first varsity starts, and each had a QB sack. Senior Michael Silva is nothing but quick. Great varsity debut.

Really love the play of the secondary. Luke Keller just does not miss a tackle at cornerback. Had 6 solos all by himself outside on the edge. And junior Able Prince at the other corner had 3 solos, plus got his first varsity interception. Senior Aiden Cuthbertson lost his junior year to a bad injury. We got to see Friday night what the Jackets missed. Aiden is so solid at safety. Along with senior Austin Hulon at the other safety, Llano looks good down the middle.

Gatesville scored 16 points, but with a solid quarterback, and a very tough running back, take nothing away from the Hornets. I was impressed with their two successful swinging gate extra points. 2 pointers and both successful . Llano could run the same if ever needed, but when you have Jacket record holder and senior Diego Perez kicking extra points, why chance it? Diego was 6 of 6 extra points and a 28 yard field goal to go with his career totals.

The Jacket offense!! Llano had 413 yards passing. The school record was 405, by Cade Fly against Sonora in 2017. Llano completed 26 passes. So did Layton Rabb in 2012 against Boerne, the school record. The Jackets had 6 TD passes. Tied another record. And receiving yards by Jared Beasley (7 catches 167 yards) third best all time in a single game. Case Kuykendall ( 7 catches 105 yards). And school record holder in many spots, Quincy Prince two TDs and 73 yards. Maddox Green, Bode Gann, and Austin Hulon all had catches. The running game was fine, but best was 6 players carried the ball. Senior Jake Self, Gann, Green, Case, Austin Hulon, and Mason Baker taking his turn. Sophomore Miguel Hernandez ran hard, but went out with an injury. (Please get well).

I can’t decide what to do about this two quarterback system. I will need to make new categories in the record books. Junior Maddox Green and senior Kuykendall…each completed 13 passes. Each caught passes. Each ran the ball. Man, what a problem we have. Never would have dreamed this would work. Yet Case had nearly 400 yards of offense by himself. Lined up all over the field. You worry about relationships. Jealously. Conflicts. Who gets the credit? Well, I watched closely. These two players, and all the players were pulling for each other. Like a team.

When you have a special team, there has to be a special kinsmanship. There has to be more than just teammates. I’m talking special. Lots of teams have none of this. But the special ones do. Seniors make it happen. Seniors know this is their last chance. No more second chances. This team can be special. But it takes no egos with it. The 1970 team was that special team. 9-0-1. Co-District Champs. 7 players got the opportunity to play college football. And no egos.

But where I love to see a little fire power, and boostfulness? The guys that gave Maddox and Case and Jared, and Quincy the chance to make plays. The Jacket offensive line. These players know they have to get better every week, for Llano to be special. Lead by seniors Colin Mayes, Dalton Enberg, Luke Hicks (Hurt this week) and tight end Trevor Cowan. Two year starter Matthew Whitley, juniors Zach Watson, and Jesus Chacon, and sophomore Rose Edwards. These “mud hogs” can start with the 6 penalties. Need to lower that number. But still a good start.

Llano plays Sonora this week, @ Sonora. Great team with multiple State Championship banners. Llano is 5-6 all time against the Broncos. They are so tough on their home field. Llano will need every ounce to energy and smartness to win at Sonora. Let’s even that all time record to 6-6!

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BRING 2020 SEASON ON- Jackets Ready

The 2020 season is here. Everyone seems healthy, and did not appear any injuries came from the scrimmage last night with San Angelo Lakeview.

The Yellowjackets looked good in the scrimmage. I left after Llano scored its 6th TD, and the Chiefs had scored twice. Not to dwell long about the scrimmage, it is worth telling that the Jacket secondary looked good. Very sound tackling by all. Luke Keller is the lone returning starter from last year, and as a senior leads that group. The defensive line put good pressure on the Chief’s quarterback. Returning seniors and All-District Guillermo Davila and Unanimous All District Pick Cade Ligon head up this group. Jacket linebackers will be making a difference. Lead by two year starter Mason Baker at middle linebacker, with good help from Lance Pierce, Bode Gann, Anthony Ysais and senior Trevor Cowan.

Defense has changed. Alot. Going back 20 years when Yellowjacket defensive coordinator Karl McCormack was in Llano, his good defenses were allowing 10, 11, 12 points a game. I saw where Wimberley last season average allowing 26 per game. They were in the State Championship game. High powered offenses with zip like passing attacks have changed much of that. But I do believe the Jackets have an opportunity to be one of the best defenses in many many years.

Oh me..the offense. Where do I start/ Starters returning…Case Kuykendall, Quincy Prince, Jared Beasley…could be the best threesome anywhere….Luke Hicks, Matthew Whitley strong and solid offensive lineman….Other that will start or see plenty of action…Aiden Cuthbertson, Jake Self, Maddox Green, Dalton Enberg, Zack Watson and Colin Mayes. And what is that in our back pocket? No other than school record holder and 10 of 15 career field goals kicker, senior Diego Perez. His 77 of 83 career extra points is too a school record.

We can catch up on school records as the season goes on. But, records are only important at the end of the season, not the beginning. Llano has wished and dreamed about the day the UIL would move the Jackets into 3AAA…the classification where we play with schools closer to our own enrollment size. The Jackets play a solid schedule. And a very tough district schedule. But the season begins with 4AAAA Gatesville Friday night.

Playing Gatesville goes back many years. Our 3-5 all-time record needs to be improved on. I do think the last time Llano played Gatesville was 2000, the year the Hornets won the State Championship. They will be tough, and will have an attitude about playing a smaller school. This is no game to overlook. You talk about “trap” games? This is one.

I know Llano is ready, and Friday night is the test. Playing in Llano will be great for all. Talk to you after Friday night, when the Jackets up the over all record against Gatesville to 4-5.

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