12-0 Yellowjackets- On to Regional Finals

The LlanoYellowjackets are 12-0, best in school history.  Now on to the Regional Finals.  Only 8 schools remain in Class 3-AAA, Division 1.  Llano has never played four games deep in the State Playoffs.   The victory at Gupton Stadium in Leander over 11-1 Jourdanton was not easily won.  The Indians were the District Champions in District 14, and were averaging nearly 50 points a game.  A polished passing team, the Indians threw the ball 41 times.  But four interceptions by the Jacket defense took away any hope of coming back on the Jackets late in the game. The 31-14 final score has Llano at 3-0 in the State Playoffs.

When you talk about these Yellowjackets, you talk about real live stars.  Seniors Case Kuykendall, Jared Beasley, Austin Hulon, and the incomparable wide receiver Quincy Prince.  Seniors like Jake Self, and H-back Trevor Cowan along with near perfect kicker Diego Perez, you have the headliners. Junior Maddox Green comes in so often to make great plays with his catches. Injured Bode Gann hopes to return, and Miguel Hernandez is a great back up. All so talented… all play 100% no matter it being in the first quarter, or the last play.  That is how you win at this level.  Throw in maybe one of the best offensive lines of the past decade:  Seniors Dalton Enberg, Colin Mayes, & Luke Hicks anchor this unhearlded group.  Juniors Matthew Whitley, Zach Watson, Jesus Chacon, and sophomore Ross Edwards quietly doing their job.  Only two penalties by these “mud-hogs” in the last two games, against very talented teams.  The offense has averaged 43.8 points a game this year.

The days of high powered offenses is here. Jackets defenders average allowing a bit over 15 points a game is not good…it is very good by the defense.  But the most important statistic to me is the second half of games.  This defense has allowed only 6 points a game after half-time.  Not even asking…this team has been in so much better condition that everyone we have played in the second half.  One Jacket parent pointed out, if you want to get to Llano, you had better do it in the first half.  It has been lights out in the third and fourth quarter.  The Jackets four interceptions Friday night was nothing but heads up play.  Paying attention, and also learning the tendencies from the first half.  I only suspect adjustments are being made at halftime!

Abel Prince (2), Aiden Cuthbertson and Luke Keller pulled down the interceptions. Austin playing lights out from his safety position.   The linebacking crew…wow…sophomores Ricky de la Torre and Hayden Manahan lead the team in totals.  Senior Mason Baker in the middle is the boss on the field.  Even my wife Kay saw several times as Mason was shouting out “instructions.”  She asked “what was he saying?  You don’t need to know!”  The play of Daniel Sandaval, Anthoney Ysais , Zane Toney-Fielding and Dillon Milum round out a very tough group of players. Sam Sueltenfuss, Carson Kuykendall and Cole Franklin have moved up to help.  But no one wonders about the Jacket defensive line.  Sophomore Jaxon Rhea makes plays you would expect from a seasoned veteran.  I’ve mentioned before the Swiss Pocket knife that Lance Pierce has become.  Can’t label him anything but terrific.  But the other two are getting to be household names.  Senior Guillermo Davilla, All-District the past two years holds down the middle…taking on the biggest and strongest…on every play…so tough. And there has not been anyone like senior Cade Ligon…not even 200 pounds…but runs with wheels  like a race horse…from his defensive line position…7 sacks on the great Jourdanton quarterback Friday night.  7!!  Have never heard of such a thing.  And maybe one reason Cade has that extra gear is number one he is in such great condition, and he has 10 others players all doing their job every play so to free the defensive end to wreak havoc….this defense can be a dangerous bunch.

Yeellowjacket Coaches:  All doing such sound jobs.  Adjustments….encouraging…teaching on the sidelines…have seen all this…oh yea, and someone has got this team in shape to play in the fourth quarter…have never doubted a play call this season…pretty unusual for me…thanks to all.

Saying great things about these players will not make a heal of beans to Lago Vista.  Better to put the accolades and trophies away.  Lago Vista will play their best game, maybe in history to beat the Jackets this Friday night.  Call it revenge from the 44-27 lost in District play with Llano.  So, do not think that defensive coordinator Bradly Kassell at Lago Vista won’t pull out all stops.  Bradley was the Jacket quarterback in 1997 when Llano last won 11 games.  He wants to stop this Yellowjacket train.

Lago Vista runs the football, with a great quarterback in Adrian Hernandez.  In the first game Lago ran the football 43 times and passed 20 times. They never gave up, and had 8 first downs in the fourth quarter.  Lago lead at the end of the first quarter 14-10. Only when senior Aiden Cuthbertson ended the threat with a fourth quarter interception were Llano fans able to sit down.

I actually thought several weeks ago we might be playing the Vikings again.  And here we are.  I knew they were one of the best teams Llano had played all year.  And the same measuring cup will be used this week.  Who would I rather play?  Lago Vista or Llano?   Uncharted territory?  Don’t think so.  These Jacket seniors have been winning since the 7th grade. This is what the 20 seniors have all been dreaming about. Jackets roll to # 13.

 

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11-0 Jackets Pound Lyford, on to Regional

The Llano Yellowjackets found Beeville a good place to play a football game.  In the Area game Friday night,  Llano played a very sound football team in the Lyford Bulldogs.  Lyford threw the football over 40 times against Llano, the most by any team this season.  Llano on the other hand, threw the football the fewest times it has all season.  The 7 of 11 passing by senior quarterback Case Kuykendall for 129 yards was efficient.  And enough.

Rather do a play by play blow of the Lyford game, will go a little faster for some of you.

Lyford knew they might be outmanned, and thus did an on-side kick to the Jackets opening  the game and Llano recovered.  With a short field, the Jackets opened with senior Austin Hulon gaining 8 yards from his I-Back position. Case for 6, a 15 yard penalty by the Bulldogs. A fumble by Llano, and the Lyford offense set up on the 22 yard line.  Lyford ran twice, and passed 6 times, and on the seventh pass, Austin from his safety position intercepted and ran the ball back to the Lyford 38 yard line.  Abel Prince now at the running back position, ran for 21 yards, 2 two yards, 8 more yards and the final 5 for the Jackets first TD.  Senior Diego Perez  kicked true (as always) and the score was 7-0 Llano with 6:05 left in the quarter.

The teams exchanged punts on the next series, with the Jacket defense getting the Bulldogs quarterback for a 22 yard lose.  Luke Keller, Mason Baker, Lance Pierce, Cade Ligon and Guillermo Davilla were the mischief makers.

After another Jacket defensive stop, Llano scored before the end of the quarter in three plays.  Case hit Quincy Prince for a 20 yard gain down to the 35 yard line.  Again Case to Quincy for 17 more.  And  Case takes it the final 18 yards for the TD.  Llano 14, Lyford 0. Line blocking was solid.  Zach Watson and Matthew Whitley, both juniors , and sophomore Ross Edwards are just plain good.  Senior Trevor Cowan lining up often at the tight end position is a very good blocker.  Case and Austin and Abel think so too!!

The Bulldogs then showed why they are in the Area play offs.  The Bulldogs ran for twenty, and then completed a 13 yard pass.  Still good energy from the Jackets.  Sophomore linebackers  Ricky de la Torre and Hayden Manahan both made several stops.  But on third down and 12, the Bulldogs scored.  14-8.

The Jackets had a poor series, yet Abel caught an eight yard pass, and Quincy caught a pass for 14 more.  The Bulldogs drove for 6 plays, but Mason, Ricky and senior Michael Silva made stops.  Then Abel pounced on a loose football and Llano was set up on the 24 yard line.  Case ran twice for 8 yards.  Abel for 2.   Case then broke loose for a patented “Kuykendall” run of 33 yards, down to the 29 yard line.  Austin knew he better get his time in, so he took it to the house right up the middle for the final 29 yards and with Diego’s help, the Jackets lead 21-8.  Blocks by senior center Dalton Enberg and Luke Hicks sprung Austin.  The half ended with the Bulldogs throwing the football 10 times for 7 completions.  Senior Aiden Cuthbertson, Luke  and Austin defused the situation, with only 41 yards gained.

Give the Bulldogs credit.  They came out smoking in the third quarter.  A 29 yard completion and a 41 yard completion got two first downs and were sitting on Llano’s 19 yard line. Davila and Cade, along with sophomore Jaxon Rhea were working hard chasing the Bulldog quarterback.  Still he scored from 10 yards out  and the score with two more extra points was 21-16.  Ok, we got this….but wait..

Lyford onside kicks, usually the Jackets best play.  The Bulldogs recovered.  …Not to get “concerned”. Back on the field goes the Llano defense.  Lyford gained 13 yards and a first down. But on fourth and 13, the Bulldogs gained 12! Aiden, Luke, Mason and Lance all stepped up big.  Llano settled down. 8 running plays.  Case, Abel, and Austin.  Blocking sound by senior Colin Mayes and junior Jesus Chacon.  Three first downs and from the 37 yard line, again goes Austin for the TD.  Diego good…28-16.

Llano scored on the next series, after the Bulldogs failed on a fourth down try.  A 30 yard gain with a Case pass to solid receiver Jared Beasley…yet this was not just solid.  The one handed catch was spectacular. A wow moment for all…where is the replay screen???  Jared had Llano on the two yard line.  Abel takes the hand-off and scores.. Diego kicks…42-16.

Llano ran only 7 plays in the fourth quarter.  But sophomore Miguel Hernandez, injured for much of this season, was still wanting to play.  Case set up the next play with a pass to junior Maddox Green.  A run of 6 yards by Miguel.  And from his back field position, and off he went.  Blocks by Maddox, Quincy and Abel and Jared and Trevor…Miguel weaved and with great speed scored from 75 yards out. What a run…and what a relief.  Great play by so many.

Lots of defense in the last stanza.  Carson Kuykendall saw action.  Senior Jake Self, a great utility role player with speed had several strong plays.  Love the play of Daniel Sandefel.  Always hustling. Dalton Milum has played so good.  Good solid senior.  And seems like he is always around the ball, senior Anthony Ysais.  These players are the strong suite of the Jacket team.

Only 16 Class 3 AAA, Division 1 teams left in State Play-offs.  At the beginning of the season, District 14, Jourdanton was ranked ahead of Llano.  Jourdanton was 10-2 last season.  They are familiar with this position.  Their 11-1 record this season is very solid.  A very strong passing team with a returning quarterback , Cole Andrus.  He threw for 2,750 yards last season.  Nice accomplishment.  These guys are the real deal.  And so is Llano.

The 11-0 record equals the most wins in Yellowjacket history.  The 1997 Jackets went 11-0, then lost 13-7 to Cuero in the Area game.  But both the 2007 and the 1973 teams went three deep into the playoffs.  The 9-4 record in 2007, and the 9-3-1 record in 1973 were so special.  But, I’ve asked myself for several weeks…”who would I rather play”?. I would not want to play Llano.

Llano has played some very good teams.  Undefeated Ballinger, San Saba, Comfort.  Our District so good.  Blanco just lost Friday night to Vanderbilt Industrial 45-42.  Lago Vista beat Orange Grove.  So those two play this Friday afternoon at 2 PM. Llano and Jourdanton play at 6 PM.

The game against Lyford this week has helped Llano.  Our defense got to see a team that throws on most all plays.  The “tired” factor is important, as you chase  all the time.  But Llano gets stronger as the game goes forward.  Our lineman seem to get energized.  It is our strength.

Coach Green has our team at a point where we know we can throw the football.  Have thrown it as many as 37 times in a game. And now with Case, Abel, Austin and Miguel, we know we can run the football.  327 yards rushing against Lyford. Our offensive lineman can handle any situation.  They feel comfortable run blocking.  And they all can pass block.

The Jackets are making history. And I’d rather play Jourdanton. Llano rolls to 12-0.

 

 

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9-0 Jackets Head to Bi-District

The Llano Yellowjackets, District Champions and winners of 13-3AAA  Division 1, travel to Kerrville Friday night to play Marion of District 14, in Bi-District play.  This will be the 6th year in a row that Llano has made the State play-offs to play in the Bi-District game.  Llano has won the Bi-District game the past two years.

Playing in nearby Kerrville should be good for the Jackets.  After missing play over the past two weeks, the lay-off can be good news to all, as Llano gets very well.  The season fell funny…with the Jackets last District game coming against Lulling.  But Lulling had called in to Llano and said they had too many players out with the Covid-19 virus.  With that District forfeiture, the Jacket record moved to 9-0, but left Llano with a 21 day gape between the Bi-District game this Friday night, and the Blanco game played October 23.

We know little about Marion.  Last season they had an 8-4 record.  Llano has never played the Bulldogs.  They are suppose to have a strong running game, strong and big wide receiver in Jayden Williams (6’4, 215), and a very good defense.  The Jackets expect to have their hands full in this Bi-District game.

A note of interest. Everyone that Llano played in a game this season made the State play-offs, with the exception of Bandera.  I predicted early that I thought Gatesville would win 4 games this season.  Ended 4-5 and made that fourth play-off spot in Class 4-AAAA.  Also, Sonora made the play-offs with a 4-6 record.  Ballinger won their District, and San Saba placed second in their District.  Llano beat both of those very good football teams.  Thus, helping the Jackets weather thru a very strong District.  Lago Vista, picked to win our District by Texas Football,  beat Blanco last Friday night to take the second spot in our District, while Blanco placed third, and a good Comfort team placed fourth.

Comfort will be playing Jourdanton, winner of District 14.  Jourdanton finished the season with a fine 9-1 record.  Blanco plays an 8-2 Poteet team.  And Lago Vista plays SA Randolph Thursday night….Randolph finished the season with a 5-4 record. I expect all four District 13 teams to win this week.

The last thing the Jackets need to be thinking about is records and lasting numbers that make no difference this Friday night against Marion.  But team goals are real.  Llano will be playing for win # 10 Friday night.  Only two previous Jackets teams have had double digit wins.  In 1994 Llano went 10-0 and won District, as did the 1997 Jackets, that too won District and won their Bi-District game to end up at 11-1.  The Jackets goals still are long range.  But it begins in Tivy Stadium Friday night in Kerrville.  Jackets roll to 10-0.

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Jackets District Champions 2020

2020 went as planned, as  the Llano Yellowjackets are the District 13 3-AAA, Division 1 Champions.  The Jackets were to play last place Lulling Friday night in Lulling.  But 100 hours before kick-off, the host called and reported players with the Covid-19 virus.  The Jackets win the District, as they beat all three contenders for the title.  Llano beat Comfort, Lago Vista and Blanco on successive Friday nights.  The Championship is the first for Llano since the 1997 season, 23 years ago.

The Jackets had hoped that a perfect 10-0 season was in the makings. But in the seventh week of the season, Somerset called and backed out of the game with the Jackets, despite Llano was to travel to Somerset.  Reasons were mixed, but became more confusing when Somerset rescheduled with a weaker team and played that Friday night.  Llano stayed at home.

Lulling being a different story.  The virus took out a proud team, and may have ended their season.  They have seniors on their team also.

Head football Coach Matt Green tried to find another team to replace the Lulling game.  At 9:30 PM Thursday night Coach Green thought he had.  Waco Reicher, a private school also had a cancellation.  Game on!  But at school Friday morning, Reicher had players test positive for Covid-19, and game off.

Llano will go now 21 days without playing a game.  Bi-District lies ahead, on November 13.  Team and place maybe known by Llano Coaching staff, but I will not speculate here.  Llano’s sister District is District 14, 3-AAA, Division 1.  All four District 13 teams that have made the play-offs will play District 14s’ four teams.  Llano will get the number 1 seed out of our District, playing the number 4 seed out of District 14.

The Jackets will enter the State play-offs averaging 42.75 points a game on offense.  And a defense that has allowed only 15.6 points a game.  The Jackets should be as healthy as they can be, with the three week break.  But the next two weeks are when many play-off games are won.

You can relax and coast, or work harder.  The Jackets know how special this season can be.  The seniors have been dreaming about this moment since they were in the 7th grade.  No time to relax.  From this time forward, Llano wins on the field, but also prepare for the next game as if were to be their last.  Preparing mentally is just as important as practice on the field.  Mistakes shape games.  Llano knows there is little room for mistakes in these 48 minute games.

I have all the confidence in the world in this team and the 20 seniors.  This town and all fans everywhere hold our breathes every Friday night.  The Coaching staff has been  so carful watching for every opportunity to keep out players safe.  No risk would be worth losing out on the next 7 weeks.

The Jackets start preparing for Bi-District.  District 14 is all to our South, so game  will be in that direction.   Other teams in all districts, still have another week of regular season play.  I still look for Blanco to win and place second in our District.  I expect all four District 13 teams to win in Bi-District.  The strong District with all teams having winning records has helped to prepare for the games on the weekend of November 13.  Llano’s  preparation begins today.

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Jackets Secure Tie For District Championship…8-0

The Llano Yellowjackets secured a minimum of a tie for the District 13, 3AAA Title Friday night with a win over State ranked # 19 Blanco in a tough contest at Jacket Stadium.  The Jackets went 5-0 at home this season, and secured the number one seed in the State Play-offs that begin in three weeks, the week of November 13th.

This Jacket team does not make it easy on the heart.  What looked like a walk in the park, the Jackets scored on their first three possessions to take a 21-0 lead with but 10:37 left in the second quarter.  But our neighbors, the Blanco Panthers weren’t ready to give the game ball to Llano.  Blanco put their high powered offense into gear, and scored on 9 plays to inch closer.  The extra point by the Panthers was blocked by junior Abel Prince that would change things significantly later in the game.  Next thing we know, Llano fumbles, and the Panthers run it in for a TD.  This time, Blanco converts on a 2 point try and the score is 21-14 at half-time.

The first half saw the Jackets at their best.  Senior quarterback Case Kuykendall on the second play rounded right end and went 70 yards for the Jackets’ first score.  Senior Diego Perez kicked good.  Diego would kick all six of his extra points Friday night.  Case would complete passes of 18 and 7 yards to junior Maddox Green, as well as an 8 yard catch to Abel.  Then Case hit Abel for 19 yards and the TD for the Jackets second score of the game.

Great offensive line blocking continued for the Jackets.  Senior Dalton Enberg, junior Matthew Whitley and senior Colin Mayes were hitting on all cylinders.  Strong play against a very good Blanco defensive line.  Seniors Jared Beasley and Trevor Cowan blocked very good downfield.  Blanco was a very good football team.  The Panthers still have two more games in District play.  I expect them to win both, and carry a very strong 8-2 record into the play-offs.

Senior Austin Hulon had his best game as a Jacket.  He scored from 22 yards out to put Llano up 21-0.  He had 10 tackles playing safety with super senior Aiden Cuthbertson.  In the fourth quarter, Austin took a swing pass from Case, and down the sidelines went the fleet footed back.  90 yards for the TD.  I think this ties for second spot in the record book for longest pass reception, bettered only by teammate Quincy Prince from last season. ( I have put a few records into the book this year, but most will be entered in late December!!)

Blanco took the second half kick-off and went 74 yards on 13 plays to get closer.  Llano stopped the 2 point extra point try and lead 21-20  This sparked the Jackets.  The Jackets scored on their next drive. Runs by Case and Austin neted 14 yards. On first down, into the game senior Quincy Prince, Jacket record holder, after not playing for 1 1/2 games due to an injury.  Right back to his old self.  Case hit Quincy in perfect stride steaking over the middle for a 23 yard gain, first down, and Jackets set up on the 35 yardline. 28 yards by Case on two runs. Then Abel runs in the last 7 yards for the Jacket lead of 28-20.

The Jacket defense held the Panthers on fourth down. Cade Ligon again topped the team in stops with 11.  Guillermo Davilla was strong in the middle.  Jaxson Rhea, and Lance Pierce put the pass rush on, holding the Panthers to 137 passing for the game.  Linebackers Mason Baker, Ricky de la Torre, Hayden Manahan, and Michael Silva play so strong.  Mason got another interception in the fourth quarter to set up Case getting the final TD for the final score of 42-26.  Senior Luke Keller  along with Dillon Milum and Anthony Ysaia played ever so steady.

The Jackets have taken on all comers.  The 8-0 start is topped only by two other Jacket teams with starts at the beginning of the season.  LLano plays Lulling this week to close out the regular season.  Not kidding anyone, the Eagles have had a rough season, but will be playing their hearts out on the final game on their home field.  They have nothing to lose.  The Jackets must use this game to get better.  To make no mistakes.  To take this game lightly would be a serious mistake.  Reason is Llano has an off week in the final week of the regular season.  Then the play-offs.  Getting better each week is how Llano makes this season very special. In a serious atmosphere, and a long road trip to Lulling, Jackets go to 9-0.

 

 

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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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