The offensive woes of the Llano Yellowjacket offense continued Friday night in Fredericksburg as the final score of 30-0 indicate.
Certainly not to be forgotten in all of this is the Jackets strongest weapon, Jalen Bauman went out in the first Jacket series in what appeared to be a bad leg injury. He did not go back on the field, and perhaps took with him piece of the offense that this night was not able to replace.
Llano worked hard at throwing the ball. I had senior quarterback Holden Simpson 6 of 7 the first half, but only 46 yards. The second half 3 of 13 and 14 yards was not enough to get the offense even close to a score. Two interceptions in the third quarter also was a deal killer.
While like other fans, I get frustrated with Holden, or senior running back Aaron Moss and Trevor Penny or wide out senior Kasin Riley, I need to remember all success lies in the effort and success of the offensive line. When Aaron and Trevor and John Heflin are being tackled in the backfield, someone is not keeping their eyes open. Yes, it hurts to have three year starter Colton Center out with a broken foot, but it takes five or six blocking on every play. It just is not happening on the offensive line. Seniors, step up. Take responsibility, and then come together as a unit. You have six weeks to make memories.
When the offense is not moving very much, you have a defense playing very well. The 30 points is very misleading. The Jacket defense held the Billies to 3.3 average per snap in the first half….easily winning football. Wyatt Bauman had his best game. Austin Miller is getting better every game. Still so proud of the secondary. Not just Tommy Yelvington with two more interceptions, but Dorian Green was very good. Wyatt Casey is special. And junior leader Cody Miller is a great open field tackler. Clayton Master and Ray Dixon had good games. Sophomore John Heflin plays a lot bigger than his 135 pounds. And do like the emerging of senior Colton Ekstrom playing hard in the defensive line. Airon Layton is surprising all with lots of good plays. He is very good on special teams. Kasin Riley lead the team in receiving with 5 catches, he may be better on defense. The steady Lance Reven at linebacker and senior Dalton Dewveall make for a very strong unit.
What may be confusing is that many of these players playing very good on defense are not doing as well on offense. Most in fact play both ways. I will say this….I really like the play of the defense, and they can win games for you too. But the offense must pick it up. Llano has not an easy game left on the schedule. With 2-3 touchdowns a game, the Jackets can still make the playoffs. The defense will keep it close. But on both sides of the ball, the Jackets must play at 100%
Llano plays Lakeview next Friday night. Hall of Famers Jerry Butler and David Ross from the class of 1955 asked that I inform Art that Llano has played Lakeview in the past, as they did in 1954! I will also check my records to make sure we have that game recorded, but Jerry did admit they lost. Lakeview made the playoffs last year, and are in 5-AAAA. Old Angelo State Ram and Fredericksburg Billie standout is their coach, Doug Kuhlmann. This is a very important game for Llano. Playing a bigger school and the chance to turn the ship around begins this week. Llano can beat Lakeview. But it will take a supreme effort.
Llano 21 Lakeview 14.