The 2-4 2015 Yellow Jackets worked real hard to get such an ugly victory. But a win is a win is a win. No one needed this one more. The much maligned offense worked when it had to, and that is all that matters. The defense gave up too much, but any defense that gets 3 interceptions is playing with their head in the game. And Cody Miller’s catch and recovery of a kick-off fumble was special heads up play. There may be much to not be happy with in a game in which Llano was picked to win by 13, but the Jackets brought the gun that produced a 3 point come from behind victory. Allowing the Salado Eagles to remain in the game after the first Jacket score was the big mistake. But as one very loyal Jacket fan said to me after the game, ” we still have to learn how to win”. Well said.
And learning how to win is mostly, all mental. When getting a lesser team on the ropes, you keep them there. No let up. No coasting. Pouring on the coals really has meaning. And you give any team, any team a spark of hope to come back and win, that can of worms is very hard to put back in the can. Salado showed that they wanted so much to win, and still even with a 10 point lead late in the third quarter, Llano too wanted this game. Llano’s comeback showed resolve and determination. A great needed win and great for the Jackets to zero in on district.
The defense gave up 325 yards, but most came on 6 plays of 162 yards. Big plays still plague the Jackets. Senior Wyatt Bauman, sophomore Ray Dixon and junior Brent Greenwood were spectacular. Miller and Mat Agee, along with sophomore Ian Fletcher are getting solid in the secondary. Robert Alcala and senior Darian Green had good games. Junior Blake Dillard had a sack and plays hard every play. Senior John Heflin still surprises as he makes a great play every game. Love his energy. And while most of us sleep, special team players like Jason Gann, Christian Martinez and Matt Cohn play hard and no one notices. But the take a ways will get Llano to the play-offs. Few things more important than playing with your head up and your head in the game.
The offense is in a learning curve. Sophomore quarterback Ben Walling is learning how much faster the game is at the varsity level, and running sideways is not productive when looking for receivers. His command on the field looked strong. And it was no little feat to guild the offense on two touchdown drives of 48 and 56 yards to win. Walling is 1-0 as starting QB, and nothing else matters.
I think the offensive line is better. Some plays I know. Other times I do not. But they blocked well enough for sophomore Mason Greenwood to get 169 yards on 26 carries. Best game of his young career. Mason had 168 yards against Bangs. Blocked well enough for Ben to throw for 88 yards. Still, this week, we need more from each of them.
Another thought, and I think it came from the Pittsburg Steelers great Coach Mike Tomlin, and that being the 2 point try. The Steelers think the odds are good to go for two after each TD. I like that. Mason could be good for three yards on most sweeps. Just a Monday morning observation.
Llano is 6-12 all time against Wimberley. Lost 52 -20 last year. The most deceiving picture you will ever see is thinking the 0-6 Texans will be easy pickings in Llano next Friday night. Their schedule has been brutal. Their confidence against Llano on the top shelf. This will be a game in which the one that wants to win the most. The hardest working team. The smartest team. The most determined team. And the team that has the most to prove. Colton Center, Bauman, Heflin, Wyatt Casey, Valentine, Dalton Dewveall, Airon, William Oliver, Lukje Snitkin, Juan, Cameron Hall, Jose, Leo, Stratt, Cohen, Dorian, Christian Rodriquez, Mat and Cody…you have 4 games left in your football lives. You have never beat the Texans. Nothing should be more important. You are 2-1 on your new home field. Make it 3-1 and send the Texans home 0-7. It will be a lifetime memory.
Llano 22, Texans 18