The visiting Brady Bulldogs lost 4 points to two safeties as the first quarter ended, had 16 plays in which the Jacket defense threw the visitors for losses or no gains. And allowed only 260 yards of offense. But the only thing worse was the Yellowjacket offense. The frustrating 21-7 loss to long time rival Brady came down to the difference of three plays.
On the first play of the second quarter for the Bulldogs, senior Weston Bauer broke numerous tackles to run 70 yards before being pulled down by several Jacket defenders, including junior Tyler Gann. Four plays later, Brady scored. The excitement continued when Llano on the next series saw junior quarterback Ben Walling complete a 34 yard pass to freshman Arron Brown down to the 28 yard line. Junior Mason Greenwood ran for 17 more down to the 11 yard line. Four plays later Mr. Dependable, Josh Soliz booted a 30 yard field goal. Josh kicked true last week on his only two tries against Sonora on extra point kicks. I guess Josh did not take the hint from me two weeks ago when I suggested Llano run the football on extra points instead of kicking!!! Great job by Josh….and lets’ keep kicking those extra points!!!
The Jacket defense really played very well, except for three plays. In the third quarter, 4th and 15 on the 23 yard line, Brady quarterback Caleb Turnell found a receiver wide open for the 23 yard toss and a 14-7 lead. Llano had them in the perfect place to make a good stop. And in the fourth quarter, Turnell completed a 19 yard pass down to the Jacket 3 yard line when Llano really needed to get back in the game. 3 plays. Resulted in 3 scores.
Great pass rush from Kegan Greenhaw, Jaden Napolez and senior Hunter Roemer. Junior Ray Dixon continued to cause havoc. Senior Blake Dillard at defensive end had a good game. Soliz had 3 tackles. Junior Ian Fletcher had 6 stops. Senior John Heflin is working his way back into shape after missing game one. Solid game. Sophomore Drew Cooper had 5 tackles and 7 assists before leaving the game in which he had to be removed by the EMS folks. Senior Brent Greenwood is always solid at safety. Brent is the quarterback of the defense. Solid player. Tyler Gann and Lewis Coronado along with junior Gage Cox had good games. This defense maybe…maybe could be very good. Must keep getting better. Three bad plays was a killer this week. Next week, with improvement, these players can start to feel very good about their play.
The offense suffered. 66 yards rushing on 25 carries was very low production. Hurried passes, short hopped passes, dropped passes all contributed to too many third and fourth down incompletions. Seven. This prevented drives from continuing. Five punts. Converted on one of three tries on fourth. The offense seems stuck in reverse. 14 plays produced one yard or less. Do not know where the offense goes from here, but it must be up. The offensive line could improve with a second longer in holding blocks. Mason’s quickness between the tackles instead of outrunning the defense to the sidelines is a noticeable difference from last season. Shorter passes could be more productive. 10 yards over the middle along with the screens might help get the defense off the line of scrimmage and stop the predictablility of the run game. All of these, and maybe none of these are the answer to the offense. But averaging 17 points a game thru 3 games is not working.
It will not get easier. Lago Vista comes to Llano this week for Homecoming. The Lago Vista Coaches are a factor. Head Coach Craten Phillips has been at Sonora for the past 4 years. 41 wins. Already Lago Vista is showing improvement. Along with defensive coordinator Bradley Kassell…former Llano Yellowjacket great, college great, NFL great. Bradley loves Llano, but he will not want to let the Jackets get the best of him. What a competitor. His defense will show up to play.
Lago Vista beat Brady by 10. Ran up 41 points on the Bulldogs. Llano will have to score to win. The one bright point for Llano is that I was able to talk with the Wall coaches on Thursday. I asked them to rough up the Vikings as they played Friday night. The Hawks took care of business. Now both teams coming off bad games. Should be a great time for someone to step up their game. The Jackets opportunity is now. Llano can start putting this talent and effort to greater use. Playing a complete game on all fronts is a must.
Offensive Player of the Game: Junior offensive lineman, Dakota Trull.
Defensive Player of the Game: Sophomore Drew Cooper
Llano 31 Lago Vista 16