The Burnet Bulldogs, ranked 23 in 4-AAAA Div.I, raced to a 29-0 halftime lead due to an interception run back for a TD, and three consecutive fumbles that were cashed in for an additional 13 points. Take the mistakes out and Llano was somewhat competitive.. Can’t take anything away from the offense of the Bulldogs. Drove the field on Llano twice in the first quarter to take a 10-0 lead into the end of the quarter. Then the Jackets interception made it 16-0. Can’t look past the so slow start of the Jackets offense. First five possessions in the first half produced 68 net yards on 17 plays. Four turnovers in the first half was too big to overcome.
The Jacket offense had spurts of good effort. But 141 yards of the Jackets offense out of 221 total yards came in the last five minutes of the game. Junior quarterback Ben Walling had the surprise play of the night with a 75 yard run down to the 10 yard line where Llano was able to then get its only score. Walling had 4 runs and 98 yards, and Mason Greenwood had 82 yards on 19 tries.
LLano’s defense has played better. Maybe much better. It is hard to judge when the Jacket offense stays on the field so little. 32 points is not winning football, but 19 of those gave the football to the Bulldogs in great field position with only a few yards to pay dirt. The defense forced the Bulldogs to kick four field goals after very strong defensive stands. That plus forcing 6 punts and Llano’ freshman Arron Brown getting his first varsity interception in the end zone in the fourth quarter are all signs for hope. Burnet played its starters to the middle of the fourth quarter.
Senior Jaden Napolez may have had his best game, in on 13 tackles. Wonderful game from Ian Fletcher. Senior John Heflin played well, and still has that extra step when given a chance to play offense. Bent Greenwood, Kegan Greenhaw, Tyler Gann, Blake Dillard, John Keeney, Kyle Cooper, senior Hunter Roemer continue to give this defense a face. All are solid football players. Juniors Josh Soliz, Nolan Keller, Gage Cox, and Ray Dixon are the future of this defense. They are getting better every week. Now they need very badly a signature victory.
Hustle is hard to coach. It comes from the heart. It comes from want to. And it is unselfish. Want to watch that definition of a player this week, watch Luis Coronado and Shane Flint. Watch Christian Conway. Watch the Jacket punting teams and see who gives it their all every time. In the most unrecognized part of football, these guys when given a chance, take every minute and excel. This year I can also say that about Ray Dixon and Tyler Gann. Also on Jacket kickoff returns, good blocking came from Stephen Sanderson, Jordan Monroy, Thomas Westermann, Neil Blackmon and Bradley Dyess. Every play, 100% effort. This kind of effort is how we get that one special win that can define this season.
The offensive line must improve. Yes, Mason Greenwood has 478 yards rushing in about 4 1/2 games, on a pace that could reach 1,000 yards again. But Llano will be playing two buzzsaws soon in Navarro and Wimberley. Mason makes a lot of yards alone. He must have more help from Dakoda Trull, Roberto Alcala, Cameron Hall, Jason Gann and Hayden Cowert. Mason must have those holes up the middle to keep linebackers honest. You all can do it.
Do not like to say this, but it is true. Llano plays a much weaker team this week in Austin Eastside at Nelson Field in Austin. This is not a week to take off. This is your last chance to really try to get better. You make goals. Such as,…You have no turnovers. You have no penalties. You get this offense off dead center and make it work. The defense plays for a shutout. It works toward as few yards as possible to give up. Make this game one in which you prepare yourselves for District play. Please do not take Eastside as an easy week. Make it your hardest week. Make this game count.
Player of the week: Luis Coronado