When the Llano Yellow Jackets played with the talent it has, the Jackets played toe to toe with the 14th State ranked Wimberley Texans. When Llano tries to go outside of its talent, then we fall apart and look like a 2-6 football team. Llano was lucky that the score was 35-16. It could have been worse. Or…on the other side, it could have been much better. I still run the game over in my mind every minute. Llano should have won the game. Llano was just as good as the Texans when Llano does what Llano does best.
Why Llano refuses to take on this identity is beyond me. The Llano Yellow Jackets run the football. The Llano Yellow Jackets averaged over 7 yards per carry Friday night. Of 35 running plays, the Jackets had only two plays for loss yardage. Two bad plays!!! 7 Yards per try. Mason Greenwood had 146 yards. 6.64 yards per try. Brent Greenwood only carried the ball four times, but averaged 7.6 yards per try. And senior John Heflin carried four times for 66 yards. Never stopped him. 16 plus yards per run. 16 yards!!!
Yet on all but two series of plays, the Jackets insist on throwing the football. On 12 passing plays, Llano completed 3. One for no yards. One for minus one yard, and one for 26 yards to senior Kyle Cooper and a first down. The other incompletions just killed dead any chance Llano had of continuing a drive. In my opinion, had Llano used those 12 plays to run the football, we would have had another 50 yards in offense. And two more touchdowns. If only we would do what we are very capable of doing. Running the football.
The old argument is that you must throw the football to loosen up the defense. That is bunk. You do not get the linebackers on defense off the line of scrimmage when you only throw long and down the sidelines. Cornerbacks cover those guys. Not linebackers. Llano does not throw over the middle where linebackers would be covering a back coming out of the backfield or even a tight end. Llano has rarely thrown over the middle this year. Give credit where it might be due, but the screen passes to the Greenwoods has been a good pass for the Jackets this season. That would be the only pass I would throw.
I have heard that Llano’s offensive lineman were not real talented. If that is the case who has been blocking for Mason and his nearly 900 yards rushing this season. I think junior Haden Cowart is playing pretty good. I think seniors Cameron Hall and Robert Alcala are very steady in the run game. Juniors Austin Humphrey and Ray Dixon are at times, excellent. I see that at times our lineman struggle at pass blocking. But most teams either are real good at one type of block, and not so on another. But Llano is solid at run blocking. Ask Heflin and the Greenwoods if they agree. Llano can run the football. But sometimes, it takes three running plays to make a first down. And with the talent Llano has at running back, it is a great formula for success. Add in the speed of freshman Aaron Brown, a change of pace of quarterback Ben Walling ( Averaging over 6 yards per carry), senior Blake Dillard ( 20 plus yards on 6 carries), Stephen Sanderson, Shane Flint, and Josh Soliz all with talent at running the football. Give sophomore Anthony Watson an end around a few times a game, and you have the makings of a running attack.
The Jackets do not need to back into the State play-offs by just beating a very weak Bandera team in the last game of the season. Going 3-7 should be no ones’ goals. Hondo handled Bandera easy this past Friday night. Llano plays Hondo this Friday night in Llano. Hondo will actually be picked to beat the Jackets according to the Harris poll. Llano, especially the seniors, need to get mad about everything. Get mad about my silly comments here today. Get mad at your girlfriend, or your dog. But get mad. But most of all, do not take what Hondo has to offer. Llano is better than that. Llano can be a good team. And going 4-6 for the season is the least of what you should expect of yourselves. Get mad at Hondo for being in your path to placing third in District play. But get mad, and play mad. Beat Hondo like they beat you last year. And getting mad may be the easiest path by winning out this season.