I guess I never had a thought that the Llano Yellow Jackets season would be over when we all left Edgewood Veteran Stadium last Thursday night. But the score showed that Crystal City had beaten the Jackets 22-18. I kept thinking we would get the ball back one more time. But we never did, and thus the close to the 4-7 season that had so much hope had now ended.
The Yellow Jackets really played well the first half. Crystal City scored first, and made the 2 point extra point , after the Jackets drove to the 5 yard line and failed to score. 8-0. Llano took the kick-off and in 6 plays scored, with the final 21 yards coming on a pass from quarterback Ben Walling to sophomore Anthony Watson. Score 6-8. The Jacket defense held on three plays and got the football back. 3 plays later, Mason Greenwood scored. This after senior John Heflin ‘s 34 yard run. Score 12-8 Llano.
Crystal City took the kick-off, drove to the 13 yard line, where Llano’s defense held. Then after Llano drove out to the 34 yard line. Llano punted, and our special teams laid an egg. Punt returned for a touchdown. Crystal City goes for two, gets it, and leads 16-12.. Llano came right back. drove 8 plays and Llano takes the 18-16 lead into halftime. Sounds good up to this point.
But the second half was a fast blur. Crystal City took the opening kick off and ran 13 plays and scored. There was 4:02 left in the quarter, and Llano had not seen the football. Llano ran 7 plays and ran out of downs. Quarter over!!!. In the fourth quarter Llano’s defense forced 2 punts. Crystal City forced Llano to punt, its only punt of the game. Llano got the ball back one more time, drove to the 19 yard line and was stopped on a fourth and one. Game over.
This one will be hard to get over. I’m still thinking about it. Maybe opportunities lost. Twice in the red zone and no points, Only 4 penalties by the Jackets, for 20 yards, but two of those stopped drives. No turnovers. No take-aways. Llano had more total yardage, 346 to 316. Llano averaged over 5 yards per carry in the running game. 3 first downs on pass plays. I might have accepted that before the game, thinking those numbers would win. But they didn’t. This game will haunt the seniors for a long time. It will be long remembered, not in a good way. My heart breaks for the seniors. They deserved better than this quiet loss. The seniors played proud, and will go on. But it will take a long time to forget this last game.
I will write the final article of the year within a few days. Hard to say good bye. This one was not expected.