I have always hated the good loss excuse when it comes to anything football. Rarely have I seen that to be the correct twist on a game. But, a 42-28 loss Friday night to the 3-AAA 6th ranked Broncos may have some of that flavor with this after taste. Being 0-2 two weeks into the season could have a horrible meaning to a team learning a new offense, from a new coach, with a new quarterback. After last weeks play against Smithville, you could have said “learning how to play a new game”. Friday night against Sonora, the Jackets show the upside is everything they dreamed about back in July.
First of all, I do not ever remember such a one week improvement of a team as I saw in the Yellow Jackets. Ever. Second, I saw a team that thought they really were going to win the football game. And with an exception that lasted about 6 minutes at the end of the third quarter, Llano could have won. I said this last week. Coach Matt Green’s hardest job is coaching and teaching our Jackets how to win. You cannot take plays off. And you must stop the “unlearned” penalties that will cause a loss even when you out play your opponent.
Llano’s offensive line could not have played better. Thus, junior quarterback Cade Fly had time to pass. Thus, Llano had a running game that had to be respected. Thus, the defense was not on the field for long periods. Daniel Sparks, Ray Dixon, Dakota Trull, Luke Williams, Dalton Bauman, Hayden Cowart, Austin Humphrey, Tyler Thompson, Lane Ward, Cameron Johnson, Tyler Lindell, battle each other every day in practice. Many get few praises. Few ever see their names in the record books. But these players make the backbone of a good team. Llano’s lineman are making very long strides. And they will be the most important part of making Llano a good football team.
How good was the offensive line? They did something that has never happened before. They made it possible for Cade Fly to pass for 405 yards. Best in the history of LHS in a single game. Cade’s 25 completions was second most ever in a game. And receivers Brooks Keele, a junior, enters the record book with 4 catches and 106 yards, plus 2 touchdown catches. Sophomore Aaron Brown too goes in, with 6 catches and 114 yards. Maybe just as impressive is 8 Jackets caught passes in the new Jacket offense. Senior Hayden Godfrey had 6 catches, and junior Anthony Watson had 3 catches for 76 yards. Logan Duggar had three catches, with Dalton Moore, Ben Walling, and Mason Brooks making key catches. The receivers were the most notable improved group on the field. I heard one Jacket coach say we had two dropped passes Friday night. That compares to last week when Jacket receivers stopped counting the number of drops. Cade also thanks you for working harder last week in practice. Wonderful improvement.
Special teams played better. Good hustle by Christian Kirby. Also Cole Schluetter and Quint Pincelli. Ian Fletcher and Kendall Downey pushed hard to cover downfield. These guys are only heard of when they mess up.
Llano’s defense had a tough job, and a long night. 2016 All State 3-AAA quarterback Kaden Cordell just never let up. With the score tied at halftime, 14-14, the Jacket defense had kept it close. But Cordell reminded us how good he was thru the third quarter. Sparks had a great game. Ian Fletcher at linebacker, along with Luis Coronade ,Josh Soliz, and Kaleb Dodson had really top end games. Seniors Nolan Keller, Tyler Gann and Ray Dixon just played their hearts out. Austin Humphrey is making a ball player. Very important in this unit getting better. Aaron Brown is getting better in the secondary. And watch for Thomas Adams. Good plays when we needed them. Really like Ben Walling on defense. He does not get pushed around. Looks like he is mad at someone. Just love watching Ben. Drew Cooper got a sac, and very good pass rusher all night. Christian Kirby and Gage Cox managed the secondary, along with Ethan Tisdale going against Cordell throwing the football over 35 times.
Please forgive me here, but my memory is not what it once was. But the play that Mason Brooks made on the goal line in the fourth quarter by his last second deflecting a long pass that was a sure TD from Cordell. At the last possible moment, Mason put his hand up and flicked it away like it was a fly. Forgive me here, but I could not believe it, or remember it being done in years. I thought Jacket secondary defenders had to play with their hands in their pockets. Watch someone catch a long pass, then make the tackle. Thank you Mason for a very memorable moment for me . Great play. Great play.
Must mention # 51, our own Diego Garcia. 7 for 7 this season on extra points. Been awhile since extra points could be counted on. Keep up the great play.
All this feel good is now last week. We are 0-2. We travel to old menace Brady. They hold a 26-25-2 overall record against Llano. Playing in Brady is never easy. Llano will likely will get a 15 yard penalty before we get out of the dressing rooms. If they let us use dressing rooms. I really do not like Brady. Llano played lousy last year. Got beat 21-7. If we play better than last week, we will win. This is not the time to not get better. Every player should make himself a promise not to play “unlearned” “things”. No penalties. That is one way you measure your own progress. No turnovers, and the Jackets bring home win # 1, and even the overall record with Bulldogs to 26-26-2.