The 45-0 win against the Brady Bulldogs Friday night was what Jacket fans wanted. The 45-0 score was what the Yellow Jackets had to have. Yet there were enough mistakes and flaws that even players know work is ahead. The schedule does not get easier. And Llano must improve to keep this train moving in the right direction.
The Jackets did not play well in the first quarter. Junior quarterback Cade Fly came out and had one completion and one interception in 8 passes to start the game. That means also, receivers were not running great routes, and the offensive line was not playing to their potential, as they allowed a sack on Cade. Llano did run the ball for 68 yards on 14 carries. Yet four of those rushes were for minus yards. Ben Walling had four carries for 44 yards in the first quarter. Dalton Moore had a very good night running the ball. Finished the night with 16 carries and 85 yards. The last three quarters, the Jackets kicked it into high gear.
Important to know that five Yellow Jackets ran the football against Brady. 43 carries and 281 yards. A healthy 6.5 yards per carry. This week Cade threw the football only 20 times, completing 12 for 132 yards and two TDs. In the second , third and fourth quarters, Cade was 11 for 12. Good receivers, good line blocking. Five receivers made catches, including Ben, Ethan Tisdale, Thomas Adams, Brooks Keele and junior Anthony Watson. Watson caught 8 for 93 yards and both TD tosses. Last week 8 receivers caught footballs from Cade. And maybe we can see a pattern here. The pattern being there is no real pattern.. Last week both Keele and Aaron Brown had over 100 yards receiving. Brady was watching Aaron closely, thus Anthony steps up. And the running game gets going.
Llano has about 12 skill position players that are capable of being the flavor of the week. Each with skills that can produce on any given Friday. But for that to happen, each one must prepare like they are the anointed one each week. Prepare as if this is the last Friday night they will ever get to play. And continue the journey of learning this offense of Head Coach Matt Green.
I am learning too. Coach Green would love to see 400 yards a week in offense, split evenly would be nice. But as each player finds his role, and this takes time, a system will emerge. And 45-0 can be the result.
The shutout by the defense was special. Brady had 40 yards of offense the first half. The defense forced 6 straight punting situations for the Bulldogs. Luis Coronado at linebacker was great all night long. Gage Cox, Ian Fletcher, Easton Valdez, Kaleb Dodson, Brown, Moore, Nolan Keller, Kendall Downey, Tyler Lindall (sic), and Drew Cooper all played hard. Daniel Sparks is a steady hand. Plays hard both ways. Ray Dixon so tough. And now that he has intercepted a pass and run it in for a TD, he becomes one of those skill folks we will be looking to!!!
Three players really made top plays Friday night. I saw Austin Humphrey from his defensive line position hustle like he was playing his last game. Very impressed. Great effort. I saw Tyler Gann from his cornerback position get his hands up and knock down passes. The same way Mason Brooks did last week. And then I saw a player make a play that will be used in teaching of defensive line play….Josh Soliz in full speed came down the line from his interior linemans position just as Brady’s running back was headed for the corner on a sweep play. Josh was in perfect form and position as he made a text book tackle. Knowing how to do that, is only two things…coaching and a willing student. Wow from me.
Diego Garcia hit his first varsity field goal. I think Dakoda Trull had a good game at offensive center. Cade had time to run and throw. Lane Ward played well, as did Luke Williams on the offensive line. And special teams had good hustle from Ian Fletcher, Quint Pincelli, Mason Allsup, and Gann. Must keep this effort up in an area of little reward.
Now, lets stop counting our change. Lago Vista beat Llano last year in Llano 41-13. Horrible game and effort by the Jackets. This is a serious game. Lago is good. Went 8-3 last season, and their very good quarterback is back. The Jackets defense will be challenged. A supreme effort will be needed. But, more important, Llano can become a good football team. But improvement every week must happen. Each player must take on the responsibility of making himself do more. Working towards perfect is a tough job.