At some point in time, I expected the Jackets to take a deep breathe. Maybe, like in the “open” week. But it came this past Friday when the stars were aligned to have the wheels fall off. The 45-7 loss to the Texans gets a bad game out of the way. Llano can now aim for one thing, and that is getting better, and making sure they secure a third place finish in 13-4AAAA. This is the time that the seniors must stand up. Finishing what the seniors started is a very worthy goal.
The absent of three good offensive weapons may have been the start of a bad week. Dalton Moore, Cade Fly, and Mason Greenwood watched from the sidelines in street cloths. But injuries happen to everyone. The Jacket offense never got untracked, unless you count one great play when quarterback Ben Walling found Hayden Godfrey for a 66 yard pass and catch.
Mason Brooks ran the ball hard. Had him for 17 carries. Junior Aaron Brown too looked good carrying the football. And the lone carry by Soliz for a TD was just “want to”. The score was then 42-7 after a Garcia extra point.
The Jackets had 6 straight either 3 and outs, or three turnovers. Llano’s Austin Humphrey punted 5 times for an average of over 37 yards. Good average and good for Austin. The Texans felt like they could contain the Jackets run game, and they did. Very hard on our very good and improving offensive line. Daniel Sparks, Devin Bertelson, Tyler Lindell, Ray Dixon, Lane Ward, Luke Williams, Dakota Trull and Dalton Bauman did most of the heavy lifting. They did a good job fighting with a short stick.
Players that stood out with good effort were Charlie Mott on kick-offs. Bauman on rushing the passer. Josh Soliz, Sparks, and Dixon and holding strong against the run. Drew Cooper stepping in a making several plays after linebacker Luis Coranado went out of the game. And linebacker Ian Flecther is the best defensive player I have seen this season. Donaven Arellano had a good night. As did Ethna Tisdale. A long night for the Jackets in the secondary, but Ethan saved several long plays with key tackles. Very glad to see Nolan Keller playing better and more every week. Doing a good job. Quentin Franklin, Kendall Downey, and Kaleb Dodson were in on several stops. No one gave up. I was very proud of the defense. Wimberley was just very good, and will likely do the same this Friday night against Navarro. Last week the Texans were ranked #6.
The Jackets travel to Hondo Friday night. 3-3 all-time against the Owls. The Jackets had their best game last season in Llano against Hondo. But the Owls are playing good. And remember, they have 9 offensive and 9 defensive players returning from last season. They will be looking for revenge on their home turf. This years Hondo is not last years Hondo. Llano needs to bring it all together this week. Playing hard and tough against some very good teams over the past 7 weeks should now see a pay off. The players should be confident. If the defense will play every play up to its potential, they can keep Llano in the game. And if the offense can maintain drives and keep the ball for some extended periods, we can score. We have to get Brooks Keele, Brown, Anthony Watson and new comer Logan Duggar involved in the attack. We have play makers. This week is a must and an opportunity Llano cannot afford to miss. This is where senior leadership must come forward. Beating Hondo is where it begins.