The Llano Yellowjackets traveled 135 miles to Sonora Friday night and took a 41-8 contest. Llano scored in its’ first two possessions, had about 210 yards of offense in the first half, and scored its first defensive touchdown of the young season. With the win, Llano evened its over-all record against the Broncos to 6-6.
While Llano did not have the crisp feel of the game last week, a win is a win is a win. I also caught my self saying, ” we can’t expect perfection every week”. The Jackets are a good football team here in the second week of the season. But, soon I will mention, some of the players still are learning each others’ name. I exaggerate, and maybe it is me, but a long ways to go.
Playing away is usually considered harder than playing on ones home field. Coaches know that distraction can create mistakes. Even the smallest mistakes. It was early in last season, when Jacket receivers missed catching the football. I counted 5 touches when the five different receivers did not bring the football in. The smallest thing, from 5 of the best. Distractions.
55 years ago, Llano ISD started putting money in the budget to feed the football players before games, sometimes after the game. The Jackets went to a restaurant here in Llano named “Club Llano”. Every meal was a chicken fried steak and baked potato. I know for a fact, it was the first chicken fried steak many had ever eaten. Except for the occasional fried chicken, deer meat was on the menue…every day at home. It was my first time. Then when we went out of town, and ate at a restaurant, same menue. Chicken fried steak. Distractions. You have got to be aware of such menaces.
About the third game last season, the Jacket receivers found the formula. Catching the football with their hands, and not their bodies. Receiving changed over night. Prince and Case and Jared all became elite receivers. Catching high or low, it was with their hands extended, away from the out reach of defenders. Give offensive coordinator Coach Ryan Priem much credit. Thousands of passes in practice. It takes work. But it has worked. A passing attack over the last 14 games unmatched in school history.
I thought after last season, it would be awhile before Llano had such a tanacious running back as unanimous All District running back as Donaven Arellano. It took about 8 months. Llano has 4 or 5 very good running backs, and actually, some still in the making. But today, don’t get in the way of senior Austin Hulon. No hand tackleing that # 33. Once last night he was knocked backward in the backfield. Straight back at you Bronco, and must have run over 4 defenders before they took him down after a 15 yard gain. Nice blocking too, from Dalton Enberg, Matthew Whitley and Colin Mayes.
Roll playing is a key to success. Bode Gann can do so many things. Mason Baker, wow. Hope Coach Green doesn’t line him up a quarterback. Case and Maddox will have to move to the line. Abel Prince ran the ball. Quick, and fast. And to finish the offense, Quincy ( 2 TDs), Jared Beasley ( Beautiful eyes open catch for TD), Case, Maddox, and two TDs from Baker…all performed. Oh yea, Diego Perez 5 of 5 extra points, 11 for 11 on the season. So dependable.
The defense played good. Playing a team that only runs the football is tough. Sonora had a tough evening fighting off the likes of linebackers Hayden Manahan, Gann, Michael Silva, Ricky de la Torre, and senior Anthony Ysais. Senior Dillon Milum had a very good game. Senior Trevor Cowan had his best game on the varsity. Very strong effort. Sophomore Jackson Rhea and senior Lance Pierce are two folks no one wants to see in a dark alley. Tough young men. And Aiden Cuthbertson was sound at safety. With that Bronco running game, Cade Ligon and Guillermo Davila held their own in the middle of the line. Defense has allowed 24 points in two games. Two fumble recoveries Friday night, one by Jackson, and then “the scoop” TD by Mason.
Prediction: Gatesville fought hard against top 20 ranked Glen Rose Friday night, and were a 34 point underdog. Lost by 11. Look for the Hornets to win 4 games in that very tough 4AAA District….And Sonora will make the play-offs.
Llano has a 16-8 advantage over the history of playing Bandera. But in 2002 Llano played the Bulldogs at Bandera. With a Llano win against the 4-5 home team, the Jackets would make the playoffs. In a two over-time loss, Llano goes home. Bandera won the State Championship. The good 2019 Jacket team last season should have beat Bandera, but did not. Let some distraction happen on the way to Bandera, and bad things can happen. Not a team to go to sleep on. But great chicken fried steaks at Old Spanish Trail Restaurant.!!