The Llano Yellowjackets fought off a very good Lago Vista team Friday night to take a 44-27 victory home and their 7th win in a row. The Jackets began the game just fine. Taking the kick-off, Llano had runs by senior Case Kuykendall, and senior Austin Hulon. And on second and 7, Case found junior Abel Prince for the 47 yard strike. Diego Perez’s extra point was good and the Jackets lead 7-0.
Not so fast though. The Vikings came right back with their own score, and four plays later they too had scored. 7-7.
In his varsity debut, Sam Sueltenfuss took the Jacket kick-off and had a fine 26 yard return up to the 36 yard line. But, three plays later, a Jacket interception got the ball rolling for the Vikings. Only a saving tackle by senior Jared Beasley kept the run back from being a TD. Two plays later the Vikings took the lead at 14-7.
Llano, not often this season playing from behind, still had kinks to work out. Yet Case dropped back on the next possession and hit Jared with a perfect pass for a 45 yard gain down to the Vikings’ 20 yard line. 5 plays later, the Jackets settled for a Diego 21 yard field goal and the score was 14-10 Vikings.
The second quarter felt even more strange, as another interception gave the Vikings the ball and they scored in 6 plays and went ahead 21-10. Llano needed a score. Runs of 14 and 53 yards by Case put the ball on the Viking 10 yards line, where Abel carried it in on the first play with a 10 yard TD run. 21-17.
The Jacket defense held on the next set of downs. Mason Baker, Lance Pierce, Cade Ligon, Hayden Manahan, Jaxson Rhea and Luke Keller were at their best. No missed tackles. Held the Vikings on fourth and four and Llano took over.
Case for 1 yard. Austin caught a Case pass for 12. Case for 12 more. Then a super effort by Austin, after catching a Case pass, went rambling for 4o yards down to the 6 yard line, where Case then threw to Maddox for the score and the Jacket lead at halftime 24-21. WHEWWW!!!
While it seemed closer, the Jacket offense had run up 317 yards at halftime, to the Vikings 152. The Jacket offensive line had opened just enough running lanes for Case, Austin, Abel and fullback Mason Baker Plus pass blocked so that Case was not sacked. Dalton Enberg, Matthew Whitley, Zach Watson, Ross Edwards and seniors Colin Mayes with Luke Hicks were great. Much help from Trevor Cowan and Jesus Chacon helped the Jackets to the halftime lead.
The third quarter saw the Vikings come out determined. Taking the kick-off and beginning on the 30 yard line, here came the Vikings. Four yards, 11 yards on a pass, 17 more on a run, 7 more on a pass. Three first downs. But on a fourth down try, again the Jacket defense held and Llano had the ball. Strong play on defense by Guillermo Davilla, Abel, Luke, and always great, safety Aiden Cuthbertson. Tackles by sophomore Ricky de la Torre and senior Zane Toney-Fielding, Cade, Dillon Milum, and Anthony Ysais….team tackling was on the menue.
Llano’s ball. 7 yard pass to junior Maddox Green. Then off to the races by Hulon. Right up the middle with good blocking by Whitley and Dalton. 68 yards and the TD. Now Jackets lead 31-21. Next. Jackets hold on three plays. Ricky and Abel make key tackles. Llano’s ball. Case for 9 more on two carries. And another great throw and catch. 67 yards from Case to Jared and the TD. Diego good…38-21. And the final score, Mason busted in from the one yard line to end the Jacket scoring with a 44-21 lead.
Back in the second quarter, Llano’s Case Kuykendall dropped back, threw a pass to Maddox Green, out in the flat. Ball bounced. Looked like an incomplete pass. But was thrown backward. It is like a pitch-out. All relaxed. Even the Viking defense. Streaking down field, Hulan. Maddox throws a perfect strike and a 40 yard gain that leads to a score.
Something I have never seen. Near end of third quarter. On fourth down Coach Green sends Diego out to try a 37 yard field goal. He kicks. It is good….but wait…a 10 yard penalty on Lago Vista. Llano elects to take the 3 points off the scoreboard. Line up on the 11….10 yards by Case. Mason scores. Wow…confidence….
Lance Pierce had another fumble recovery in the third quarter that lead to a Jacket score.
Three Yellowjackets had more than 100 yards total offense…Hulon, Beasley, and Case. Case had a total of 385 yards offense, running and throwing. Maddox had 6 catches for 49 yards, and the 40 pass to Austin. Abel ran and caught passes. And played defense. Diego was 6 for 6 on extra points and one field goal. And one very important tackle.
Hard fought win….One asked me if I were worried? Let me tell you about worried…and maybe worried is not the right word. Let’s use “concerned”….Concerned is when you are down by the score of 31-21 with 2:27 left in the game. (San Saba). Who was concerned?
Well…the Bible says the Meek shall inherit the earth. The Meek are unlikely to be concerned….yeh…their going to be in pretty good shape someday. And one of my all-time favorites…Alfred E. Neiman. Buck tooth, freckled face, tassled hair, taxie cab ears…”What, me Worry” guy. So I put me lot with the Meek and Alfred. Not worried…but at times “concerned”.
The real dark horse of 3AAA District 13 Division 1 is Blanco. Here they are playing for the District Championship against Llano. Blanco is 6-1. Played some good schools. Have a State Championship hanging on the wall. Have an experienced quarterback. Good running backs….strong defense. Llano is playing for the Championship. What this team, these seniors have been thinking about since last November. Can’t sleep on this very good Blanco team. They are playing for the same marbles. Let’s make this Championship game one to remember. Llano rolls to 8-0.