The 35-12 victory Friday night was an excellent start in righting the ship for the 2021 Llano Yellowjackets. The win at Jacket Stadium was a big lift for an offense that struggled the first week of play, and enforced the confidence of a defense that has a chance to be very special. The Jackets would have a hard time duplicating the play of the first half of play. Llano lead 22-0 at halftime, and scored 13 more points in the second half, with most every Jacket getting playing time. Sonora was held to less than 30 yards of offense in the first half. The Jacket offense had nearly 300 yards of offense.
Took only the second play of the game for senior quarterback Maddox Green to find junior wide receiver Sam Sueltenfuss on a down and out pattern, in which Sam slipped the tackle and took it to the end zone. Pretty sure this was Sam’s first varsity TD reception, and Maddox’s first TD pass this season. Line play came into the formula, with junior Jaxon Lange, and seniors Matthew Whitley and Zach Watson protecting Maddox.
The defense controlled the game. Junior linebackers Hayden Manahan and Ricky De La torre were on the ball carriers all night long. Junior defensive end Jaxon Rhea and Zach Watson were beast in the defensive line. Junior River Smith helped Llano to drop the Broncos for 7 plays and loss yardage, as well as pressuring the quarterback and a Jacket interception by junior Jackson Dillard put Llano back in business on the 49 yard line. From there junior Carson Kuykendall and junior Miguel Hernandez ran the ball 8 straight plays that set up a Jackson Dillard 25 yard field goal. Llano lead 15-0 with 6:36 to play in the first half.
Llano continued to dominate. Miguel caught a 9 yard pass, as did Sam for another TD and an 18 yards from Maddox. Continued good line play made the offense click. Sophomore Tanner Howell saw action as did junior Daniel Sandoval and sophomore Dylan Kennedy. Junior Ross Edwards, a starter as a sophomore dominated all night. Junior Hudson Godfrey had a good solid night. Double duty by Zach Watson solidifies a good line….and getting better.
The Jacket offense found its footing. Maddox completed passes to five receivers for 238 yards and 4 Td passes. Junior Ross Prokop had two catches and 23 yards…Sam 2 catches, 74 yards and two TD catches, Carson three catches, a 29 yarder for a TD, Miguel 3 catches and 28 yards, and with his first varsity catch, junior Coy Kelso made a great grab for 33 yards and a TD. Again, solid line play gave Maddox the time he needed.
The run game worked too. Carson lead the Jackets with 94 yards rushing and now has 195 yards receiving in two games. Miguel had over 70 yards rushing. But it was Miguel who brought every fan to their feet when he took the kickoff on the 9 yard line and went 91 yards for the Jackets and a 28-12 third quarter lead. This run goes into the record book.
The Jacket defense took no prisoners. Solid play by so many. junior Isaiah Bush had a solid game. So did Caden Bauman from his safety position. Cole Franklin, another new defensive back had several real good plays. Sophomore Fitz Kennedy had several tackles and was very aggressive. Jordan Coronado is making a real hand at linebacker….I think…he lines up too fast for me to tell where he is!!! Sophomore Briggs Green is one to watch.. A play maker coming on. Junior Ulisses Martinez looked good at cornerback, and sophomore Donavan Simmons made a tackle for a loss. Brock Fly at linebacker was in on several stops. Kaden Raborn got into some plays and as a senior will provide valuable backup help. As will Jenin Bastyens at defensive back and receiver. Junior Remington Hipp and senior Aiden Guido saw action and gaining experience will pay off for both. And expect to see more from junior Ryan Turner and sophomore Charlie White.
Llano is 1-1 going into Homecoming. We have have never played Austin Crockett before The 14-5-A school….I expect Llano to have a good game against a much bigger school, but not one with a lot of success. Crockett will have players that are seasoned and have played much better competition thru the years. They likely see Llano as an opportunity to get a win. The Jackets cannot let their guard down. Getting better every week is so important, and the Jackets again face a district that down the road that will very very tough. The Jackets have so many sophomores and juniors. Stopping to rest will not work on this level. Beating Crockett is a step in getting better.