The show down game of the year for the Llano Yellowjackets, again was against District 13-3A rival LagoVista. Again it was figured to be close. And again, it was.d Llano came away with a 13-10 victory at Jacket Stadium Friday night, but not before Llano lost the lead with 3:05 left in the fourth quarter. The Lago Vista quarterback went straight up the middle of the field on a 51 yard run that put the Vikings up 10-7. Why this was very shocking to Jacket fans is because the Llano defense had previously forced the Vikings to punt on 7 consecutive set of downs.
The Vikings scored on their first possession, driving for 9 plays down to the 9 yard line where a successful 26 yard field goal gave Lago Vista the lead at 3-0. The 3 points were the first points scored in the first quarter against the Jacket defense this season.
So how did the Jackets pull this one out? Same as always. Playing till the end of the game. To make it harder, Llano took the kick-off and went 3 and out before you could say “Uncle”. But Llano’s Coaches had three time outs in their pocket. Lago Vista being confident they could run out the clock, ran the ball on all three plays. And the defense stopped all three, and called time out after each play.
So, on fourth and 7, Lago punted. Well, sorta punted. The ball went straight up and fell to earth on the scrimmage line for a net punt of 0. Jacket football on the 46 yard line.
Jacket senior quarterback Maddox Green hit junior wide receiver Sam Sueltenfuss on an out pattern for 16 yards and a first down. Then Maddox took one for the team, sprinting to the outside for a 14 yard gain, and a Viking defender thought it best to make sure Maddox was out of bounds. Bam bam…and 15 yard penalty on the Vikings. Llano was set up on the 13 yardline. First down Maddox throws to junior Ross Prokop for another first down and 10 yards. Llano on the 3 yard line. Carson Kuykendall took the football and scored on first down. Llano took the lead 13-10 with 1:03 left in the game.
Game still not over. Lago had the football on the 38 yard line. 13 yard pass completion. First down. 17 yard run. First down. Another 13 yard run. First down, but a holding penalty and time running out Lago needed to throw the football. And in steps junior Isaiah Bush in front of a pass and Jackets win with :13 seconds left in the game.
Llano is now 5-2 for the season, and 2-0 in district play. Lago Vista is now 4-3 for the season and 1-1 in district play.
There are no good losses, and few losses that moral victories really matter. But I do believe the Jackets never blinked in the Lago Vista game is because they played so hard and to the last play two weeks ago against a good Ballinger team and lost 35-34. On the last play. The Jackets mettle is getting stronger.
Coaches don’t call the right plays. Fans don’t show up with spirit and enthusiam. It’s the weather. Or the defense let us down. Or the offense just was never in sync. It does take everyone. Both offenses Friday night were averaging over 30 points a game. Could the Jacket defense really step it up to meet this challenge?
The Jacket defense stepped it up the best I have seen in a long time. When Llano held Lago Vista to zero yards in the third quarter…has this ever happened? Three runs, three passes. Nothing. On top of that the Vikings punter punted twice for 42 and 60 yards, putting the Jackets on the 6 and the 20 yard lines. Before that, he punted twice and put Llano deep in our own territory on the one and five yard lines. Which made it tough for the offense to get clever. Still Llano drove out to the 41 yard line and used 10 plays in the third quarter on the drive.
Both teams showed up to win. Said this last season. Would not want to play them again, but we might…we just might.
Jackets played so hard. Can’t say enough about linebackers Hayden Manahan, Ricky de la Torre and Fitz Kennedy. Lineman Zach Watson, Jaxon Rhea played both ways, as did senior Matthew Whitley. All studs. Daniel Sandoval, Dylan Kennedy, Tanner Howell and River Smith are playing fantastic. Secondary is not a weakness. Bauman, Dillard, Sam, Brock Fly, Briggs Green, and Isaiah are menacing to any quarterback……I’ve missed some great players, but will catch up next week, after we beat Blanco If we remember, Blanco played Llano very close last year, and this year we travel to Blanco. It may feel like after Lago Vista, we should let up. Nope, cannot happen. These seniors showed they want to win District, and two in a row may be for the first time ever! Still need to look up more information. In 1970, Llano went 9-0-1 and were Co-Champions, but did not go to the play offs. Then in 1971 went 5-4 and won District and went to the play offs. This is special. Beating Blanco will not be easy. Blanco is trying to save their season. Just like at Ballinger, some teams play better at home. Blanco will play Llano the best game they play all year. It will be that important to them.
It must be that important to the Jackets. Senior leadership guys, time for everyone to step it up. Beating a good Blanco team is a must, and the Jackets need to continue to improve. Let’s roll to 6-2.