Jackets Take First District Win 59-0

The 5-0 Llano Yellow Jackets secured the first district contest Friday night by beating San Antonio Cole by the score of 59-0. The Jackets started slow, but after leading 7-0 in the first quarter, Llano scored on three possessions in the second quarter. to lead 28-0.

It was the Jackets first shut-out this season. For reference, Llano had two shut-outs in 2020, and two in 2021. The Jackets held Cole to less than 100 yards of offense. Llano had 405 yards rushing, another 182 yards passing for 587 yards of offense.

Senior running back Carson Kuykendall had 5 rushing TDs, to equal his production against Jerrell. Senior Miguel Hernandez had a TD on 109 yards rushing. Senior Remington Hipp had 84 yards on only 7 carries. And Junior quarterback Briggs Green had 41 yards on 8 carries. The Jacket offensive line dominated the Cole defense. Senior Brennen Green, and junior Donaven Rodriguez both had great nights blocking.

Briggs had a good night passing, hitting 11 of 16 passes to 6 different receivers and 182 yards. Senior Ross Prokop had 2 catches for 17 yards. Sam Sueltenfuss had one catch for 37 yards, and Jackson Dillard had three catches for 65 yards. Junior wide out Alex Kachura also had two catches. Carson had 2 catches, but the crowd roared when senior Coy Kelso caught his first TD of the season for 19 yards.

The shut out was significant. I think it really gives the defense a strong feeling of confidence. Defensive coordinator Matt Anastasio has brought an attitude to the Jacket defense. And to try and paraphrase, defense is 50% physical and 90% mental!! The attitude is just like what happened on the first play of the second half. Cole ran a play from its own 25 yard line. Junior safety Braeden Hatfield not only was on the line of scrimmage for the tackle, but stripped the ball from the ball carrier and scored for Llano. The Jackets had two interceptions. Junior Charlie White and senior Ulisses Martinez each took one from Cole.

Famous radio broadcaster Art Dlugach pointed out that Llano has 11 interceptions on the young season…asking what is the school record for the season? Good question…and one category I’ve not kept. I’ll put that down also, as something to do in the off season. But interceptions to me, are a mental thing. You have to coach players in believing that every pass in the air…belongs to them. Our secondary lead by Ulisses with three, Caden Bauman with 2, Charlie with 2, followed by Isaiah Bush, Fitz Kennedy and Braeden in the secondary will make things tough on any quarterback….but Coach Anastasio has set the tone. Those balls in the air…belong to us!

Such great effort on special teams has made life easier for everyone. Players like Russell Nelson, Cole Franklin and Remington give it 100% on every punt and kick-off. Junior Jackson Hoot goes down hard on kick offs. Luke Turner is another that flat out gets down field. Special effort from players that see little reward.

Llano kicked off deep this week against Cole. Sure like that better than the kicks where we force a fair catch. Not much good at keeping which is better for field position. I guess I’ll know when someone runs a kick off back on us.

Senior Bryce Mize has been spectacular playing in the defensive line, along with three year starter Jaxon Rhea and Parker Parrish. Those three have been crushing offensive lines. Junior Frank Machuga had a great night against Cole. Kyle Gilliand coming off injury is playing strong. JJ Vaughn and Cole Franklin had many stops. Junior Hunter Brown had a very good game. And our linebackers of Ricky De La Torre, Fitz Kennedy, Brock Fly and Hayden Manahan are unmatched. Dusty Miller and Alex are also playing tough on defense. Loved that shut out.

At the end of the 2nd quarter, Ulisses intercepted and Llano got the ball on the Jacket 5 yard line. The Jackets scored in 5 plays. 95 yards. 14 yard run by Briggs. Passes to Ross and Jackson Dillard, and two runs of 48 yards by Carson. A great block by Dillard A Mize extra point made it 28-0. Mize was 8 of 8 on extra points plus his 34 yard field goal in the third quarter gave him 11 points for the night.

Homecoming is this week in Jacket Stadium. Lulling comes in with a nice 3-2 record. Expect a fiesty team with “upset” in mind. Llano has never lost to Lulling. Llano can finish out September with a 6-0 record. Llano by 30.

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