The Llano Yellow Jackets beat Cotulla Thursday night in a game played in Hondo. The Bi District win was the 5th year in a row that Head Coach Matt Green has lead the Jackets to a victory in Bi District play. The 44-0 victory gives the Jackets an 11-0 record this season. The shutout is the second shutout in School play off history. The Jackets in 1973 beat #2 ranked Bastrop 7-0
While the Jacket offense had nearly 500 yards in offense, one would have to say the Defense showed up strong. Cotulla, In 12 offensive possessions, the Jacket defense forced 4 punts, intercepted 4 passes, recovered a kick off, and held on 4th down trys, three times. The Llano defense allowed 127 total yards, and had its second shut out of the season. The Jackets have given up 111 points now in 11 games.
There is no doubt that Cotulla was not a very strong foe, but the Jackets came to play, and the defense allowed no quarter. Ulisses Martinez had two interceptions and Isaiah Bush, and Caden Bauman each had one. Great pass rushing by seniors Jaxon Rhea, Bryce Mize, Kyle Gilland and junior Frank Machuga were relentless. Parker Parish is solid on defense. Hunter Brown and JJ Vaughn, along with Donaven Rodriguez so valuable in back up roles. Very little drop off. And then in the fourth quarter, players I do not know their names, played just as hard. #1 was good. But few can match Llano’s linebackers. All time school record holder Hayden Manahan plays with such speed and force. Then you have three year starter Ricky De La Torre. A wow player. Brock Fly has been tremendous all year. Cole Franklin, and Fitz Kennedy just always show up on big big plays. Remington Hipp is a very good linebacker. Luke Turner has played so good ever since district play began. Outstanding player. Senior Gavin Anderson is a player. Senior Russell Nelson was in on play after play. And my program shows # 36 being Johnny Cope. If it is you…good job.
I thought, that the secondary of the 2020 class was just as good as it gets. But this bunch….goodness…the number of take a ways is a head shaker. Besides Caden, Ulisses and Isaiah, you have a tremendous safety in junior Braeden Hatfield. Charlie White is back healthy, and so good. Alex Kachura and Dusty Miller are sure tacklers. Love the play of junior Jackson Hoot. This defense is fun to watch. And every play is a Yellow Jacket opportunity.
This week, to me feels like the San Diego game of last season. Goliad will run the slot t offense. Our defense will have to use skills it has not used as much this season. The Tigers are 8-3 and have played some very good football. They will run you to death…and run some more. They beat Rio Hondo 60-10 last week in Bi District and had 60 points in their last District game. They enter the Area game expecting to win. And that offense that gets the three yards and a cloud of dust…will test our every ounce of skill set.
Our defensive line will be so tested…and our linebackers will be so tested, and and secondary will have to use every skill of open field tackling they have ever had. This great defense will have to play its best game ever in order to win.
One way we will win. Our offense will have to keep the ball. The Jackets ran 39 running plays against Cotulla. 15 of those plays were for 2 yards or less. Carson with over 135 yards Thursday night, and Miguel Hernandez and 16.4 yards per carry, and Briggs Green with 72 yards, were many times hit in the backfield. The end results looked good. But the Offensive line will have to play better for the Jackets to win. This offensive line is stocked with senior veterans. They must come thru in their biggest game of the season. No game will mean more. Every play will count. Seniors Ross Edwards, Daniel Sandoval, Jaxon Lange, Brannen Green, Hudson Godfrey and Hayden Smith must take this game on themselves. If Llano can hold on to the ball, make long mistake free drives…we will win. Donaven Rodriguez, Dylan Kennedy, Frank Machuga, and Hunter Brown, along with Parker Parrish and Coy Kelso will need to have their best nights blocking.
We all think this Jacket team is really special. But really special means playing great football in the hardest of times. It will be cold, and it may be wet. The Jackets with no doubt, must be at its best to continue on. I believe they will. Jackets win by 8.