Heartbreak Again Against Wimberley

This is one I do not know how to write.  I was mad…I was disappointed…I could not believe what had happened…Wimberley beat Llano in Llano Friday night 31-24 in overtime.  The Jackets fall to 1-3 in District play, and 5-4 for the 2018 season.

The Jackets have lost three games by a total of 14 points.

The Good:   Sophomore Diego Miguel, made the impossible…possible.  The Jackets were behind 24-21 with just a couple of minutes to play in the fourth quarter.  The Jacket defense held the Texans on a third down try, and Wimberley punted.  Llano had 77 yards to go.  A four yard gain, but two incomplete passes put Llano at the 27 yard line and fourth down. Then a strike from senior quarterback Cade Fly to junior Quincy Prince for 17 yards and a first down had Llano back in business.

On first down, a Fly to Kendall Downey pass was completed for 6 yards, and Llano was at the fifty yard line.  Three incomplete passes had Llano looking bad, but a penalty by the Texans gave Llano a first down.  Seconds ticking away.  Two more incomplete passes, but another penalty, after Cade was caught for a six yard loss.  Less than 20 seconds remained.  I thought at the moment Llano might could throw two passes into the end zone. But when I looked up, Diego was coming into the game.  My heart sunk…oh no….on the 31 yard line, add seven more for the placement of the ball, and 10 more for the end zone…48 yards !!! Are we crazy…no one in the history of LHS has anyone kicked close to a 48 yard field goal.  The great Grant Morgan held the record with a 42 yard kick in 2004.  He kicked a 40 yarder in 2003. And also kicked 6 in 2003…the school record.

In trots  Diego out to the field, lines up as if this were a practice or something….I fold up my notebook….going home  in a minute  now….But wow…so blessed that I was there…I saw a school record by 6 yards go straight thru the uprights…..Diego had tied the game 24-24…and put the game into overtime. A 48 yard field goal!! School record.  Sixth field goal of the season, which ties the school record in one year, and now….has never missed. 6 for 6. The Record book welcomes Diego.

Cade threw for 220 yards, his fourth time this year to throw for over 200 yards. Llano had 386 yards of offense, second best of the season.  Llano had no turnovers. And I only counted 4 penalties.  One was at a very bad time.

The Bad:  Llano’s defense did not play their best game.  Yet…from the beginning of the third quarter, to the 6:56 mark in the fourth quarter, Llano allowed only 25 yards on 13 plays.  Yet on play number 14, a complete breakdown…82 yard pass completion that put the Texans up 24-21.

I guess Wimberley just stopped our top play makers. Case Kuykendall touched the football 6 times, two pass receptions for 42 yards, and ran the ball 22 yards on 4 tries. Brooks Keele recovered a Jacket fumble that saved a 23 yard run by Ethan Tisdale, and had three catches for 46 yards.  And junior Quincy Prince had three catches for 69 yards.  Not counting the TD catch for 25 yards in overtime, that was called back by penalty.

Overtime: Kendall next caught a pass for 33 yards down to the two yard line.  Four plays later and still no closer.  Cade did get the word to the coaches that a quarterback sneak might work, and it did, but at the same instant, Wimberley called a time out and the second score of the overtime by the Jackets did not count.  On the next try at the sneak, everyone in Llano  and some in Kingsland knew the play was coming, and Wimberley held Cade out.

The Jackets just never seemed in rhythm.  I had the Jackets gaining one yard, or less on 17 plays.  The defense at times played great.  But just 4 plays by the Texans produced  150 yards…  All deal breakers for Llano.

I know Jacob Cruz had a good game.  Drew Cooper  and Quinton Franklin had good games, as did Kaleb Dodson.  Our three underclassmen at linebacker, Mason Baker, Ryan Warner and Logan Duggar had longer nights.  The secondary missed a few tackles.  But effort was always there. ALWAYS…

I’m tired of thinking about Wimberley.

The Jackets will play and win this Friday night against Eastside.  Llano will be 6-4 and will play the first place team from District 14-4A D11,  about November 16th somewhere.  We can start looking ahead, or we…the Jackets can take a deep breathe and make up their minds that this season is not over. Llano will finish with a winning season for the first time in 8 seasons.

There is still room for improvement.  Llano can get better.  Llano can make this week a week of working hard, and one that is built on being ready to win the November 16th game.  Llano has not had a signature game win this season, despite the sometimes, very good play.  These seniors need a game or two, to hang their hats on. One that can be talked about a decade from now.  Beating Eastside is not what I am taking about.  Beating your Bi-District opponent is what can count.  But it begins in practice this week.  Not waiting for next week to start getting  ready.  Winning games number 6 and 7 the next tens days would be a great start.  And then these seniors could be playing after Thanksgiving.  That goal is still there.  Our seniors must set the tone.