Host Bandera waited in the tall grass last Friday night and derailed the Llano Yellowjackets effort to go up 2-1 in 13 4A play. As a result of the 28-21 loss to the Bulldogs, Llano falls to 1-2 in District play, with Wimberley on the horizon.
Bandera used a very effective running attack to down the Jackets. Bandera was able to convert on third down 6 times with an average gain each time of 18 yards per play. The Jacket defense held the Bulldogs two times on third down, Randall Murray was able to pick off a pass in the first quarter, and two Yellwojacket penalties gave the Bulldogs first downs. The defense had a very hard time getting the ball back to the Jacket offense.
Several valuable Jacket defenders did not suite up for the Bandera game, due to injuries. Injuries cannot be used as an excuse. Bandera may have had the same. Llano’s effort was top end. Senior Jacob Cruz may have had his best game from his defensive line position. Linebackers Mason Baker, Quentin Franklin and Edgardo Resendiz had strong games. Senior Joseph Reed and Luke Keller had good games. But strong stops on first and second downs did not always work on third down for Llano.
The Jackets managed less than 50 yards of offense in the second half of play. Leading 21-14 at halftime, Llano just never got going, as no points in the second half attest. Quincy Prince had 4 catches for 71 yards and 2 TDs in the first half….and junior Jared Beasley had 2 catches for 52 yards. Quarterback Braxton Vickers was pressured on most every play, and Donaven Arrellano had only 58 yards rushing on 14 carries. This loss was a team loss. Everyone participated. 6 crucial penalties hurt badly. A Jacket blocked punt added to a Bulldogs touchdown
Llano plays Wimberley in Wimberley Friday night. Wimberley is 6-2 for the season. The Texans lost to Navarro this past Friday night by 28 points. Llano lost to Navarro two weeks ago by 31 points. Llano is more than capable of beating this good Texan team. Their quarterback Cooper McCollum is seasoned and a good runner as well as a good passer. No one ever thinks the Jackets will not have their hands full.
Llano has had their “let up” game. Now is the time to have their “signature” game. Time for the Jackets to all play and have their best moments. Maybe many of the injured will be able to play this week. Time to halt the unwarranted penalties. Offensive Lineman…When Braxton is out of the pocket running around, just step in front of the defensive lineman…keep your hands to yourself. Get the running game working…that is what helps the passing game. And the defense must get off the field on third down. Llano is capable. Wimberley will not have more talent than Llano. It may come down to whom wants it the most. If Llano wins, they too as Wimberley would likely end the regular seasons at 7-3 .
It is not as if Llano has lost three games to a bunch of slackers. Those three teams have a combined record of 21-3. But Llano really needs to step this one up. A win can really get the Jackets going for a good run into the playoffs. Beating Wimberley would be special.
And for the seniors…a great memory forever if they beat both Cuero and Wimberley in the same season. It is more than possible. Llano 35 Wimberley 30.