The “Get Well” Llano Yellowjackets showed up in force Friday night in New Braunfuls Canyon Stadium as the Jackets beat the District 14 -4 A Champion 48-21 in the Bi-District contest. Llano was never in trouble. Prepared as if this was the first game of the season, as Llano was against Hondo back on August 30th of this season. This is a new season, and game two again faces the District Runner-Up Sinton out of District 15-4A. The 7-4 Pirates will play Llano Friday night in San Antonio.
The Yellowjackets ran their first four plays from scrimmage and had 14 points. Senior Donaven Arellano ran the first play for three yards. Second down, senior quarterback Braxton Vickers hit junior Case Keykendall for a 56 yard TD pass with only 11:22 on the clock. The Jacket defense playing with the intensity it takes to win a playoff game, allowed the Warhorses one first down, and then caused a loss of 18 yards on the next three plays.
Outstanding all night long, Mason Baker, Jacob Cruz, Ryan Duggar, Quentin Franklin, Able Prince, Aaron Brown and Guillermo Davilla made life very unpleasant for the home team. Cruz got a fumble and Llano was set up on the 47 yard line.
Donaven broke thru the defense and ran 50 yards down to the three yard line on first down. Braxton ran it in from the three. Llano 14, Devine 0. 6:37 left in the first quarter.
Devine was a very strong running team. On the kickoff, after a fine play by Jacket Aaron Inge, the Warhorses were still not giving it up. An 11 play drive, that included a Jacket pass interference call, and 9 running plays got Devine in the end zone. 14-7 with :42 seconds left in the quarter. Defense was lead by Cruz, Arron Brown, Joseph Reed, junior Cade Ligon, sophomore Anthony Meza, Randall Murray and cornerback Luke Keller.
Llano did not play perfect. Going to do that the next game. But the Jackets began after the kickoff on the 24 yardline. Three plays later they were on their own one yardline. Poor play by all. Then a short punt allowed Devine to start on the Jacket 16 yardline!!! Looked dark looking down toward the end zone with the Jackets’ backs to the wall. Again, Baker, Reed, Ligon, Keller, Jansen Morris, and senior Justin Yocum all stepped up their game. Facing 4th down and 17 to go, Llano held. Llano’s ball. This series of downs was likely the spot that put a big hole in the Warhorses’ confidence.
If that series didn’t, Llano’s next time with the ball did. Llano facing second down, Braxton hit Case for a big 31 yard gain, down to the 42 yard line. Next play, Braxton found a covered up Quincy Prince, but did not matter. The best hands man I have seen in decades, makes the catch and 42 yards later Llano leads 21-7. Diego Miguel kicks true for three in a row.
The Warhorses have some steam to use. Devin marched 10 plays, but on fourth down, again the Jacket defense holds. Llano needs three plays. Case runs for 15 and a first down. Braxton hits Quincy for the 36 yard TD catch, number 14 for the season.
Senior Justin Yocum wants more action. So on the next series by Devine, the senior cornerback picks off a pass and sets the offense up on the 34 yard line. Braxton gets 9 with a pass to junior speedster Jared Beasley. And one more time…57 yards to Case for the Jacket lead of 34-7 at half.
Devine got the ball. The defense again, stops after three plays….Duggar, Franklin, Ryan, and Keller make the plays. And once more…but Donaven is not in the game. Shook up after the big run earlier, in comes senior Aaron Brown. two carries and 16 yards, Braxton for 14, and junior Mason Baker for 9 more. From the 39, Braxton hits fleeting Quincy for the TD…number 15…..Braxton has 32 TD passes this season.
Never have seen this ever….Llano’s JV and backups play the remainder of the game. Brown gets a running TD from the 10. Senior Randall Murray carries the ball 5 times. Matt Green completes a 14 yard pass to Able Prince. Great opportunity for all of these players. Llano has 101 players this season . Most ever that I know.
You can see the great players and their names. Offensive line may have played their best game to date.Seniors Edgardo Resendiz, Lewis McTighe, Jose Villa, Heath Godfrey and Jacob Bubenick all played their hearts out. Every play counted. Juniors Luke Hicks, Dalton Enberg and sophomore Matthew Whitley are studs. These lineman may not be able to keep Braxton upright for 3 full seconds….but near 2.5….has been better than good enough. Llano will need every mil-a- second Friday night.
Loved the Jackets kick-off by junior Jared Beasley…scibb kicks that were all bobbled by Devine….average starting place about the 30 yard line…and great coverage….Aaron Inge, Beasley, Reed, Lance Pierce, Bubenick, Trevor Cowan, Matthew Ibanez, Cruz, Keller, all hustled and made plays.
Loved seeing senior Jansen Morris get meaningful plays in…and this week should be even better….great force on the defensive line. Along with Davilla, Cruz, Cade, Quentin, and Brown, quarterbacks beware….
Love seeing Aaron Brown run the ball, but need Donaven to be well…Brown much needed at safety on defense….
Everyone has a part…and this team has so many parts…and now, looks like most are healthy….With key exceptions of Jake Self, Aiden Cuthbertson, and senior John Roberts, Jackets can play like was invisioned in August.
Sinton will be good. Have only played once in past, and Sinton won in Area Play-off game in 2015. None of those players are still around, nor any Jackets going to high school 5 years. I can tell you this. Sinton will not have better players than Llano. At this level, it is who is best prepared, who mentally is most ready from the beginning of the game…who is not waiting for someone else to make the plays. Jacket seniors are topping out right now. Playing the best they have all season. Seniors recognize this. And know in the moment, how to play hard, like it is the last game they may ever play.
Llano 36 Sinton 28
Wednesday will have another little story to tell about playing in San Antonio.