The loss to District foe Lytle will haunt the Yellow Jackets for a long time. The 15-13 loss in over-time was a true heartbreaker, and for most parts, Llano did many of the right things that should have brought home a victory. The defense had their best effort of the season, especially in the running game. Llano held the Pirates to 11 total rushing yards on 20 carries. 7 for losses, 6 more for one yard or less. So the Pirates went to their passing game, and it proved effective.
Can’t say enough about senior linebacker Wyatt Bauman. Wyatt was in on 12 tackles, and a defense that held Lytle to 3 yards in the first quarter and forced two punts. Same for fellow linebacker and sophomore Ian Fletcher, with 6 stops. Great effort from seniors Airon Fletcher and Dorian Green. J. Soliz and Brent Greenwood played hard for 48 minutes. Love the play of junior Robert Alcala. Also Hunter Roemer, a junior. And just when on a single play I get upset with senior cornerback Cody Miller, he makes the sensational play of the game, with a Victor Cruz like one handed interception in the fourth quarter. A truly great play.
When the Pirates went to their passing game, they completed 16 on 25 throws, including the final play of overtime and the winning points. This has happened often with Llano, when such a great effort is negated by having the wrong defense called or someone not taking the right angle to a receiver. Stopping the run was great, but Lytle was going to throw the ball in overtime, since they were down 13-9 at this point.
Scoring 13 points will not win many games. When you have a running game with the likes of sophomore Mason Greenwood, and someone with the savvy of Airon ( 3 carries, 80 yards), that is what you stay with. Mason’s 178 yards on 30 carries are game winning numbers. And this time we give credit to a maligned offensive line that is playing well. Senior Jose Arredondo had his best and most consistent game. Senior center, Colton Center moved all over, from center to left and right tackle. I love this smart move. Run behind your best bulldozer. Cameron Hall also, maybe his best game. Two way starter, sophomore Ray Dixon always plays great. Well, near great. And Cameron Brumley blocked very good the entire game. Senior Luke Snitkin had a very good game blocking. These are the guys that made Mason and Airon look good.
Three turnovers by Llano gave no favors. Llano got away from the ineffective passing game, but still completed 3 of 9 attempts for 10 yards. 6 Jacket series went for minus yards or incomplete passes on third and 4th downs. Just not enough.
On the last play of regulation play, Llano attempted a school record 44 yard field goal. It was not even close, as regular field goal man, Center was hurt and unable to kick. When Airon scored on the first play of overtime, the extra point was blocked and returned for 2 points. Thus, the 13-9 score. One play later the Pirates completed another pass and the rest is heartbreak.
The 2-6 Yellow Jackets need to break someone else’s heart. Playing at home this coming Friday night, in comes the Hondo Owls. It’s senior night. Llano is 2-2 on the new artificial turf. Maybe still a long shot, but a win could put Jackets in a position to be the fourth team in playoffs. Other things need to happen, but still, a chance. This last home game needs to be something special for these seniors. Last year Hondo embarrassed the Jackets with a shutout in Hondo. Let’s return the favor.
Llano 20 Hondo 6