The Llano Yellowjacket’s opening game of 2014 was at best, a disappointment. The thing to remember here is that we have 9 games to make a season still successful. Wall, ranked # 3 in the State in 3-AAA, showed why they are now 16-1 over the past 17 games. Speed, speed, and quick. Maybe not the best matchup for Llano, but give the green and white some deserved credit, they are very good.
The 54-21 score was a game of two halves. Llano was not competitive in the first half, and got much better and serious in the second half. So, lets concentrate on the second half.
Senior Llano quarterback Holden Simpson began the half by completing 7 straight passes and two TD passes, before an incompletion at the end of the quarter. Completions to Jalen Bauman, Tommy Yelvington, senior Lance Reven, junior Dorian Green and senior Kasin Riley….the offense was clicking…the offensive line of Jose Arredondo, Colton Center, senior Colin Mayne, Ray Dixon, and Cody Harp fired out on the defense, instead of waiting to be hit. And senior Aaron Moss, with Trevor Penny running hard in the backfield. It was all working, and then the fourth quarter was some good, and more less good.
But what I saw, I actually liked. Llano is not going to be a bad football team. The seniors have pride. The skill level is lacking, but the Jackets can pull together and make every single play a better one than the last. And for that to happen, takes senior leadership. Reven, Bauman, and Holden can keep this team together. I have seen teams fall apart after a few early season losses, and by midseason, no one cares. But the last time that happened was 15 years ago. My memory tells me 4 seniors quit mid season. There are no quiters on the 2014 team. and the goal of being the first Jacket team to make the state playoffs in 4-AAAA football is still very viable.
Had Llano played the first quarter as they did the 3rd quarter, Llano would have been very proud Saturday morning when they woke up. Now, they go back to work.
The defense knows they must cover better, although covering all everything #3 Kris Gutierrez will be tough for the best. Llano maybe was not ready for that kind of speed and quickness in one great player. Someone after the game said it was hard to keep up with where the football was. No problem with that. Just keep up with jersey #3 and you could bet the football was close.
On defense, Arredondo, and Penny played well. Penny, all 145 pounds, plays down lineman, running back, and runs back kickoffs. Moss and Yelvington will get more confidence as the season moves on from their secondary positions. Bauman was good. Reven was strong, recovering a fumble. Junior Cody Miller is going to be good. Really like freshman starter, Ray Dixon. If he stays focused, and stays serious, he could be special. I liked the play of Wyatt Bauman. And really feel comfortable with senior David Forrister handling our kicking game. And look for senior Colton Elstrom to be important to this team.
Llano…forget Wall. Don’t let them beat you again this week too. You will match up well with Bangs. You can beat Bangs. Start turning the corner now. It is the most important game you have ever played up to this moment.
Llano 28 Bangs 12