Expectations are Not About Someone Else

The building blocks that first year head football coach Matt Green set in place laid a foundation.  But the walls and roof are still to be built.  Coach Green has expectations, but his biggest worry is that he does his part.  That he does not miss something.  That he does not let a player slip by he and his staff.  That they misjudge a player.  Or, misjudge the players ability. Or, misjudge the position the player is lined up at.  Lots to worry about when you are Coach.

But a players expectations have to be selfish.  Cade Fly cannot be expecting Brooks Keele to get bigger and faster so Cade can complete more passes.  Cade expectations have to be on what Cade expects of himself.  What does he have to do to get bigger and stronger.  What does he have to work on so that he sees the playing field better when he scrambles around on a busted play.  What does he work on so that turnovers of his offense are at a minimum.  Cade has to do that for Cade.  Brooks can take care of himself and his own expectations.  This is one part of being on a team in which you make sure you are carrying your part of the load.

Not my expectations, but my concerns or worries, are really just that.  But while I loved the Jackets offensive and  defensive lineman of 2017, now I worry that most all will be moving on.  I hope I said this in the right way.  You just do not jump out there and replace a Ray Dixon, Daniel Sparks, or Josh Soliz. Or for that matter Austin Humphrey and Dalton Bauman.  Best defensive lineman as a group in maybe 20 years in Llano.

When I look at the players coming back, I see Drew Cooper.  When healthy, one quick and determined football player.  But Drew needs help.  And one way Drew gets that help is by being a locker room leader.  Younger players will be looking up to older experienced players like Drew, and Brooks, and Mason Brooks, and Tyler Lindell.  And leading by example is one way to find the replacements of Ian Fletcher and Luis Coronado.  They do not grow on trees.  But Llano has them.  The experienced players have to expect more of themselves.  More now than ever.  It can be said that is how you start building the walls, and then the roof.  Or, how you build a football team.

I think the Jackets in  2018 could have lots of skill position talent.  Besides Cade at quarterback, and a good athlete in Kendall Downey as backup, and Brooks catching a few passes.  Mason running and playing defense.  Charlie Mote gets healthy.  Kaleb Dodson is going to be good.  Ethan Tisdale in the secondary will be working to replace great seniors Gage Cox and Tyler Gann.  Thomas Adams  must step up and do the same.  Christian Kirby too.  All three are good athletes.  All three can be difference makers. So can Presley  Lynch and Logan Duggar.  Both showed they were players. Aaron Brown could be whatever he wants to be.  His expectations of himself should be high.  Hard work will get Aaron and the rest of the Jackets to the place they want to be. Expect it of yourself.

Look forward to February.  Our district may stay the same, but have heard there could be adjustments.  Coach Green is working on the schedule.  May be hard to find the right teams for Llano to face in 2018.  But it reminded me of past years and so many teams that have been in our district in the past.  Lake Travis, Georgetown, Round Rock, Dripping Springs, Manor, Ballinger, Coleman, Brownwood, Fredericksburg, Mason, San Saba, Liberty Hill, Gatesville, Bandera.  6 former State Champions in that group.

Never intend to leave anyone out, but I usually do. Will keep trying to get all of  you players recognized.  But to you young players.  With so many seniors gone, what an opportunity.  Every year Llano has players that step up and play better than ever expected.  You can be one of those players. Work hard, work harder.  And expect a lot of yourself.

Continue to tweek the record book…Lots of new entries over the weeks.  Do not hesitate to let me know when I have erred.  I want this thing right.

If someone out there could help on this one.  Need stats  for Anthony Watson and Aaron Brown for 2016.  Ned to add to their totals of this season.  I should have it, but cannot find it!!!please call or email…mvirdell@virdellrealestate.com…or 325-248-3515.

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2017 Has Been a Good Start

Everyone likes to be a part of something big.  Something that is important.  Something that is lasting.  And I think that is what 2017 will look like to the seniors of 2017…someday.  It may still be too fresh from but two weeks ago to lose a 20-14  game that was just moments away from being a 14-6 winner. With 3:44 left in the game, Llano scored on a great play by senior Ben Walling, snatching a pass away from a defensive back from Crystal City for Llano to take the lead, deep in the corner of the Javelinas’ end zone.

Fate had other ideas.  Despite the Jacket defense holding two 1,000 yard season rushers to 52 total rushing yards.  Despite holding the Javelinas on two fourth down tries.  Despite an interception by senior Tyler Gann. Despite forcing 3 punts.  And despite throwing Javelina runners for losses or no gains on 11 plays for a minus 45 yards.  Llano still was unable to hold the advantage.  Had you asked Head Coach Matt Green would he take those numbers before the game began, he could not have shouted “yes” quick enough.

Still, as I said last week, this one will take some time for wounds to heal.  We can remember  the great parts.  Senior Mason Greenwood had a solid game of 10 carries and 101 yards rushing, with the wonderful 60 yard run in the fourth quarter.  Pushed Mason’s rushing totals to 6th all-time in the record books.  Saw injured Lois Coronado still playing hard despite not having played in three weeks, and finishing as the teams leading tackler for the year.  Also, we did miss our “other” great senior linebacker Ian Fletcher who was unable to play. ( Still wish for Christmas, Ian is defensive player of the District) Hope we have some wonderful sophomore and juniors are getting ready to step up.  Big shoes to fill.

Can’t say enough about our best defensive line in years and years.  Never had two bookends like Ray Dixon and Daniel Sparks.  Both were monsters.  Both dominated everyone they played.  And, both had interceptions on the season.  In there somewhere was the one and only Josh Soliz.  Provided two highlight plays in which he made hurtful tackles!!!.  The one against the Javelinas was “how you play football”.  Going back to when Josh as a sophomore when he blocked a punt.  What a wonderful career.  And from no where to playing so great, senior Dalton Bauman too was just so quick, and had so many plays where he forced loss yards.  Tough Guy.  Austin Humphrey played up to his ability every week.  Sound tough player in the middle.  And a pretty fair punter.   These four seniors were leaders.  Their job is not over.  With their encouragement, and sound advice, these players can continue to show how special they were as players, and how special they can be as Exes.

Senior Hayden Godfrey caught 11 passes for 171 yards.  A nice 15.5 yards per catch.  Good downfield blocker also. Nolan Keller was a great role player.  Good blocker, good on defense, good on special teams.  Solid player.  The kind of player that no team can win, without a player like Nolan. Still remember his great catch as a receiver in a last season game.

I watched Quint Percelli many times on special teams.  Hustled like it was his last play ever, everytime.  Great job.  Our secondary will miss Tyler Gann, Gage Cox, Cole Schlueter, and Godfrey.  These guys had the hardest job on the team.  Our defensive line helped some, but often I looked down on the field and watched as these players lined up all alone against our opponents best and fastest receivers.  For the most part, Llano played very good.  Gage and Tyler were really good, and good open field tacklers.  Both will be missed.  We lose two positions in Hayden.

Cannot forget how good Anthony Watson could have been.  Had some great games as a first class receiver.  Hurt in his junior year, and most of his senior season. His name is sprinkled in the record book under ” top single game” yardage.  I already miss you.

Llano’s offense was pretty darn good in 2017.  Nearly 400 yards offense per game.  Averaged 29.7 points per game.  4 games scored over 45 points.  All vast improvements from the past 6 years.  Mason played great in an injured season.  Ben Walling showed he was one tough player, with 102 carries and 565  yards, for a 5.54 yards per run.  Other seniors contributed.  But the seniors on the offensive line was the key to this success.  Coach Green benefited from having the likes of experience on this team.  But, under Green, they changed how they played.  They played tough, and they played mean.  Several should receive recognition from the All-District picks.  I hope at least 4 get the nod.  But in no real order, remember their names.  They helped change the culture in Llano football.  Dakota Trull ( 2 yr. starter), Cameron Johnson (2 yr. starter), Ray Dixon( 4 Yr. starter), Daniel Sparks (Our best transfer), Lane Ward, Tyler Thompson, Hayden Cowert ( 2 yrs.), Austin Humphrey ( Played both sides of ball many games),  With Godfrey, Keller, and Dalton Bauman all making big contributions.  These guys blocked the Jackets to gaining more yards than Crystal City had.  These guys someday will see that blocking for a passer that throws for over 1,700 yards is special.  These players will remember the good things, and this is one of them. ( In 1967, Randy Scott rushed for over 1,050 yards in 10 games, enroute to an 8-2 season.  I still am proud that I helped block for Randy, a LHS Hall of Famer).

Cannot forget one great surprise.  Diego Garcia.  29 of 32 extra points (90%).  2 of 2 on field goals.  Fantastic senior, fantastic year.  You are in the record book Diego.  #51 on your jersey.  # 1 in our hearts.

I will write in about a week.  I have been working on the record book.  Many 2017 players are in there.  But, need help.  If you are a player, let me know if I left something out. (E-Mail: mvirdell@virdellrealestate.com).  I still find things from decades ago that get entered.  We want this record book right.  It belongs to you. Next week we will talk about who returns in 2018. ( if you are a senior and I left you out, please email me!!!)

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Boy…This One Hurt

In 1976, Llano went to Georgetown to play in Bi-District.  Llano was coached by the great John Baskin.  Rockdale was 10-0, and ranked #1 in the State.  Llano was behind late in the fourth quarter, when Llano great Shelby Wright at quarterback marched the Jackets to about the 25 yard line.  Fourth down. The score was 7-6, Rockdale.  In came little Joe Ratliff to try for the go ahead field goal.

The story told to me so many times, and in simple language, Wright went over to Ratliff, put is finger in his face, and told him in the plainest of words, that he had better make the field goal.  Joe Ratliff kicked the field goal, and without going back deep into the record book, there was about a minute left in the game.  Llano was ahead 9-7.

Llano kicked off, Rockdale had a good run back, but the Jackets got a 15 yard penalty.  Rockdale threw a complete pass.  Then another incomplete, but a pass interference call put Rockdale on about the 25 yard line.  Rockdale kicked the field goal and won 10-9, with less than 20 seconds in the game.

Rockdale went on to win the State Championship.  Several months later in an interview with the Head Coach of Rockdale, he was asked the question, “who was the best team you played all season’?  “Llano was the best”.

Just for the record, Joe Ratliff passed away about 1o years later, after taking on his family ranch duties.  Shelby Wright went on to play at Tarleton University.  His senior year, they won the NAIA National Championship.  Shelby was NAIA Offensive Player of the Year.  Shelby is still in the Llano record books, including most TD passes in a season.

The gut wrenching loss by the Yellow Jackets Friday night will take a long time to forget.  Many will never forget.  Llano played so hard. The seniors did everything they had to do to win.  But sometimes, in sports and life, winning does not show up on the scoreboard.  Llano, in my opinion played well enough to win.  But that wasn’t enough.

I could go through the each play in the game, but I will leave that for next week. This week I think we all need time to reflect.  We need time to heal. We need time to get past this disappointment.  All in order so we can move forward.  Move forward in a positive way.  Knowing that we do live to fight another day.  To know, be it sports, or be it your next life, that over coming disappointment is a must for a successful life.  The Jacket players will hurt for a long time. The seniors will get their focus back, and when they do, all will move forward to the next game.  Their games of life begin now.  And with the way they played this 2017 season, all have so much to look forward to.  Lessons have been learned.  May not seem that way today.  But the hard losses in life make you better.  Make you tougher.  Make you better prepared.  The loss to Crystal City was a killer.  But try to remember what Ratliff and Wright were able to do.  Their lives had only begun after that loss to Rockdale.

 

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8-2 Crystal City Again in Bi District

The 5-5 Llano Yellow Jackets will play the 8-2 Crystal City Javelinas  for the third year in a row in the first round of the State Play offs.  Crystal City from District 14-4A Div. II, placed second in their district, going 4-1.  The Jackets were 2-2 in District 13-4A Div. II, placing third. in 2015, the Jackets won.  In 2016, the Javelinas won.  Both games were played in San Antonio.

This Friday night, Llano will meet Crystal City on the playing field of Incarnate Word in San Antonio.  The game will feature a Javelina team that had a record of 8-4 last season after beating the Jackets 22-18, and this season stand at 8-2 over all. The Javelinas run the football most of the time.  Two running backs, Austin Sanchez and David Patino average over 100 yards rushing per game.  Sanchez also was an All State safety last season.

I will say that I do believe that Llano played about as uninspired football against Crystal City in last years game that I had ever seen.  No energy.  And opportunity after opportunity left on the field. That will not be the case this Friday night.

The seniors on this years team not only are winners, but want to win.  It showed up game after game when maybe it was not to be.  Playing so hard against Sonora and Navarro showed me a Jacket team that could play with anyone.  And while Llano lost to Burnet, I think the Jackets surprised themselves with hard play and a very close game. (Burnet has nearly 1,000 students in high school).  The Jackets should relish the opportunity to win this rubber match with Crystal City.  And winning game number 6 would match the victory total that the 2010 team put up in a 6-5 season.  11 years ago, Llano won 7 games.

But, as I do every year at this time, I place the burden on the seniors.  This is their game.  This is their reward.  And I believe this is their season to own.  Lead by seniors Ian Fletcher, Ray Dixon and Tyler Gann.  These are football players.  And Josh Soliz and Luis Coronado have been our best surprises. So much energy and aggressiveness.  How lucky can you get when a Daniel Sparks moves to your team for his senior year.  Great football player.  Don’t remember anyone improving as much over 10 games as Dalton Bauman.  Got better every week. Few more consistent than Dakota Trull in the offensive line for two seasons.  Gage Cox, Lane Ward and Kaleb Dodson talented defensive players.  Great surprise in Austin Humphrey on both sides of the ball.  Real force inside.  Folks like Tyler Thompson, and Hayden Cowart makes the coaches job easier with people that can play anywhere and do a good job.  Hayden Godfrey continues to come up with big plays.  And look how much Nolan Keller has come in with great plays and consistent blocking.  And where was Diego Garcia last season.  Consistent, and now in the record book.  Great senior year.  Always playing hard and especially on special teams, Quint Pincelli makes plays every Friday night.  And the job Ben Walling has done from a running back position. Wow.  Hurts alot of folks when he carries the ball.  And with a disjointed season, Mason Greenwood has had wonderful moments playing for Llano.  Ranked high in the record book in rushing.  Just one more injury free, great game from Mason is needed.

You play, maybe your last game, as if it were the last game you will ever be in.  You savor every moment.  Every play has no regrets.  Every play could be the one that makes the difference.  You practice this week like there is no next week.  You want to go out with the biggest bang you possibly can.  And you make every second a memorable  one. And you walk off the field Friday night with no regrets. Beat Crystal City.

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Jackets Bounce Bandera, Week to Think About Bi District

The Yellow Jackets 54-20 victory over Bandera Friday night secured a third place finish in District 13-4A, Div.11.  The 5-5 Jackets , and 2-2 in District play ends the regular season for Llano, with this week being their “OPEN” week.  Llano will not know its Bi District foe until this Friday night with games being played in District 14-4A, ( Devine, Crystal City, Pearsall, Carrizo Springs, Poteet, and Lytle).

While Llano dominated most of the game, pesky Bandera managed to stay close for the first quarter.  Llano scored first with carries from Ben Walling and Ian Fletcher.  A 39 yard run by Mason Brooks put the Jackets close when Mr. Automatic, senior Jose Soliz  carried in from the 3 and with Diego Garcia extra point, LLano lead 7-0.

LLano kick-off to Bandera was covered well by Presley Lynch.  Starting at the 40 yard line, Bandera marched 13 plays and 60 yards to score.  I think the 13 play drive may be the longest against the Jackets this season.  Longest run was 20 yards. But four times the Jackets threw the Bulldogs for losses.  Lead by linebacker Fletcher, in on 6 tackles, Drew Cooper too was active and had strong play.  Ray Dixon, Daniel Sparks, Soliz, and sophomore Aaron Brown continue to shine on defense.  Bandera threw but one pass, for the TD.

Mason Greenwood returned with good health, and began the end of the first quarter  with 3runs of 27 yards.  Walling picked up 14 more on two carries, and Soliz and Cade Fly added 8 more.  On the four yard line Cade threw to Fletcher for the TD and Llano   lead 14- 7.

One of the reasons Llano is playing better, and smarter football is the play of Presley Lynch.  Llano kicked off to Bandera, but a lateral, and then a throw back looked like Llano might be asleep.  Not Presley, who “stayed at home”or better said, stayed in his pursuit lane and made the tackle on the 21 yard line.  Great heads up play.  Ray Dixon then recovered a fumble after a Fletcher tackle for a loss.  Llano had the ball on the 26 yard line.  A 16 yard run by Cade, and then an 11 yard TD reception from Cade to Aaron Brown put the Jackets up 20-7.

The Jackets  took control of the game. Dalton Bauman plays better every week.  Brooks, Dixon, Sparks, Nolan Keeler, Gage Cox, and Tyler Gann all had very strong games.  Llano knew it needed badly to beat Bandera.  The mental aspect of this final regular season game had kicked in.  Llano was hitting and tackling with a mission.  It was fun to watch.  The Jacket defense in the second quarter had 5 plays in which Bandera made 0 to minus yards.  A  total of 38 yards were made against the Jacket defense in the second quarter.

Mason Brooks scored on the first play from scrimmage midway thru the second quarter, running for 32 yards.  Next up was Greenwood with a 21 yard run.  Walling followed a few minutes later with a 22 yard run.  And with :37 seconds left in the half, Cade hit wide receiver Brooks Keel for 27 yards and Llano lead 33-7 at the half.  Pretty fair outing.

Llano ended the game with 388 total yards.  All with a little help from our friends, guys with no names but play as lineman.  A few of their names have surfaced, and again I will try not to miss anyone.  Lane Ward and Tyler Lindell have really started to contribute.  Sparks, Dakota Trull, and Hayden Cowert really shine. Dixon, Luke  Williams, and Hayden Godfrey always play hard.  Keel and Austin Humphrey are very steady.  I keep seeing Kendall Downey and while a backup quarterback, Kendall seems to play everywhere.  Great playmaker.  Kaleb Dodson too has been playing very well.  And Cameron Johnson on the line has had people asking “who is he”.  He be pretty good.

In the secondary we have steady hands in Gann and Cox.  But Christian Kirby is getting better every game .Our guys can play with anyone.  While injuries still have an effect, several should return to play in Bi District.  The great Ian Flecther went down Friday night, and keeping fingers crossed it is not his last game.  Maybe two weeks here will help.

The Jackets 5-5 record matches a win total high in the last 6 years.  Win # 6 can come on November 17th.  No reason for this veteran team to not get serious now, and start thinking of making a run in the playoffs. 8 players scored TDs against Bandera.  The Jacket  Coaches  are  doing a great job.Fans now need to continue to do our part.  Let’s plan on winning # 6.

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Jacket Charactor Prevails in Hondo Win

If getting behind 21-7 was not bad enough, the bad injury to junior wide out Anthony Watson, and 5 penalties for 55 yards, Llano’s rhythm seemed off.  Oh no, another bad game in Hondo, as if that has never happened before.  It was a perfect setting for the Jackets to call it a night by halftime.

But that is not what happened.  Junior quarterback Cade Fly returned from injury, yet I worried that he might break.  Cade sat in the pocket all night long.  Moved around very little. Still hit 22 of 34 passes, two TD passes, for 277 yards.  Let’s give Cade credit for his discipline.  Let’s give the offensive line credit for their best game as a unit.  It  had to be.  Cade’s running game taken from him and limited movement meant the Jacket lineman had to block, stay with their blocks, and hope Cade’s arm strength could prevail.  6 receivers caught passes.

Llano could have let up some.  But at the end of the second quarter, just before half, Diego Garcia kicked a 23 yard field goal with :16 seconds left.  Score 21-10.  Maybe Diego’s kick was the lift.  But Llano played its best 3rd quarter in years.  Llano took the kick-off and Aaron Brown returned it 23 yards to the 35 yard line.  Cade threw to Aaron for 5.  Junior Mason Brooks ran for 10.  Then 4 more. Aaron  another 5 yarder.  Mr. Automatic, Josh Soliz ran for 7 more and a first down.  Ben Walling carried.  And on second down and 12, Cade hit junior Brooks Keele for 36 yards and the TD. Score 21-16.  Extra point was blocked.

Time for the defense to show off.  Hondo ran three running plays.  Made 7 yards. punted.  That was the last time in the third quarter the Owls offense would be on the field.  Jacket defense was relentless.  Daniel Sparks, Josh Soliz, and Ray Dixon were just wonderful. Monsters in the trenches.  Drew Cooper, Aaron, Ian Fletcher, Dalton Bauman, Nolan Keller, Ethan Tisdale and Quint Percelli all had great games. Presley Lynch plays hard all the time. Great effort. All stayed focused is the best way I can describe what I saw.  I think, seniors Gage Cox and Tyler Gann had their best games.  Hondo was only 5 of 11 passing for 74 yards.  Junior Christian Kirby at cornerback had a good game. Llano outscored Hondo 20-3 in the second half.

I am glad you did not tell me before the game that Llano would allow a kick off to be returned for a TD.  Or Hondo would block an Austin Humphrey punt to be blocked and run in for a TD.  Or Llano would have two Garcia extra points blocked.  Or Llano would have 9 penalties for 90 yards.  Glad you didn’t tell me that before the game.

But Llano did not allow any of those things stop them from keeping their focus.  Llano knew it had to win this game.  The seniors were upset on the sidelines.  Not “drama upset”.  Just mad.  There are times in lives of all that bad things happen, and things go south.  The Jackets in Hondo refused to allow those things to take the stage.  Llano’s character….true character surfaced, and barred down harder,  took fate into their own hands and won the football game.  Llano took the lead with 11:32 in the fourth quarter 30-21 and never let go. It’s called character.

I will list the offensive lineman, and tight ends.  I hope to not miss any of you.  Let me know if I do.  You all need to be recognized.  All of us fans love you as long as we do not hear from you.  Get a holding call and we know then who to be mad at.  Being an unknown offensive lineman is tough work.  Thank you Luke Williams, Daniel Sparks, Ray Dixon, Austin Humphrey, Dalton Bauman, Hayden Cowert, Tyler Thompson, Lane Ward, Cameron Johnson, Tyler Lyndell, Dakota Trull, Hayden Godfrey (one catch, 13 yards) and Brooks Keele(4 catches 71 yards and a TD).

The Jacket offense had 455 yards total.  Hard running from Mason Brooks (17-93 yards), Josh ( 9-38 yards), and Walling (14-46 yards). Mason Greenwood was not a full speed.  Maybe with two more week to get rest, he too can get back to contributing.

Cade had 134 yards passing in the third quarter.  Pretty good.  But remember in 2002, against Smithville, quarterback Jason Smith threw for 153 yards in the first quarter.

Bandera has had a rough year.  Llano is ahead in the series 14-7. Llano has won 6 of the last 8.  But do not let that fool you.  As I said last year, they are good when least expected.  Llano last season, clearly a better team, dodged a bullet in winning only 22-13….. In 2002 Bandera was entering the last game of the season…winner of the game would secure the last spot for the playoffs.  Many recent great Jacket athletes ( if you call 15 years recent)…record breaking 800 meter relay team…Hunter Ratliff, Jason Smith, Michael White (Just look at the school record book), Nick Moratori, Jerrod Virdell.  Bandera won 39-32 in the last moments.  Bandera went on to win the State Championship.  Bandera has history.  They always play hard.

OK…this is the last point to make.  The Yellow Jackets have had our new playing field surface for two seasons.  We have only two wins on the home field.  We beat Hondo last year.  We beat Eastside this season on Homecoming.  These seniors need to help start a better tradition.  WE need to make Jacket Stadium a hard place for visiting teams to come play.  It starts Friday night.  Jackets up record to 5-5.  Llano makes the state play offs.  And Open week the following week allows Llano to get well.  It begins Friday night.

 

 

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With Wimberley in Rearview Mirror, Only One Game Now Counts

At some point in time, I expected the Jackets to take a deep breathe.  Maybe, like in the “open” week.  But it  came this past Friday when the stars were aligned to have the wheels fall off.  The 45-7 loss to the Texans gets a bad game out of the way.  Llano can now aim for one thing, and that is getting better, and making sure they secure a third place finish in 13-4AAAA.   This is the time that the seniors must stand up.  Finishing what the seniors started is a very worthy goal.

The absent of three good offensive weapons may have been the start of a bad week.  Dalton Moore, Cade Fly, and Mason Greenwood watched from the sidelines in street cloths.  But injuries happen to everyone.  The Jacket offense never got untracked, unless you count one great play when quarterback Ben Walling found Hayden Godfrey for a 66 yard pass and catch.

Mason Brooks ran the ball hard. Had him for 17 carries.  Junior Aaron Brown  too looked good carrying the football.  And the lone carry by Soliz for a TD was just “want to”. The score was then 42-7 after a Garcia extra point.

The Jackets had 6 straight either 3 and outs, or three turnovers.  Llano’s Austin Humphrey punted 5 times for an average of over 37 yards.  Good average and good for Austin.  The Texans felt like they could contain the Jackets run game, and they did.  Very hard on our very good and improving offensive line.  Daniel Sparks, Devin Bertelson, Tyler Lindell, Ray Dixon, Lane Ward, Luke Williams, Dakota Trull and Dalton Bauman did most of the heavy lifting.  They did a good job fighting with a short stick.

Players that stood out with good effort were Charlie Mott on kick-offs.  Bauman on rushing the passer. Josh Soliz, Sparks, and Dixon and holding strong against the run.  Drew Cooper stepping in a making several plays after linebacker Luis Coranado went out of the game.  And linebacker Ian Flecther is the best defensive player I have seen this season.  Donaven Arellano had a good night.  As did Ethna Tisdale.  A long night for the Jackets in the secondary, but Ethan saved several long plays with key tackles.  Very glad to see Nolan Keller playing better and more every week.  Doing a good job.  Quentin Franklin,  Kendall Downey, and Kaleb Dodson were in on several stops.  No one gave up.  I was very proud of the defense.  Wimberley was just very good, and will likely do the same this Friday night against Navarro. Last week the Texans were ranked #6.

The Jackets travel to Hondo Friday night.  3-3 all-time against the Owls.  The Jackets had their best game last season in Llano against Hondo.  But the Owls are playing good.  And remember, they have 9 offensive and 9 defensive players returning from last season.  They will be looking for revenge on their home turf.  This years Hondo is not last years Hondo.  Llano needs to bring it all together this week.  Playing hard and tough against some very good teams over the past 7 weeks should now see a pay off.  The players should be confident.  If the defense will play every play up to its potential, they can keep Llano in the game.  And if the offense can maintain drives and keep the ball for some extended periods, we can score.  We have to get Brooks Keele, Brown, Anthony Watson and new comer Logan Duggar involved in the attack.  We have play makers.  This week is a must and an opportunity Llano  cannot afford to  miss.  This is where senior leadership must come forward.  Beating Hondo is where it begins.

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