The thunder being heard Friday night in Bangs, Texas was actually the anger of the Llano Yellowjackets. The Jackets showed up big time. Playing Bangs is a tough game always. Last week Bangs beat a pretty good Ballinger team. Llano lost in an insulting way to Wall. All play off teams in 2013. The 41-21 win on the road was big, but only big if it creates the right kind of confidence, and the right path this week in playing Brady, picked to take second place in their district race. Llano had the kind of game every Coach hopes will happen coming after a loss. Llano that got mad at itself, and proved it in the following week.
Bangs should not have kicked off to Llano. Senior quarterback Holden Simpson took his team on a 16 play opening drive only to have it stall out at the 11 yardline. 16 plays! Five first downs, Jalen Bauman catching 3 passes for 36 yards, Aaron Moss running 8 times for 39 yards, a catch by senior Tommy Yelvington for 5, and all this took 7:23 off the clock.
While the offense was taking control of the yardage side, the defense played maybe its best game in the Slaughter era. Three and out on the first series for Bangs. Lead by senior linebacker Lance Reven, the Jackets had 4, 5, and 6 players in on every tackle. Senior Colton Ekstrom was great. Senior Steton Watson saw his best game as a varsity player. Junior Dorian Green was always close to the ball. Austin Miller is getting in on more good plays each week ands improving. The secondary may be the most improved. The guys with the shortest memories were at their best …have not taken the time to look up when Llano last had 4 interceptions, but it has not happened many times at all. Junior Cody Miller picks off two, sophomore John Heflin takes one, as does senior Yelvington. While still giving up a long play here and there, these guys must get ready for the next play. It is a mental giant issue. Some can do it, some can’t. Confidence in this secondary has surged for me. Senior Moss, junior Wyatt Casey, and junior Dalton Dewveall round out a very solid group of over achieving Yellowjackets.
Llano and Bangs were tied at halftime, 14-14. Llano held another three and out after the kickoff, and Simpson again put together a 10 play scoring drive, with Moss picking up 46 yards on five runs, Mr. Do Everything Trevor Penny carrying the football, and the final 8 yards with a Simpson to Bauman TD. Holden’s 4 TD passes places him with several other Yellowjacket quarterbacks who stand in a tie in the record book in second place. Some pretty good company. Holden’s 246 yards passing puts him in 17th most yards in a single game passing. And Bauman’s 117 yards receiving is the 14 best game in history, but his 9 catches put him tied with others in a single game at 4th place.
Llano never let up. But in my mind, few things happen good, unless your offensive line is doing more than just their assignment. Holden, Moss, Penny and Simpson get the fame, the lineman get the respect in the dressing room. Lead by seniors Cody Harp, Colin Mayne, Harley Smith, Watson, and Clayton Masters, along with junior and three year starter Colton Center, juniors Stratt Stiles, Juan Mungia and Jose Arrendondo and freshman Ray Dixon. Junior Luke Snitkin could really develop into a very good player. He seems to be in the right place so many times. These young men made Friday night a success.
Am liking the special teams. Seniors Kasin Riley is solid, and a good tackler and caught a 76 yard TD pass, along with doing the punting. David Forrister is automatic. And you can bet Airon Layton and Penny are the first ones downfield on kicks. Great hustle.
Llano’s defense held Bangs to 275 yards of offense. Great effort by all.
We play Brady this week. At one time in history, that was all that had to be said. I will try to put up an old article I wrote several years ago about Brady. Maybe by end of this week
Llano 35 Brady 14