Coming off a win against Salado 10 days ago, some would have thought the Llano Yellow Jackets would be sky high and ready to defend their turf in the first district game of 2015. Even thinking for a moment that the 0-6 Wimberley Texans might be in a down cycle would add some fuel to the fire. Anything to spark this team to get excited and ready to show there was fire in the belly. Every play with that extra effort to get that extra yard. But as many of the fans sat and waited, the big play never came about. Llano was flat offensively. The sparks came again with a defense much improved, but staying on the field much to long.
My wife Kay and I brought our small radio to the game and listened to Art and Lance on KITY and it was so much information. They are both institutions, with stats and insight that make listening to the radio special. But even Art and Lance could not hold back on the frustration of an offense that looks for change, and still gets more of the same. 6 drives were 3 plays and a punt. Lance pointed out Llano ran only 32 plays for 96 yards, with 7 punts. We can count the good plays on one hand, and while they are few, those plays cannot be dismissed. A pass completion from sophomore quarterback Ben Walling to senior Mat Agee in the first quarter for 24 yards, and a 7 yard completion to Mason Greenwood. Senior Airon Layton had an 11 yard end around for a first down. Walling had a 13 and a 22 yard scramble late in the fourth quarter when the score was 24-0.
Have no idea what to do about the offense. I usually do! Several plays the Texans rushed two defensive lineman and still made tackles on Mason, Brent and Company for loses. No time to pass. Can’t get a yard for a first down on any run between the tackles. To quote my favorite, “Man O Man”. Senior quarterback Wyatt Casey has new admirer in Walling, as both had little time to think or manipulate their forces. Most plays resulted in running for your life.
This is not a time to divide. Now is the time to come together. Understand that you play one play at a time. Senior John Heflin makes a play, Mason makes a play, Mat and Airon catch passes. Jaden and Dalton Dewveall block extra good. Walling should take all snaps from under senior center Colton Center, which will help make first downs, sometimes an inch at a time. But guys, recognize the moment. You still can make the playoffs. Yes, you stink up the field one night. You smell like roses the next. Do not blow this opportunity to be relevant. Recognize that you have three games left in the regular season. You should first and foremost expect and demand of yourselves to beat Lytle and Hondo.
The defense was on the field 60 plays. And while the Texans had 391 yards of offense, the defense played good. Not great, but a much improved group that you can tell by watching, they like to play. 5 times the defense forced a punt, and blocked one of those. Just before the half, the Texans drove from their own 9 yard line line to go 13 plays down to the Jacket 14 yard line. The defense never quit, forced a fumble, and end of drive.
The defense lead by senior Wyatt Bauman at linebacker plays with his head up. And gets great help from sophomores Ian Fletcher and Ray Dixon. Both are playing at an all district level. Airon is one that gang tackles. He is there on so many plays. Junior Blake Dillard is getting better every game at defensive end. Cameron Hall may have had his best defensive game. And again, John Heflin plays hard every play. Cody Miller having a very fine senior year, but we need more from him…like a couple more interceptions. I always ask the most from those that do the most. Senior Christian Rodriquez, Dorian Green and Roberto Alcala had good games. The defense is giving up about 27 points a game, an improvement from last year of 9 points a game. Improvement on that number can come over the next two games.
The open week this week comes at a good time. The seniors must bring this team together. Urgency is now. This team can still have great and proud moments, and getting ready mentally for the next month of play can happen. Take a deep breathe, and make up your minds that this is the most important thing in your life. Making the playoffs is an attainable goal. Make it into a reality.