Want to talk about keeping secrets? The Llano Yellow Jackets rushing attack has come “out from the cold”. Jacket Nation knew that Mason Greenwood was one of the best running backs in all Central Texas. But Mason brought with him to Jacket Stadium Friday night a group of 7 other backs that proved just as dangerous as himself. The Jackets 408 yards rushing against Hondo was the best output of the season. The 9.55 yards per carry was over the top. This game was a game changer for this 2016 team that clinched a State Playoff birth, and now sets new goals for a season that many thought was on the ropes.
Loved the new backfield look with junior Josh Soliz lining up at fullback. The burly Soliz lead the running attack into the hole on most plays, with Mason, senior John Heflin and senior Brent Greenwood taking the ball 35 times. Freshman Aaron Brown showed his speed with a 62 yard burst in the fourth quarter and his second TD of the night. His first TD came when he was counting his change and at the end of the defensive stop by Llano, the ball fell into Aarons hands. What the heck…run for the goal line and certainly no one was catching the young speedster. Then you have runs by Travis Wright, Ben Walling, Stephen Sanderson and Soliz and you have the best offensive output of the season for the Jackets. Mason finished with 215 yards, while John had 91 yards on 9 carries, Brent 4 for 19 yards, and Aaron 3 carries and 73 yards.
Give some credit to the big guys. I am beginning to believe that this offensive line may be something very special. No, there are no all-staters in this offensive line. But steady as you go. That is the mentality of a very good offensive lineman. You do not run up 408 yards rushing without very strong blocking on the line. I thought Nolan Keller had one of his best games. Senior Cameron Hall with senior Robert Alcala hold this group together. Junior Austin Humphrey at 250 pounds gets better every week. Beginning to be a real force on the defensive line also. T. Lindell has jumped in and has made a hand. Junior Hayden Cowart continues to improve. Junior Dakoda Trull may be the most improved. I think players like Trull are “getting it”. They now are seeing how their size can really produce great leverage situations. Trull- 235 pounds, Jordan Monroy 240 pounds, Hall at 240 and Humphrey at 250. I tend to forget, or take for granted one of the Jacket best. Junior Ray Dixon dominates on both sides of the ball. Played a tremendous game. All 235 pounds. And senior Christian Conway lining up at tight end blocks very well. He and junior Ian Fletcher both see action there. Solid twosome.
The Jacket defense is the most improved unit in years. Hondo had 118 of their yards in the fourth quarter when Llano had the luxury of playing many players. Hondo too, had a good running attack. The Jacket defense got two fumbles, and forced 4 punts. Ian Fletcher had , again, his best game. Jaden Napolez, a senior, just is so steady. Great great player. Drew Cooper, senior John Keeney, junior Tyler Gann, Blake Dillard and Hunter Roemer all played strong. Kyle Cooper played well. Love the play of two juniors. Gage Cox and Luis Coronado. What energy. That is how you win football games with that kind of effort. Shane Flint had a very good game. Shane is a senior. And senior Kegan Greenhaw is always solid. The defense has allowed the offense to find itself. Now, working together, this Jacket team can be special.
Bandera is having a down season, but do not let that fool anyone. Going to Bandera has always been tough for Llano, going back 15 years. Llano beats Bandera, and they place third in District. Most likely that would set up a replay of last season, in which we would play Crystal City in Bi-District. And a win there might give the Jackets an opportunity to get a redemption game with Sinton. But this is not a time to rest. Beating Bandera is a serious endeavor. Staying mad is important. Do not let lesser talented teams stand in your way of success. Llano must play smart. Stop the stupid penalties. I had Llano with 93 yards of penalties. Over 100 yards of offense was called back. Do that again and you might not win. Beat Bandera soundly and prepare for a real state playoff run. It starts in Bandera.