The 31-21 loss to the Burnet Bulldogs may look like the Jackets took a step back in their progression to being a good football team. But my take, while losing to the Bulldogs is disappointing, is that the Jackets should come away from last Friday night knowing they can accomplish several things.
Llano should recognize that they can win even when they play bad. Llano can win when they play better talent. And Llano can win when they get behind in the score.
I actually thought as the game went on, that Llano was the better football team. Never did I see the Bulldogs pull away with the score and thought they had the game won. And most important, Llano kept fighting. No one slowed down. I did not see the Jackets take plays off. These are the things that will make the Jackets better. “If only we had a few more minutes, we would have won”. The Jackets will go forward now knowing they can beat good teams. And they know they can come from behind.
The Jackets three losses have come against three teams that have a record of 14-1.
While the Jacket offense was struggling in the first half, the defense played as good as I have seen it in the past decade. The Bulldogs had 7 possessions in the first half. The Jackets forced 4 punts, and held the Bulldogs two times on fourth down. While my preliminary stats may be off a little bit, looked like the Jacket defense held Burnet to about 127 yards of offense in the first half. And only about 80 yards in the second half. That is winning football.
Can’t say enough about the defense. At the half-way mark in the season, this group should have all the confidence in the world. They can rush the passer, they can knock down passes, and they can tackle with the best of them. No standing around.. .So great when you would see 6-8 Yellow Jackets stop a ball carrier. Our linebacker play is outstanding. Fletcher, Brooks, Dodson, and Coronado. Our defensive line play is so relentless. Dixon, Sparks, Soliz, Humphrey, Williams, Bauman, Keller,and Downey. And the hardest job on the field in todays kind of play…defensive backs….Ethan Tisdale, Gage Cox, Moore, Gann, Christian Kirby, Adams, Mote, and sophomore Aaron Brown.
Cade Fly stats may not have looked good, but he did. Pretty much hit his receivers on 8 passes in the first half, and still did not have a completion. We can work on that. In the second half the receivers played better. Been Walling for 11 and 5 yards, Aaron for 12, Brooks Keele for 17 yards and a TD, Aaron for 25 more, Anthony Watson for 12, and Aaron another 8 yarder. Walling ended the game by rushing in for the TD from the 6 yard line.
When the Jackets put together a full offensive and defensive game, they can be very good .We have seen signs of it from the second game forward. This week Llano plays a weaker team in Eastside Memorial. This game should be about one thing. No mistakes. Perfect in what you do. Block without holding. Go down on kickoffs…under control. Hold your tempers. Play loose but mentally intense. Prepare for District Play. And have fun.