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.