Llano faces smaller — but solid — Wall in season opener

JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER

LLANO — Wall High School might be in a smaller classification, but Llano head football coach Craig Slaughter warns the Yellow Jackets will face a formidable opponent to begin the 2015 season.

The two meet at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 28 at Hawk Stadium, 8065 Loop 570 in Wall.

The Hawks (11-2) won last year’s contest between the teams 54-21 en route to capturing the District 3-3A Division I championship and two playoff victories before losing to Brock 21-20 in the regional semifinals.

Wall will be led by senior quarterback Bryce Dierschke, junior running back Layne Braden and senior receiver Clayton Daniel.

The Hawks use the triple-option attack, a run-based scheme that gives the quarterback options on whether to run with the ball, hand it off or fake the run to throw the ball.   

“You don’t see (that offense) much anymore,” Slaughter said. “It is the true triple-option, and they do a great job.”

Llano of District 13-4A Division II will counter with senior linebacker Wyatt Bauman, the leader of the unit who had 162 tackles last season, junior defensive lineman Hunter Roemer and senior defensive end Ray Dixon. 

“Your kids have to play assignment football,” Slaughter said. “You have to take your assigned responsibility and tackle it play after play after play. Whoever is supposed to have the quarterback has got to get him.”

Offensively, the Jackets will have a new quarterback in senior Wyatt Casey, a new center in senior Colton Center and a new running back in sophomore Mason Greenwood. In addition, Dixon will play on the offensive line along with senior Jose Arrendondo. Senior receivers Airon Layton, who caught eight passes for 166 yards and three touchdowns last season, and Cody Miller will be the passing targets.

Slaughter said the football staff thought about the offense during the past several months and came up with a lineup they like.

“We really re-evaluated last year some things we wanted to do differently,” he said. “We decided we wanted to put our most trusted, veteran kid at center. He’s the one who makes pass-protection calls and some run-game adjustments. We wanted a kid at the quarterback spot who has the same kind of thinking who’s going to be looked to as a leader and all the kids respect. Mason … is the most humble kid you’ll ever see. Our kids have a tremendous amount of respect for his ability. He makes our football team better.” 

The Wall defense is led by senior linebacker Matt Garcia and senior defensive lineman James Halfmann.

“They are just quick, tough, strong kids,” Slaughter said. “They are just scrappy. They play with great discipline. They are very good tacklers.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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