Llano faces 10-0 Sinton and explosive quarterback

Wyatt Casey (left), Blake Dillard (right) and the Llano defense have a tough task ahead of them when the Yellow Jackets face Sinton in the second round of the playoffs. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at Edgewood Veterans Stadium, 1650 W. Thompson Place in San Antonio. Courtesy photo

JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER

LLANO — A week after beating an 8-2 Crystal City opponent in a bi-district contest, the postseason doesn’t get easier for the Llano High School football team.

The Yellow Jackets (4-7) of District 13-4A Division II will play Sinton (10-0), the District 15-4A Division II champion, at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at Edgewood Veterans Stadium, 1650 W. Thompson Place in San Antonio.

“They’re what you expect to see as you stay in the playoff chase,” Llano head coach Craig Slaughter said.

On Nov. 13, Sinton crushed Raymondville 41-8 for a bi-district championship, while the Yellow Jackets defeated Crystal City 42-26.

Sinton utilizes a spread offense operated by senior quarterback Colton Cohea, who has completed 84 of 130 passes for 1,337 yards and 19 touchdowns. He also has 106 carries for 1,249 yards and 17 touchdowns.

“He’s your (typical) spread quarterback,” Slaughter said. “He’s a big part of their offense. He’s a good passer and extends plays with his legs. He’s one of their best athletes.”

Cohea is the reigning Class 4A Region IV pole vault champion.

Senior Sinton running back Jonathan Castillo has 47 carries for 245 yards and a touchdown. There’s a good reason why Castillo doesn’t have more carries, Slaughter said.

“He’s a big-time blocker,” he said. “He’s really impressive.”

Senior receiver Mark Villarreal is Cohea’s top receiving target with 35 receptions for 587 yards and 10 touchdowns followed by junior Ethan Owens, who has 29 catches for 327 yards and five touchdowns and 42 carries for 310 yards and three touchdowns.

Slaughter said the key to containing the Pirates is to limit Cohea’s impact, noting Sinton’s offense is the most balanced the Jackets have seen this season.

“The quarterback’s legs are the big thing,” he said. “If we can stop the quarterback, we’ll love our chances. That’ll be a big test itself.”

The Sinton defense is led by senior Robert Knox, a 6-foot 3-inch, 230-pound defensive end. He has 105 tackles and nine sacks and committed to play at West Point.

Slaughter said Knox is a natural athlete.

“He could play a thousand formations,” he said. “He has a good motor every play.”

Llano senior right tackle Colton Center, considered the Jackets’ top lineman, will be blocking Knox, and Slaughter believes fans will enjoy watching that battle.

“He’s the best athlete Colton has faced all year,” he said.

Sophomore Llano running back Mason Greenwood now has 1,022 yards and nine touchdowns on the season on 202 carries.

During the 42-26 win against Crystal City, the Jackets had six touchdowns on 12 drives. The other drives ended in an interception, two punts, one turnover on downs and two kneel-downs. In addition, Llano had six explosive plays that allowed the Jackets to get positive yards on almost every single play in a contest they led from start to finish.

Slaughter said it’ll be important that his offense continues that trend against the Pirates.

“We need to show up believing that we can win and then play well,” he said.

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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