JENNIFER FIERRO STAFF WRITER
SAN ANTONIO — The Llano Yellow Jackets’ 49-6 second-round loss Nov. 20 to Sinton might have ended their season, but it didn’t take away from the team’s accomplishments this year.
And that’s because of the obstacles the Jackets (4-8) had to overcome.
After a Week 5 loss to San Angelo Lake View, head coach Craig Slaughter called for a quarterback change, choosing to start sophomore Ben Walling instead of senior Wyatt Casey.
Casey said the change wasn’t easy because he had dreamed of being the varsity starter.
But what eased his feelings of disappointment was helping Llano win its 10th playoff game in program history when it defeated Crystal City 42-26 on Nov. 13 in a Class 4A Division II bi-district contest.
“I played with the majority of these guys since the third grade,” he said. “Getting that gold ball (bi-district championship trophy) feels a lot better than getting to play quarterback.”
In the area-round game, Sinton scored five touchdowns in seven possessions in the first half to take a 35-6 lead.
The only Llano touchdown came on a four-yard run by Walling to cap a nine-play, 66-yard drive to trim the deficit to 14-6 in the first quarter.
But the Pirates (11-0) responded, paced by junior running back Ethan Owens, who had 54 yards and three touchdowns on seven carries.
Sinton finished with about 460 yards of total offense.
“Coming in, we knew they were extremely good,” Llano head coach Craig Slaughter. “We knew we’d have to play lights out.”
Sophomore Llano running back Mason Greenwood had 14 carries for 25 yards and two catches for 39 yards.
Llano finished with about 160 yards of total offense.
Senior Colton Center also made a position change from starting at center to tackle to help with the continuity of the offensive unit. Center was proud of the win over Crystal City.
“I don’t think anything is going to replace the feeling of Texas high school football,” he said. “Everyone gets behind you. It’s been great. I’m hoping it lays a good foundation.”