Llano shows improvement in loss to state-ranked Sonora
STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
LLANO — The Llano High School football team showed exactly what head coach Matt Green promised: improvement.
He saw that during a 42-28 loss to Sonora on Sept. 8 when the Yellow Jackets (0-2, 0-0 District 13-4A Division II) gave the Broncos all they wanted. The Broncos (2-0, 0-0 in District 3-3A Division II) came into the game ranked in the top 10 of most Class 3A polls.
Llano sophomore quarterback Cade Fly set a new school record for most passing yards in a single game when he threw for 405 yards off 25 of 37 completions. He also threw a couple of touchdown passes, both to junior Brooks Keele. Fly hit seven different receivers during the contest.
Green commended the Broncos, noting senior quarterback Kaden Cordell, who threw for 3,714 yards last season, and senior running back Jarrett Jackson, who rushed for 1,248 yards a year ago, showed why they were effective in 2016.
Cordell completed 14 of 34 passes for 317 yards and three touchdowns, while Jackson had 16 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown. Junior receiver Wesley Dutton caught six passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns.
“They are an extremely skilled group with a high rating,” Green said. “Sonora, in the end, is a team that plays great football and has great tradition.”
The two teams played to a 14-14 tie at the half though Llano had some opportunities to take the lead. On the opening drive of the game, the Jackets drove to the Sonora 10-yard line and fumbled. On its next possession, Llano had a turnover on downs when it didn’t convert on fourth-and-one in Sonora territory. In the second quarter, a Llano player dropped a touchdown pass when he was all by himself in the end zone.
“Our youth and inexperience showed up,” Green said. “What we saw was we had every opportunity to win it. What we looked like was a team that has youth that drastically improved.”
The coach said players knew they were fighting for starting jobs leading up to the Sonora game after a 35-21 loss to Smithville on Sept. 1 to start the season. During the week leading up to the second game, position coaches challenged athletes to perform at their best, Green said.
“We were very intentional,” he said. “We played all kinds of pressure with tempo and really put pressure on kids. We saw kids respond to that.”
Llano travels to Brady for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff Friday, Sept. 15, at Bulldog Stadium, 1000 Wall St.