STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
LLANO — A week after earning its first win of the season, the Llano High School football team is looking to start a winning streak.
It won’t be easy as the Yellow Jackets (1-2, 0-0 District 13-4A Division II) travel to Lago Vista (2-1, 0-0 District 13-3A Division I) on Friday, Sept. 22. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Lago Vista High School Stadium, 5185 Lohman Ford Road.
Llano defeated Brady 45-0 on Sept. 15.
Lago Vista has a history of making the playoffs and winning several gold footballs, Jackets head coach Matt Green said.
The Vikings prefer to run out of a one-back set and add a tight end for some spread looks to run the football, he said. Lago Vista is led by senior quarterback Jared DeFelice, who threw for 2,468 yards and 21 touchdowns last season. Senior receiver Tyler Emanuel had 480 receiving yards with seven touchdowns.
DeFelice prefers to read the defense once the ball is snapped to decide if he’s going to hand the ball off or keep it to try to run with it or throw it to a receiver.
“We’ll have to stop that,” Green said. “They can throw the ball. They’re very talented. Covey Wright and Caleb Roach are speedy, tall receivers. When the quarterback goes through his progressions, they are definitely poised.”
Defensively, the Vikings rely on senior defensive ends Roach and Moe Bryson and junior linebacker Cody Jackson to pressure quarterbacks and relieve a young secondary.
“The defensive ends are their strength,” Green said. “Their linebackers just flow to the ball. One is tremendous. They definitely have that hard physicality up front. They definitely run to the ball and seem to be good tacklers.”
Green called the win over Brady great for the team, the program, and the Llano community, noting to many residents, it’s a rivalry game. The victory ended a three-year losing streak to the Bulldogs.
“Our community wanted us desperately to beat Brady,” he said.
The Jackets earned 281 yards on the ground with three touchdowns led by junior running back Dalton Moore, who had 16 carries for 85 yards and a touchdown.
After throwing seven consecutive incompletions, sophomore quarterback Cade Fly completed 12 of 13 attempts for 132 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. What impressed his coach the most was the decision making on when to throw and when to tuck the ball and run. Fly had 14 carries for 75 yards and a 6-yard touchdown run.
“He made some great decisions,” Green said. “We called a quarterback draw, and he ran for 17 yards. Then, he sprints out and ran another 20. You see him develop a lot more every week and hurting people with his arm.”
Senior receiver Anthony Watson had eight receptions for 69 yards and two touchdowns.
Brady only got 39 yards of total offense.
The challenge for the Jackets is to play with the same defensive intensity and show offensive rhythm from the start of the game, Green said.
“I want our defense to play like they did against Brady,” he said. “Offensively against Brady, our kids looked young in the first quarter. We committed penalties and had early turnovers. We played well the next three quarters.”