STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
LLANO — The Llano High School football team got the win it needed to secure the No. 3 spot in District 13-4A Division II and a playoff berth. Now, the Yellow Jackets are taking a much-needed bye before starting postseason play next week.
The Yellow Jackets (5-5 overall, 2-2 district) defeated Bandera 54-20 on Nov. 3 and are awaiting the results of the District 14-4A Division II game between Devine and Crystal City on Friday, Nov. 10, to see who their first-round opponent will be.
But just because Llano isn’t playing this week doesn’t mean the players didn’t practice. In fact, they spent a lot of time in the weight room after getting the day off Nov. 6. They were on the practice field Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
“I don’t know that I’ve ever gone this long without a bye,” head coach Matt Green said. “Our kids definitely needed a break, physically and mentally. Our coaches needed a break, and we needed to get away.”
The reason for the commitment to the weight room is because after two or three days, the body begins to lose muscle, Green said, which results in losing strength. Studies indicate lifting weights also helps prevent injuries, he added.
“I’m a big believer in lifting weights,” he said.
Llano was simply dominant in its win against Bandera, scoring on eight of its 10 drives.
The contest was tied 7-7 early in the game. Green said the Bulldogs were able to run the ball effectively.
But the difference was the Jackets’ offensive line forced its will and controlled the line of scrimmage as the game wore on.
Meanwhile, the Llano defense began to get stops on a consistent basis and broke the Bulldogs’ will.
The result was a convincing win.
“Bandera had two weeks to prepare for us; they took a bye before they played us,” Green said.
While junior quarterback Cade Fly’s four of nine passes for 86 yards might be modest, three of those completions were for touchdowns.
The touchdowns went to sophomore Aaron Brown and juniors Kaleb Dodson and Brooks Keele.
Senior running back Ben Walling had 10 carries for 105 yards and a score, while senior running back Mason Greenwood had eight carries for 67 yards and a score. Junior running back Mason Brooks had eight carries for 78 yards and a touchdown. In all, the Jackets rushed for 302 yards on 38 carries for five scores and averaged 7.9 yards per play.
Green said Fly has progressed well and flourished in the offensive system because of his intelligence and desire to improve. Fly has completed 107 of 204 passes for 1,543 yards, 14 touchdowns, and six interceptions and has rushed 84 times for 335 yards and nine touchdowns.
“Cade can run, but he has a great arm as well,” the coach said. “I don’t think Cade has been asked in the past to throw a lot. He’s absorbed a lot.”
While the Jackets have been watching film on both Crystal City and Devine, Green said he believes Llano will play Crystal City in a bi-district matchup next week.
“That’s what my hunch tells me,” he said.
While he has spoken to both head coaches about possible playoff sites, Green wouldn’t specify exactly where.