STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
LLANO — Llano High School head football coach Matt Green isn’t concerned that the Yellow Jackets will let one loss to beat them twice after falling to Hondo 29-26 on Aug. 31.
In fact, he said the Yellow Jackets (0-1) have used the setback as motivation in their preparation for Luling (0-1). The two meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7, at Eagle Field, 218 E. Travis in Luling.
“The kids practiced extremely well. Their attitudes are extremely positive,” Green said.
The Eagles also suffered a loss: 71-6 to Marion on Aug. 31.
Against Marion, Luling was led by backup junior quarterback Rashon Macias, who completed four passes for 20 yards and an interception and ran for 71 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. Senior running back Isac Ramirez contributed 52 yards on 11 carries.
Starting senior quarterback Miguel Ordonez was injured against Marion and unable to finish the contest.
So Llano is has been working on defending the spread and the triple option, which is a run-based scheme that has multiple runners in sweeps, traps, and the option. Luling has shown both depending on which quarterback is playing.
“You prepare for two totally different offenses,” Green said.
The Eagles defense is led by senior nose guard Jonathyn Murry and junior defensive end Tomas Cruz. They could have three linebackers or two linebackers with a hybrid backer who has the speed to drop into the secondary and the strength to defend the run.
“Murry is a very dynamic player,” Green said. “He’s a 300-pounder who can move. He’s quick, aggressive, and big. The defense revolves around him. They have size upfront, and all average 250 pounds. They will be a challenge upfront.”
Llano will counter with senior quarterback Cade Fly, who completed six of 16 passes for 109 yards and an interception in the loss to Hondo. He also rushed for 41 yards on 10 carries. Senior Dalton Moore had five carries for 30 yards and a touchdown.
It’s imperative the Jackets make the right calls on who to block so they can establish an offensive rhythm. Fly can also help with the pass protection calls, Green added.
“Our kids have to understand who they’re blocking,” he said. “It gives us our best option to keep (Fly) protected.”
The coach said there’s a sense of urgency to help the linemen retain then play at the highest level with fewer errors. During the loss to Hondo, the Jackets had 200 yards in penalties that took points off the scoreboard or allowed the Owls to continue on scoring drives.
Green noted many of the linemen made their varsity debuts against Hondo, so they were getting accustomed to the what it’s like to play on a Friday night. He believes they’ll be able to respond better in that atmosphere against Luling.