STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
LLANO — The Llano High School football team is attempting to do something it has not done in several years: get back-to-back wins over rival Brady on Friday, Sept. 14.
The contest kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium, 1000 Wall St. in Brady.
Llano (1-1) head coach Matt Green said that while the Yellow Jackets won 45-0 in 2017, the game was scoreless into the second quarter.
“It’s a rivalry, so anyone can win,” Green said. “The matchup is better.
“They had a young team a year ago,” he added. “We were veteran-oriented upfront. They only lost four players off that team. They return 19 starters.”
Those returners include senior running back Ryan Decker, who rushed for 1,016 yards and 10 touchdowns a year ago, and junior receiver Cole Bryant, who had 432 receiving yards and a touchdown. Brady’s offense is the Wing-T, a run-oriented scheme that relies on misdirection to confuse the defense and advance the ball.
“They look good doing it on film,” Green said. “It’ll be a challenge for us. They’re good at it.”
But, he noted, the Jackets have done a good job defending this type of scheme.
The Brady defense is led by junior linebackers Walker Bauer, Mason Allsup, and Ross Jacoby, who had almost 200 tackles among them last season.
“They like to blitz, they like to create negative plays behind the line of scrimmage,” Green said. “We’re going to have to be able to throw and catch.”
So far this season, Llano senior quarterback Cade Fly has completed 18 of 39 passes for 248 yards and a touchdown with one interception and has 18 carries for 101 yards and three scores. Junior receiver Quincy Price has one catch for 75 yards and a touchdown.
Llano missed on three touchdowns last week in its 36-12 win against Luling, something the Jackets can’t afford to do against Brady, Green said.
“We can not leave those plays on the field,” he said.
Coaches are studying the Jackets’ pass plays during practice by documenting which passes were complete, which ones weren’t, and how they went incomplete. They will use the data to point out the importance of practicing with a consistency and tenacity on every play.
“We’re really putting an emphasis on throwing and catching,” Green said. “We’ll have to go out and execute it. We have to complete the ball in practices. If we don’t, I don’t know what would lead us to believe we’ll execute it in a game. We’re giving them an incentive to do better.”