November 12, 2005
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Play to Win Archives
Play To Win
By Mikel R. Virdell…recording the history of the Fighting Llano Yellowjackets
How do you spell “relief”?
sound about right?
The 27-20 victory by the 2005 Llano Yellowjackets over the Poteet Aggies
in Bi-district was a thrilling game, and no one left early. Just when you
thought, maybe Llano would
pull away, Poteet would score in a flash of an eye, and you would sit back down.
The Aggies scored three times, completed 5 passes for 241 yards and were ready to
be rude and beat the visiting Jackets.
But Llano had a better game plan. Llano took the opening kick-off and drove
76 yards for its first score. Llano ran 19 plays. Had only one mistake,
a five-yard penalty.
Shane Pope carried the ball 14 times ! Senior Branden Long carried two times. Senior
Jonryan Passe carried once. Sophomore Lance Dickey carried twice. Pope scored with
2:02 left in the first quarter! Senior Grant Morgan kicked true and Llano was ahead
7-0 with nearly ¼ of the game over! 19 plays…surely this is a school
record. And what a disciplined drive….19 plays! Unheard of!!!
But, Llano still had to play the remaining 38 minutes. Poteet ran three plays
in the fourth quarter and punted, where Llano started play at the 9-yard
plays later Grant punted for a net of 73 yards, and put the Aggies on their own 10-yard
line where Llano’s defense again held, this time on a fourth and one. Grant,
Willmann, Luke Meador, Long, Whitaker, Coffee, Virdell, and Bigger made key stops.
Llano responded with a 72-yard drive, but this drive had two things that rarely happen.
Llano completed two passes…. in the same possession. Junior quarterback Jordan
Leverett first hit Pope on a 13-yard pass, and came back and hit Davis from his tight
end position for 8 yards and the TD. Pope had the longest run of the night, going
over junior center Jonathan Hill, tackles Hoerster and Wooten, and tremendous effort
from senior Zack Lanford for a 20 yard run. Llano lead 14-0 with 57 seconds left
to play in the half. This was too much time left for Poteet. They needed only 28
seconds to go 75 yards and score. Halftime was 14-6, and Llano had a little worry
on its face. Or at least I did.
Poteet wasted one play in the third quarter before they scored on the second
77 yards with the long TD pass. Passe took the kickoff and got back to the 27-yard
line. The Jackets ran 10 straight running plays, with Passe getting 9 yards on a
play with a sweep left. Hill, and Lanford again providing super effort in the trenches.
And lightening hit for the third time. Leverett threw a 37-yard strike to Passe for
the TD and the Jackets lead 20-12.
And what happens. We kick-off, and 7 plays later the Aggies score with a
pass. Go for two, make it and we’re tied at 20-20!
Llano goes to the well one too many times, and on third down…threw a pass and
it is intercepted!. Crunch time…fourth quarter. And Llano plays lights-out
defense. Andy and Davis and Grant put the stop to this high-powered offense, and
forces a punt. And the rest is history.
Shane carries four times for 18 yards. Lance two carries for 12 more yards.
Passe for five. And then in comes senior T.J. Bunnell and with one burst
goes 54 yards
for the Llano TD and the margin of victory. Still, Llano has to play the final 5:48…which
is too much time for the Aggies. But not to worry. Chris Saverance, Grant, Luke,
and Patrick along with great effort all night long from junior Corey Ritchie, Robert
Coffee, junior Jordan Clayton and senior Long, the Jackets squeeze down, and on third
and 10, sophomore Lance Dickey makes the play of the night on defense with an interception.
Now, Llano must hold the ball. 10 plays, all runs, Llano faces third and 9. In comes
T.J. again…and 32 yards later the senior has Llano on the six-yard line where
Llano takes a knee to run out the clock. I’m tired~!
Llano last made it to the second round of the play-offs in 1999 getting beat by eventual
State Champion Sealy. Back in 1997 Llano made it to the second round of the play-offs
and met Cuero. Cuero had it hardest play-off win that year, beating Llano 13-7. Llano’s
Bradley Kassell was a senior, and played hurt. We nearly beat the Gobblers.
For you that like a little history, Llano has won only one game in the second
round, that being in 1973 when Ken Gray was the Coach, beating McGregor
Cuero is the number one team in the State. They were 14-1 last year, getting
beat in the final Championship game. The Gobblers will be picked to win
by 20 plus points.
Our task will be mighty!
Llano is young. Junior Josh Yocum is out, and will be missed. Yet, the Jackets are
such a solid team, that anything can happen, and one thing that has happened, and
that is Llano controls the football. Llano beat another very good football team in
Poteet Friday night. When Llano has the football, it is hard for other teams to score.
The Jackets have every reason to think they can beat Cuero. This 8-3 Jacket team
is solid. Sound offense…sound defense…and excellent smart coaching. Should
Llano beat the number one team in Class 3AAA, this would be the biggest win in the
history of the school. You must believe first. Then you go out and do it.
Llano 21 Cuero 18
Next Play To Win Special Wed. PM 11-16-05