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State qualifying tourneys reveal more positives for Llano

The Llano varsity 7-on-7 football team posted a 1-2 record at the Taylor State Qualifying Tournament June 11, and head coach Matt Green noticed some common traits from the three qualifying tournaments.

Llano participated at the Burnet State Qualifying Tournament May 28 and the Jourdanton State Qualifying Tournament June 4. The Jackets were never in the same pool as the hosts and were placed in pools against eight Class 4A members and one Class 3A member. Llano beat Brownwood and Comal Davenport, two Division II state tournament qualifiers, and lost to Lorena and Pleasanton, two other state tournament qualifiers. Green takes that as a positive.

“I think our program has a lot of respect and success,” he said.

At Taylor, the Yellow Jackets defeated Comal Davenport, a member of District 13-4A Division I, 34-25 but lost to Waco Connolly 20-7 and to Lago Vista 40-7.

Against Connolly, Llano had three key drops that factored into the outcome: a touchdown pass and two interceptions.

“We had two interceptions that would have stopped their scoring drives,” Green said. “These were balls that hit us in our hands. Our kids competed well.”

Lago Vista, a former district foe, had lost five of six to the Jackets in 11-man football. After this contest, the Jackets made a determination to play better.

“We looked tired and we looked disinterested,” Green said. “I was disappointed in that we didn’t play well.”

Tournament organizers reseeded the teams after completing pool play. So Davenport, which had gone 2-0 in its pool, faced Llano. Davenport had already qualified for the Division II state tournament before competing at the Taylor event.

Llano put all the elements together in that win, Green said.

“They scored late to make it 34-25,” he said. “I told our players ‘If you’d played that way in the first two games, we’d be moving on.'”

Though the Jackets are done with state tournament qualifiers, they still host a weekly league at Llano Stadium at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays that includes San Saba, Mason, Johnson City and Fredericksburg.

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