CEDAR PARK — The Jourdanton Indians held tight with the No. 7-ranked Llano Yellow Jackets in Friday’s Class 3A Division I regional semifinal.
Eventually, Llano cracked Jourdanton’s floodgates for a 31-14 win at Gupton Stadium in Cedar Park. Jourdanton’s season ends with an 11-2 record and their first trip to the regional semifinals in 35 years.
“It stings right now. It’s not the best of times to really reflect on what all we were able to do,” Head Coach Darrell Andrus said. “I think the main thing is, as I reflect on the season in a day or a week, I’ll think back to not necessarily the wins and the losses, but the moments with these kids.”
The two teams were tied 14-14 entering halftime and Llano held a narrow 17-14 margin entering the fourth quarter. The Yellow Jackets would rattle off two touchdowns in the span of one minute and 30 seconds thanks to a pair of rushing touchdowns by senior quarterback Case Kuykendall. Both came following turnovers-on-downs by Jourdanton.
Jourdanton was held scoreless in the second half and were 1-of-15 on third down and 2-of-5 on fourth down in the game. Jourdanton had to create any chance to score and took their chances with their offense.
“I felt offensively we had a few shots we missed,” coach Andrus said. “We dropped a few balls. Cole [Andrus] definitely threw a few picks that were huge. Our offensive line, those kids battled hard, but they missed a few blocks. You can’t do that against Llano. When I watch this film, whenever that day finally comes, we’re gonna see some opportunities, we’re gonna have some regret from this game.”
Cole Andrus was sacked six times, threw three interceptions and the Indians were held to a seasonlow output of 299 yards of total offense.
“[Llano] played hard. They played with heart,” QB Andrus said. “We did, too, but we just didn’t have enough to fix it. They deserved to win. They just made our underclassmen way better players for next year.”
The Yellow Jackets picked up 175 yards of total offense in the second half. In addition to his three rushing touchdowns in the game, Kuykendall accounted for 76 rushing yards, 163 passing yards and one passing touchdown.
Andrus had just 199 yards passing for the Indians to go with a pair of touchdown passes to Brett Berg and Jarel Lilly. That helped Jourdanton to a 14-7 lead in the second quarter.
“They had some dudes,” senior defensive back Colton Schuchart said of his opponents. “[Kuykendall], he was shifty. [Austin Hulon] ran hard. They were just a little bit better than us, so they came out with the win.”
Jourdanton sophomore running back Juan Lerma stepped up in place of injured senior Aidan Borth. In the sophomore’s first career start at the varsity level, he carried the ball 13 times for a team-high 74 yards.
“He’s definitely going to be a kid we build around,” coach Andrus said,” and Luke [Tapp], Nick [Cordova], Jordan [Castillo] and our whole offensive line except for Michael [Howard]. I can’t think of them all off the top of my head right now, but we have quite a few starters coming back.”
The loss marks the end of the high school careers for Jourdanton’s 12 seniors. For them, they’re glad they could leave an indelible mark on the program.
“I’m so proud. I hope we left a legacy,” Andrus said. “I hope we started something that won’t be left behind and forgotten about. We created a brotherhood here.”