A win is a win is a win!!!! While not a thing of beauty, beating Comanche in Comanche has never been Llano’s best suit. The overall record against the Indians extends to 12 victories for Llano against 7 losses.
The 18 to 12 victory was close, as the Indians drove to the Jacket 18 yard line in the last two minutes to only get stopped by a sometimes good defense. The Jackets allowed over 350 yards of offense. Not usually going to win a lot of games giving up that many yards. Where the Jacket defense does get noticed is giving up only 12 points. Also, blocked an extra point, prevented a field goal, forced three fumbles and recovered all three, and had an interception by sophomore Justin Wyatt to stop a drive by the Indians on the two yard line. The defense did everything it could to play smart. The defense played well enough to win, and now must work harder to step up and play better. I thought junior Jordan Johnson and senior Travis Lawrence had great games. Senior Raven Herron had some step up plays, and showed good speed. Over all, I thought the secondary which includes Vance Bauer,Rhett Brooks, Michael Rusche, senior Justin Saverance, and junior Conner Chauncey had good play against the Indians. But for me, Wyatt was the nice surprise of the night.
Senior Jordan Cavness, despite very bad leg cramps, kept Llano in the game, and kept the Indians in the hole. Five punts averaging 38 yards is spectacular. I had only three yards in returns on Jordan’s high punts, and the last one in the fourth quarter likely won the game, as the 49 yard punt put the Indians on their own 9 yard line with 81 yards to go for the winning score.
Must give some credit to seniors Travis Lawrence, Matthew Ratliff and Davis Hill. The Jackets had over 200 yards rushing , with newcomer Alex Greer getting his first varsity 100 yard game on 11 carries. Saverance had 52 yards and blocked well. I still like the running game. Lawrence dominated. Ratliff could become elite at this pace. Hill is known for consistancy and smart.
Senior Sterling Jameson is Coach Yeager’s do everything man. Big play on defense, Sterling is your man. Force the quarterback, get Sterling to do it. And while not the rah-rah guy, he quietly goes about his business of getting the job done. Sterling had a great game.
After the first half, I was ready to move quarterback Preston Rabb to defense. Showing toughness but first game jitters was really frustrating. Several sacks due to not getting rid of the football sooner hurt the Jacket offense. But halftime, Preston must have had two Hersey bars. In the third quarter Preston was 5 of 5 passing for 48 yards, ran the football for 35 yards and two first downs and had control of his team. The fourth quarter he was 4 of 6 passing, and stood in the pocket strong. Preston moves his overall starting record at quarterback to 5-5, and showed great pose on the field. If he starts against Bangs like he ended the Comancche game, this season will get fun real soon.
Rabb’s receivers all looked good. Who is John McKay? Well, we know he is a senior, and we know he has no fear catching the football over the middle. Rabbs’ passes to John were all in the same spot….all arms length out in front of him, and he caught all 6 with his finger tips. Four first downs, 67 yards…what a find for Llano. Sophomore receiver Matthew Center had a hard catch in traffic for a first down in his first start on the varsity. Matt also played well on about 10 plays at defensive end. Greer had three catches out of the backfield, as did Saverance. Junior Clay Tarter had a catch, and played a good overall game.
While only getting in a few plays, junior Cole Barrett at linebacker played hard and made several tough tackles. Cole is someone to start watching.
First games can be great, but usually coaches will have more questions than answers after the initial game. So, let’s move on. Llano did not get to beat Bangs last year due to the September lightning storm that blew into Bangs, and ended the year-long drought in Central Texas in the year 2009. We hope the same thing happens this Friday night, except for it to happen about 10 PM. The Jackets play their home opener Friday night, and it will be fun.
Little has to be said about the Jackets schedule. It is tough. Llano is playing everyone with a chance to make the playoffs, including Bangs. There are no easy games. So for the Jackets to be ready and best prepared for the murderous district schedule, playing harder, smarter, and better every week is a must thing to do. Llano must be 2-0 this time next week.
I’ll put a plug-in for someone who is really spectacular. Van Harris several years ago took over his Dad’s business, The Harris Poll. His accuracy is uncanny. He has every high school football game picked each week, and ranks over 1,000 Texas high schools weekly. If you want to take Van’s poll, he can be contacted at 940-498-5176. Last week I picked Llano by 14 points. Van had Llano by 6!!!.
I welcome your comments and thoughts here on our new blog. See you Friday night.
My Prediction: Llano 27 Bangs 12
I shared your frustration with Rabb in the first half, so I was excited to see him getting “into rhythm” in the second half. Great group of kids and coaches; I know they will work and try very hard this season. Enjoyed your article.
Thanks, we can all look forward to this season, and at the same time see the rhythm develope in these great young Jackets…mikel