September 6, 2010

The loss to 2-AA Bangs will be a turning point in the season for the 2010 Yellowjackets.  It will either be the best thing that happens this season, or it will be the season story.

The defense allowed over 330 yards of offense, evenly balanced with passing and running.  There are few stars from this disaster.  Llano can play every type of defense one can draw on the blackboard, but until there are expectations, there will be no improvement.  Not until several things happen. 1)  The seniors must step up today and demand hard play every down.  Not just pretty good play, but obsessive , aggressive, every helmet on the ball carrier play.  Believe it or not, Coaches cannot usually get this out of players.  Seniors must demand it with peer pressure.  “Either play hard every play, or get off the field.”  If the seniors do not care enough about playing hard every game, then there is a lost season.  The seniors must demand that there are 11 people making the tackle every play.  Only excuse is when someone is standing in the end zone covering a receiver.  Pulling up while someone else is making the tackle is one big reason the Jackets  allowed 13 big plays Friday night.  Plays over 10 yards.  Gang tackeling will stop some of this.  Expect it of yourself.  And demand it of others. 2) The penalties also killed the Jackets.  9 for 70 yards, and they usually come at bad times.  This is nothing but keeping your head in the game.  Many of the penalties were due to sloppy thinking.  Or, not thinking.

Llano must beat Bandera.  The 2009 Bulldogs went to the playoffs, and are picked to be there again this year.  Yet, they are not a real good football team yet!  They, like Llano needs a good victory.  They are always tough at home.  They are a large 3-AAA school, with over 800 enrollment.  Running back Ryan Walker is very good.  Their defense will be tough against the Jacket running game.  Still, they need the win badly.  This game will come down to which needs the win the most, and which team wants to save their season.

Senior Matthew Ratliff recovered a Bangs fumble while playing defense.  Matt’s playing both ways is a difference maker for this team. I know he can’t do it every play, but his number of snaps on both sides of the football are very important.  The Jackets scored off of his hustle on defense.

The running game of Llano is good.  Not great yet, but senior Justin Saverance and junior Alex Greer and both tough runners, and can make the hard yards.  Greer is more made for running between the tackles, while trying to get Justin to the outside more will see more production.  The running game is still alive in this new Jacket offense.

Saw good hustle from Wes Haverlah, and Clay Tarter.  Both are juniors. Also, more good plays from Vance Bauer, a junior, and senior Michael Rusche.  There were good moments for Llano.  There just needs to be more, every play.  Someone must step up every single play.  The Jackets can beat Bandera in Bandera, but this will take a team committment by all.  This is the spot in the season that defines the 2010 football team.

My Prediction:  Llano 14  Bandera 0

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