The road victory over a so-so Bandera team is more than meaningful. It was a turn-around for a team still trying to find where and who they are. The Jackets, and specifically the seniors showed up to this game. The 2-1 Jackets had to win this game. They knew it, and the team responded.
Sterling Jameson, senior linebacker and receiver, intercepted a 92 yard hitch pass and now is second longest returned of a TD now in the Jacket record books. His play set the tone. Others followed. Justin Saverance had over 140 yards rushing and catching Preston Rabb passes. Rabb delighted and amazed with a 70 TD run, and hit 9 of 10 passes for the evening. Travis Lawrence played super at his defensive line spot. Matthew Ratliff plowed open holes in the line, and still is the Jackets best first down ground stopper on defense. Cody Wisdom has decided he gets a few chances each week, and he is going Make sure each play counts. Cody had several big tackles and covers kick-offs by being the fastest down field. I really like Kenneth Smith in the offensive line. He is big and strong, and it is getting where he can be depended upon. Same can be said of the smaller Ryan Williams, a junior. The offensive line is coming together. Back up Zack Berry lends good depth. Michael Rusche is really starting to make plays. I know he makes mistakes, but they are not due to lack of hustle. His motors goes full speed, and his energy is great for a defense that still must continue to get better. Cornerback Raven Herron still makes good plays. He has gotten better every game. And the tackeling of Davis Hill and Ian Mayne have improved since the Comanche game. Getting better is all anyone wants to see. And these seniors are stepping up. They all comtributed, and that is very big.
Senior John McKay is still our Llano secret. He showed in the Comanche game what his potential was. Has been more silent of late, but I expect him to shine from this point on out. And he may be the new Jacket kicker.
Missed junior Alex Greer at the fullback position, but he is more of a slot-t running back. Yet, he may have found a home at linebacker. He was in on many tackles. Shoring up the defense is number one priority. Wes Haverlah, a junior plays hard every play. And need I remind you to watch Cole Barrett again. More and more plays, and more and more tackles by the junior linebacker.
I did like the running of junior Conner Chauncy. Conner in his first start had 62 yards on 11 carries. Junior Vance Bauer continues to be a very sound player on both sides of the ball. And I still really like the hustle of Cody Lang and Jordan Johnson on defense. When they figure out where to be on every play, both can be difference makers on this team.
The last time that I remember that Llano beat a very high ranked team, was back in 1973, and Hilton Rabb was the Jacket quaterback. The Jackets beat the #2 ranked Bastrop Bears 7-0. Llano was suppose to lose by about 80, but the newspapers did not get delivered to Llano., so Yellowjackets players did not get the memo! Will make a wonderful story if nephew Preston too, doesn’t see a newspaper.
Brownwood will be good. Jaxon Shipley is practically a celebrity in these parts, after brother Jordan haunted the district for 4 years while playing for Burnet. The Dad, Bob, (Brownood Head Caoch)has never lost to Llano. Odd as it may seem, but Llano has never lost to Brownwood. The 4-0 record against the Lions goes back a few decades, but still that is why we keep records. There were Jacket teams in the past that held little awe of the Lions. Respect, yes!
I suppose you can be a realist, and figure the Jackets have little chance against the #1 3-AAA team in Texas. The Lions just beat a respected 4-AAAA Stephenville team. But that is why we play the games. And I not for one second think Llano is not looking forward to this great challenge. These seniors will make alot of memories over the next 8 weeks. But, none better, than on a hot Friday night in Llano, Texas, 14 seniors pulled off the impossible. The win of the decades.
Remember, 4:30 PM, Friday, at the O.Henry Bldg. Hall of Fame inductees…..Harold Underwood….David Ross…..Jamie Banner…..Teresa Kassell….1970 Undefeated football team …..6 PM….A & M Fish Fry @ the Jr. High (Stadium)…..Game: 7:30 PM.
Llano 29 Brownood 25