The 30-26 win over the 1-5 Taylor Ducks was much needed. The big negative is that the Jackets allowed the Ducks to stay close. Llano’s 10-0 lead with 1:01 left in the first quarter was the safest margin. Big plays were allowed, and back came the Ducks. The Ducks had 8 plays that averaged over 25 yards per play. On the other hand, Llano’s defense had 31 plays that allowed barely 2 yards per try. When the Jackets all get on the same page, on the same day, and they all get off the bus together, they will be a very good football team. Until then, each game will be a challenge.
The seniors played the best. Travis Lawrence and Jordan Johnson ruled on the inside of the defensive line. Great hustle by both of the high octane seniors. 150 pound Raven Herron had his best game. He played very tough coming up on the runs from his cornerback position. And his game ending interception was a senior needed play. Ian Mayne continues to hustle on special teams. A senior that only sees a few plays, but he makes every one count. Cody Lang and Davis Hill had good games on defense. And I think Michael Rusche improves every week. Matthew Ratliff is a ball stopper in the middle of the defensive line. Playing both ways makes for a long night, but Matthew is very capable of doing a great job on both sides of the ball. And same can be said of Zack Berry. A real difference maker.
There is a beer commercial on television, and word has it they want to interview Sterling Jameson. The text will need a few minor changes, but his new lines would go something like this.” I may not get the football on every play, but when I do, I take it to the house”! Sterlings’ 80 yard reception from senior quarterback Preston Rabb with 3 minutes left in the game was the clutch play, at a great moment. And no one caught him. Sterling has a 92 yard intercetion returned for a TD this season, as well as a 90 yard run from srcimmage.
Last week I said that Llano needed to score 25 and hold the other team to 22 points. It will take that again this week. Lampasas really does run the slot-t! I have no idea what Taylor ran, but it was not the slot-t that I know. The Badgers will be a little more slicker. Great athletes, 900 plus students in high school, play-off team last season on the 4-AAAA level. Llano shouldn’t even be on the field with these guys. Burnet had trouble last week with the Badgers. Lampasas had over 350 yards rushing, with about 6 yards per try average. Expect the same this week.
I’ve known Head Coach Joey McQueen for over 30 years. He is a very good coach, and usually you will see a very disciplined team. He has an assitant by the name of Kevin Virdell that played his high school football at Marble Falls, and played at the University of Texas. While starting four years at Marble Falls…well let’s say Llano did pretty good those years against the Mustangs. They would love to win in Llano this Friday night. So would we.
Preston Rabb with his scrambles, Justin Saverance with the football on the outside, and Rhett Brooks making a change of pace, Llano can score 30 on the Badgers. It will take 30 points to win. Big question is still can the Jacket lineman gouge-out yards in the middle. Hill, Taylor Osbourn, Ratliff, Lang, senior Kenneth Smith, and Travis must have their best blocking night. Keeping the ball for a few 10 yard drives would help. The Jackets had 8 possessions against Taylor that had 5 or fewer plays. Senior Jordan Cavness had his best game. Good on defense, but a much better than average punter. But it was his catching skills that won for Llano last week. A bad snap on the punt was over Jordan’s head. But he went up and with one hand brought it back under control. And more impressive, he had the calm mind to boot away for over 40 yards. The seniors played best.
Llano must beat two of the last four district teams to make the playoffs. Beating Lampasas this week at home is an opportunity that at times last month did not seem possible. It lies in the hands of the seniors. We will see how bad they want 2010 to be important. Llano 30 Lampasas 22