I said that there would be regrets years later when the Llano seniors remembered back on the Liberty Hill game. The memory these seniors will have of the Burnet game will be memory blockage. Burnet played pretty good, gave the Jackets two fumbles which should have been enough, but Llano was never in this pre-Halloween game. Burnet had 14 plays in which they had double diget gains, producing 12 first downs and 315 yards. Their other 41 plays produced only 117 yards, for a respectable 2.8 yards a try. Llano’s defense could not play big long enough to give the Jackets the needed field position required to have a chance. The Jackets 11 possessions averaged beginning play on their own 24 yardline.
Burnet started their 11 possessions on their 33 yardline. The real advantage for Burnet was their speed on offense, and our lack of aggression on defense. Many times the Jacket secondary had the Burnet receivers well covered, only to wait until the catch was made before making a play. The Jacket linebackers played good enough, and the defensive line was not as visible, mainly due to, I suspect, playing better competition. Burnet threw the football 20 times and did not allow a sack of their quarterback.
The Jackets offense was also inconsistant. The running game produced over 200 yards, with senior Justin Saverance going over 100 yards, and averaging over 7 yards per carry. The 154 yards passing was on 11 of 27 tries, and hurried throws, over throws, and drops, Llano just missed out on good chances. The Jackets did drive 80 yards and 78 yards on two of their scoring drives. Now look at this. Those two drives consisted of 20 plays. Llano had no penalties. Llano ran the ball 14 times for 109 yards for a 7.8 yards a carry. And completed 4 of 6 passes for 49 yards. Two competions to Vance Bauer, one to Matthew Center, and one to Justin Wyatt. Winning, consistant football. The Jackets must bring it all together this week. Striving to be perfect has to be the goal each week. Only with that goal foremost in ones mind will the Jackets be able to consistantly have 80 yard drives.
One consistancy Llano has is extra point kicker, senior John McKay. 18 in a row breaks the school record held by Robert Clark 0f 17 in 1999. I’m expecting John to get about 10 more chances over the next two weeks, and after we beat Wimberley in the first play-off game, we’ll regroup and predict how many John will have at that point.
Game balls this week go to Jordan Cavness, Travis Lawrence, and Raven Herron. Davis Hill contines to play hard at linebacker, and Jordan Johnson still has his motor running strong. I want Sterling Jameson to run the kick-off out of the end zone. His speed can get him just on glimmer of daylight, and that is all he needs. I want Preston to throw only on two drop step backs, and throw. That is when he is most accurate. I want Conner Chauncy to never try to get to the sideklines again. The opening and his quickness put the opportunity at the turning up field place just past the tackle spot. Turn it up sooner. I want Clay Tarter to keep getting better. He improves every week. I want to see McKay catch more footballs, like about 6 as he did against Comanche. I want Cavness to punt only once or twice this week, but keep that average over 35 yards. I want Matthew Ratliff to bury defensive lineman this week. Take scaples, no survisors. I want a secondary lead by sophomore Rhett Brooks to get more turnovers. Herron, Wyatt, Jameson, Rusche, and Tarter need to take a chance…get an interception. Playing too safe, has not worked. And I want Llano and its seniors to remember Salado.
Beating Salado puts the Jackets into the playoffs for the fifth time in 6 seasons with head Coach David Yeager as head man. Llano can end the regular season at 6-4. I think it should have been 8-2, but that is just me. Beating Salado is the kick0ff for the next season. These seniors have worked hard, and to the most part, have played strong. Mistakes, and not taking advantage of mistakes has been the big issue. Llano, should it ever play 4 full quarters, will surprise even itself. I want the Jackets to be surprised Friday night in Salado.