The game with Wimberley could be our perfect storm. First of all, there are no expectations about Llano winning, except players, coaches and Jacket fans. The 24 point underdog tag placed by the Harris Poll, and the unanimous thoughts of the Austin American Statesman that this one will be easy for the Texans sets the perfect stage for an underdog and sometimes underacheiving Jacket team.
What makes it even more odd, is the Jackets need to play a game soon, or we will be down to our freshman team. Injuries after last Friday nights game, and some small aggrevation type hurts this week in practice. Yet, I do know how Jackets step up. Juniors will play harder, and seniors will know it could be their last moment in a Jacket uniform. Other teams have the same issues, but the Texans have expectations as 3rd ranked team in 3-AAA, and those expectations have little regard for the Jackets.
I’ve watched the Wimberley Texans as the season flows by, and they are a team with few flaws. Their quarterback in a transfer from powerhouse, Aledo. Brady Lambert throws good, but will and could throw an interception when pressed. He perfers to run. He rushed for over 150 yards in the last two games as he carried the football 30 times. In rushing Lambert, seniors Travis Lawrence and Matthew Ratliff will do well to keep their heads up, and keep the blocking offensive lineman in place directly in front of them. That way, they can slide either way. Junior Jordan Johnson the same, but his quickness gives him a little more flexibility. The key is a pass rush, being ready in the secondary to get an interception, and to expect one. Lambert threw two picks against Boerne. Lambert is 21-44-2 over the past two weeks. A pass rush and the caving into the inside to stop what amounts to quarterback draws can slow down an offense that produces well over 400 yards per game. The Texans offensive linemen are very large. Nothing harder to block for a large lineman is a low lying defensive men that keep moving.
Llano can also win when the offense plays four full quarters. On average, the Jackets offense runs smooth about 2 1/2 quaters each game. The Jackets actually played two good quarters against Brownwood, still the #1 team in 3-AAA. The long 80 yard drive and against Brownwood was great football. It will take that effort, and that head in the game thinking to beat Wimberley. Llano can pull this off. Had the Jackets played four full quarters against Brownwood, we would have made that game close. Wimberley is not Brownwood. Know you can do this.
Llano can win if the cornerbacks could slow the Texans down at the line of scrimmage. That slowness off the line really messes with timing, and the worry is the speed of the Texan receivers. Still, a second of hesitation on the line could work, throw Lambert’s timing off, and give our strength, the defensive line one more second to sack Lambert.
Lineman and receivers, be slow to block downfield, especially when the ball carrier is close. Our big play people( Jameson, Wyatt, Center, Bauer, Chauncy, Brooks, McKay, Tarter, Rabb, and possibly Saverance) all have enough speed to pull of the big gain. Don’t let an “excitement penalty” void one of these plays. Play safe and smart. That too is how you best Wimberley.
Take the game to Wimberley early and late. The Texans were behind 21-0 last week against Boerne, before the Texans came back with 42 points. Know, and expect this. Expect a close game, all the way to the end. And, mentally, be ready to win in the final minutes. The Jackets did this against Salado. They have come from behind two times this season by two touchdowns, and won. This could be our perfect storm. The Yellowjackets in 1973 played Bastrop in bi-district. The Bears were ranked #2 in the State. The Bears were picked to win by 4 touchddowns. We still talk about it today, 37 years later. Llano won 7-0. It was a perfect storm.