The Yellow Jacket loss to 2-AA Bangs for the second year in a row is a major set back for the young team. In hoping Llano would take the Comanche win and build upon that win and improve, most all aspects took the step back in the 35 to 13 loss.
Scouting Llano would make for an interesting scouting report. But the main idea one would come away from it would be that if you can stop the quarterback, you stop the team. Junior Rhett Brooks again carried the load, with about 112 yards rushing on 17 carries. He had 97 of those yards on just four carries, which included a 59 yard romp in the second quarter. The other 13 carries netted only 15 yards.
Brooks threw the football 12 times with four completions, with no completions in the second half. Junior Story Tatsch caught a 17 yarder in the second quarter, with senior Clay Tarter and a 23 yard catch in the first. Sophomores Issac Hutto and Taylor Sorenson nabbed the other two passes. It was simple to me. Llano was very much a one dimensional offensive team, with few options. Tarter seems to be more of an every down running back, carrying 10 times for 58 yards. Junior Will Siegenthaler had 11 yards on three carries.
Maybe Bangs did the mirror drill. Just keep your best defensive player in one position and he has one job, and that is to mirror one player. That was Rhett. Unless Llano’s offense gets more people involved, expect much of the same as the season progresses. While at times Brooks was running for his life, his inclination to tuck and run first is not giving time for receivers to get down field and get open. That also means the offensive line must hold their blocks longer. Sometimes that only means one more second. But it must happen in order for Llano to have an offense that even grandmothers in the stands knows what play is coming. The 13 points against Bangs certainly can be attributed to four turnovers. Two of those turnovers resulted in 14 points with little effort. Five plays by Bangs after the turnovers and the game was out of control. Right now, this is no way to plan for 25-3 AAA.
The 35 points scored by Bangs and 32 last week by Comanche shows a defense that is struggeling mightily. For one thing, the defense could not get off the field. In the fourth quarter, Llano only had the football four plays. Their were a few bright spots, and Vance Bauers’ interception in the third quarter certainly was one. Quarterback sacks by senior Jordan Johnson and sophomore Caleb Penny in the fourth quarter showed that the effort is on the field. No one gave up. But Llano’s zone secondary defense does not pick up crossing routes, and the three man front gets very little pass rush. In both of Llano’s games, good quarterbacks had very good success passing against the Jackets. Bangs had 17 plays of over 10 yard gains, and TD catches of 27 and 31 yards.
After nearly 40 years of watching Jacket football, I’ve just gotten less patient. But my frustration is not more than the Jackets, or their Coaches. But if I’m going to get beat on long plays, I would stop something. And you can begin by blitzing 80% of the time. Bring 6 people and the passing game comes to a near standstill. The quarterback will either have an arm like Tom Brady, or he will be throwing off his back foot trying to get ride of the football. Then Vance and Clay and Mason Ladd and Conner Barrett can have a chance to get an interception. Sure, then the draw plays and the screen passes will start with all of the blitzes, but Llano will not be worse than they are now. Waiting for something good to happen just has not worked. This non aggressive defense has given up 43 points a game over the past four Jacket games. Llano must change the approach of stopping offenses.
Bandera is 0-12 over its last 12 games. But, I never believe that about the Bulldogs. The newspapers are just lying. Bandera scored 38 points last week in a loss. Running back Ryan Walker had over 1,300 yards rushing as a junior, and he was very good in the Jackets’ win last year in Bandera. Expect the same from him this week. Llano will have their hands full against a talented team that is also full of frustration. Llano must be in the most aggressive mood it can be in, in order to secure win # 2 this week. Llano puts things in a better light: Llano 28, Bandera 21.