The loss to Bandera was a real kick in the stomach. Llano was picked to win. Llano should have won, and this is one where Llano just beat Llano. Being unable to stop Bandera in situations where just pretty good play would have worked, the Jackets managed to kick the can down the street and just hope for the best. The best never came, and the Jackets were beat with 35 seconds left in the game 35-33.
Had the Jackets played the second and third quarters like the first quarter, all scoring records would have been broken. Even after Bandera’s senior do everything player, Colby Stewart, ran the opening kick0ff back for 80 yards and a 7-0 lead, Llano proceeded to score three touchdowns in the quarter on a total of 7 offensive plays over a period of 3 minutes and 10 seconds. Junior quarterback Rhett Brooks ran 7 times for 28 yards, threw four completions of to junior Storey Tatsch, 34 yard TD catch by sophomore Isacc Hutto, and 15 yards to junior Matt Center. 10 running plays, four passing plays, and topped off by a 49 yard touchdown run by junior Wil Siegenthaler. Llano was playing at its best in 2011.
At the same time, the Jackets limited the Bulldogs to 32 yards rushing, and 28 yards passing, and the score was 20-14, Llano. What Llano was not able to do was stop the big play, and to hang on to the football. Two crucial turnovers, and 11 plays that averaged 18 yards and game over. Llano played the other 44 plays with stops being under two yards a try. The Jacket defense now has allowed 34 points a game in three games, and this race track scoring has got to stop. Llano in three games have scored 27 points a game. 27 points a game of offense will usually win most games Llano plays in.
First, the positive. I really like the play of junior center Taylor Stewart. He misses blocks, but I do not see any give up in this first year starter. Zach Morgan is averaging about 40 yards per punt. His 55 yarder in the first part of the Bandera game put the Bulldogs on their 11 yardline, and put Llano in a place to score three quick TDs’ all on field position. His leg alone can be a difference maker for this team that needs several more to step up. #52 Allan Lucas, a junior plays hard every down at linebacker. Junior Ryan Williams is also doing very well at linebacker. But with Llano playing a 3-4 defense, linebackers become fair game for lineman with time to get up speed. Linebackers are blocked as if they were lineman. Cole Barrett in the middle of that line causes some disruption, and needs to do more. His effort is there every play. I still like the play of cornerback Mason Ladd, a sophomore. Vance Bauer is making a hand on both sides of the football, and senior Clay Tarter’s interception in the fourth quarter set up the Jackets’ final TD with 3:25 to play. Jordan Johnson is playing at a level well above the rest. He just has to have more help, and better tackeling from his teammates. The three man Jacket front gets little push back on the front line. More blitzes would help on all fronts, and especially in the secondary. Bandera’s quarterback had lots of time Friday night.
Junior quarterback Rhett Brooks again carried the football 30 times. 25 times after the first quarter, out of 38 running plays. The one -play Llano offense is worrisome to me. Siegenthaler, Tarter, Tatsch, and Bauer all have rushing averages near 5 yards per carry, yet are used sparingly. Brooks’ throwing was right on, hitting 10 of 15 passes, using 6 different receivers, with Center catching 3 for 57 yards, and Isaac , Bauer, Tarter, Tatsch and Taylor Sorenson close behind. All have good hands. My worry is simple. Brooks goes down, down goes the quarterback, the passing game, and the rushing attack. Llano must do more different things on offense. There is no tight end play. There are few lead blocks for a tailback type attack. No slot-t offense here. I’m sure it is just me, but I think the Jacket offense is still trying to find its identity. I just hope its found so we can get ready for district play. And for once, other than powerful Lampasas, District 25-3 AAA looks like there might be a level playing field.
Llano kicked off to a known quality last Friday night in Colby Stewart. He ran one kickoff back for 80 yards and a TD, and then had run backs of 28, 26, and 27 yards. Llano for the past two years kicks off on a high short kick. The longest one to the 20 last week, and the shortest about the 33 yardline. For two years it gives the Jacket’s opponents very good field advantage, by average of 15 yards. Against Bandera, the Bulldogs set up on the 44, 42( our 42 yardline) , and 39 yardline, plus the TD. Llano did recover one of the short kicks for a turnover. I guess the Jackets have no one that can kick high or knuckelball kick to the 10 yardline. Whatever the reason, it puts Llano in the hole, and for what I see, no reason.
There is no kidding anyone, Brownwood will be a beast for Llano this week. But, in these games, many times players that are not afraid of this challenge will come out better prepared and better players for playing hard on every play, and making steps of improvement where least expected. Llano must get better this week, regardless of how the game ends up. Llano can get better, and playing the best will help the Jackets gain confidence that they can play with anyone….be competitive with anyone, and prove that Jacket Pride is more than just a slogan on a banner.
I think the biggest question about this week is if the Coaches coach or just lay down like we did last year.
we can’t continue to hope for just things to happen….we should know we have to stop something….we haven’t decided to make hard decisions….its hard to watch our kids be outcoached each week mikel
Good article, Mikel. I am confused why there are no short routes run by the receivers – seems like we continue to call for deep routes; with our linemen young and still trying to gel we need quick hitting plays. Rhett Brooks is a warrior but we can’t expect him to continue to have 25 carries a game. Defensively, we need to create pressure with blitzes and stunts. Both coordinators need to make some radical changes in a hurry. A good group of kids that can still salvage their season, but those changes need to happen right now.
Coach Yeager said in paper the other day he would have the right 11 on the field by district. I’m a little confused because he never rotates anybody. We need help in special team play. Squib kicking would be a lot better than what we have been doing. The return game needs to be more aggressive Tarter returned one for a TD on a reverse great call and run, now we run a reverse ever other kick off maybe no other coaches watch film. Punt returns, we just watch the ball roll we need to get someone in the game that can and will return the ball. LETS GO
I agree with the short routes…and the kicking game…it is a mess with no one in charge….our kids play hard…they should be 3-0 at this time….bad defensive decisions and short kickoffs have killed Llano to this point,,,mikel
Lets not just blame the coorinators the head man needs to take a long look at the program it’s been on a steady decline for 3 years. These kids can get it done if the coaches will work as hard as they ask the players to work. From a guy that played back in the day it dosn’t seem to me that we are in shape in fact most of the kids are in bad shape, that is purely a coaching problem. The coaches need to quit worrying about if someone quits are gets hurt’ if they quit because they don’t want to work hard we don’t need them anyway. When you get hurt it is what it is football is a rough game and it will happen. So turn them loose none of them will play past H.S. most likely. In the game against Bandera with over a minute left in the 1st half we try to do nothing I don’t understand this. Main point is you hav’t to give the kids a chance to compete.
Could not say it better my friend…the Jacket level of talent is the same today as 20 yrs. ago…and the same about teams we play…all up some, but I keep hearing how we are not as talented as….Comanche…Bangs….Bandera? What has changed is the coaching, and how the Jackets are coached…it is very very disappointing for Coaches to blame the kids…..remember this….when things go wrong…the first step to dishonesty is blaming someone else…mikel
My frustration level is very high, we should be 3-o now easily. The difference between coaches and players is the coaches can say next week next year, the kids are done it’s over for them they receice no do overs. What we need is the right 11 and that may be the same 11 on offense and defence and special teams. The kids deserve an all out effort to win every game that includes the Brownwood game you never know till you try, last years Brownwood game the coaches gave very little effort. We need to change alot it needs to start at 7th grade level and everyone needs to get a little desperate like your job depends it and it should. This is not and should not be acceptable. If everyone at the end of the game can look at each other and in the mirror and can honestly say they gave all they have and you lose thats one thing but from what I see we have alot left to give. I’ve been in Llano 23yrs seen some very good teams the main difference for the last 3 or 4 yrs is that in the 4th quarter we are dead. This is conditioning and can be fixed. If we scared people will quit if they work to hard, we don’t need them. It would be better to have less kids that want to get better. District is 2 games away we have a ways to go and need to get started the season can still be a good one. Get the right kids on the field and LETS GO.
Good Luck Jackets PLAY GREAT
Couldn’t agree more with Harold – my earlier comment was not just directed at the coordinators but at the head coach, who is in charge of the coordinators and therefore responsible for their results. Saw good things at Brownwood in first half on offense and some good offensive play calling; injuries at key positions killed us in second half but we have to develop depth and cross training to cover those gaps. Ready to play to win (no pun intended, Mikel) rather than to play not to lose too bad! Program needs a major makeover. Absolutely think that we have to have the best players on the field at all times, even if going both ways.
Very true there are still some bullets in the gun. Maybe we are just waiting on district play. Get the players you need in the game win against Fred. build some confidence and team moral. Get some rest and quality reps during the bye week and lets win district. Lets GO.