The 41-7 pounding by the # 8 ranked Gatesville Hornets is one game LLano needs to put behind them. Few things looked right, and certainly few things turned out right. The ranking of the Hornets seemed well deserved, but when one wheel comes off the wagon, it becomes very hard to upright the cart. Now, lets’ play someone we know a whole bunch about, the Burnet Bulldogs.
Burnet has taken control in recent years of this old, old rivalry. But not in 14 years have the Jackets been able to beat the green and white. And while the first part of this 2012 season appeared like this was a down season for Burnet, the last two games have put the Bulldogs back into a position that our neighbors to the East are thinking play-offs.
Several things can happen, but should Llano win its next two games, the Jackets have a clear shot to the third play-off spot in Class 3-A. And the same thing for Burnet. Likely, a 3-2 district record would place one of these two teams in the play-offs. Liberty Hill has lost two games, and still must play Burnet. Llano has lost two games, but a win against Burnet gives the Bulldogs two losses, and the important one to Llano. The Jackets would then travel to Brownwood in the last week of the regular season to claim that third district win and the play-off spot.
The injuries just mounted last week. Seniors Rhett Brooks, Wil Siegenthaler, Storey Tatsch, and Matt Center all played at much less than full speed. Junior Isaac Hutto is just now getting stronger to be able to contribute again. National Judging team member Elli Tiffin was missed last week on his trip to Indiana, and senior Jake Rodriquez is out for the year.
But, this week, most should be stronger, and healthier. Junior quarterback Layton Rabb needs all of his receivers back this week, and everyone needs to be on top of his game. This year Llano can beat Burnet. Rabb’s passing will be the key to beating the Bulldogs.
Burnet beat Liberty Hill last week 44-36. The Bulldogs had 611 yards of offense, but allowed 463 yards. Burnet can play pretty good run defense, but the secondary tries to hid. The play of Caleb Penny and Alec Hasty continues to get better. Gilberto Arredondo and Tristan Sabrsula along with senior Cooper Hill had good games. Zach Morgan and Taylor Stewart had good plays. Both must have great games this week.
Burnet will come out throwing the football, and Llano’s pass rush is a must. Llano has had problems this season defending the pass, but a pass rush is imperative to help out Mason Ladd, Rhett, Devin Mayne, Storey and Carter Tatsch in the secondary.
The Jackets have a passing attack that has proven can play with anyone. It starts with good offensive lineman, lead by Jacob Beasley and Ryan West, Russell Webb, freshman Colton Center and the return of Tiffin. If Hutto can return strong, Kralen Dickerson and Carter Tatsch can contirbute, Llano will beat Burnet. But it will take all hands in a team effort.
The seniors have had a tough time over the past 17 games. Winning three road games tells that Llano can dig deeper and win. But few things will ever stand out any stronger for these seniors than to be able to beat Burnet here at the end of their careers. Llano has had a great turnaround this season over last year. Evening up their district record at 2-2 would be tremendous, and put Llano back into the mix of being not only competitive again, but important in the minds of all, in years to come, that Llano is back. The 2012 senior can make that happen Friday Night. Llano by 4.