The 37-25 win in Gatesville may be one of the biggest wins in School history. Llano beat the Hornets, ranked 75th by the Harris Poll. The Jackets were ranked 111. That 36 team jump is as large as any I ever remember. Maybe there were others, most memorable in 1973 when the unranked Jackets beat # 2 ranked Bastrop in Bi-District play, 7-0,
Llano stands alone in second place in 8-3AAA, with a 2-1 district record. Liberty Hill is on top at 3-0, while Lampasas, Burnet, and Brownwood are all tied at 3rd, with 1-2 district records. Llano plays both Burnet(this Friday night) and Brownwood November 8th in Llano. Winning either game will assure Llano a play-off spot. Winning both will give Llano a very big advantage on who we would play in bi-district.
We can’t count those chicks yet. It has been so long since Llano beat Burnet, that I refused to even look it up. A long time. Yet, Burnet can be beat. Their 5-3 season mark is one Llano can get fired up about. Llano will be 5-3 when the Jackets beat the Bulldogs Friday night.
The Jackets played great at times against the Hornets. Five times the Hornet went on 4th down, and the defense held. A safety on a punt, a David Forrister 23 yard field goal in the first quarter all added to Llano’s taking everything that was handed out. Senior Layton Rabb was 10 for 17 passing, with several strong runs. Senior Carter Tatsch had 87 yards rushing. Senior Issac Hutto had 5 pass catches for 83 ayrds. Senior Chance Ware caught a 42 yard pass for a TD. And junior Jalen Bauman had 82 yards receiving and rushing. Throw in Sawyer Stiles TD run for nine yards and you had many heroes. This was Llano’s most complete win, and all aspects of the game were won by the visiting Jackets. Llano spoiled another Homecoming. You would think folks would learn!
Great defensive games by junior linebacker Lance Reven, Caleb Penny, Gilberto Arredondo, Jalen,Tristan Lynch, Kralen Dickerson, Mason Ladd, Sawyer, Eli Tiffin, Eliazar Villegas, and Ryan Mansell. Love the play of Jordan Blackmon, Aaron Moss and Justin Long. Play at full speed. I never did find out who # 5 and #30 were, but sure was glad they were on our side. Good plays by both.
This week Llano will be tested. Burnet will have the best passing game we will see. My favorite, Mason Ladd will have to use every bit of talent and experience he has. I remember Mason as a sophomore and getting “experience” at his cornerback position. I thought then, “if he can learn” from all this, he will be very tough to beat as a senior. He is that now. Burnet will be going after our secondary like we have not seen. It will take everything to beat the Bulldogs in Bunet. And nothing will help the secondary more than a great pass rush. Mansell, Reven, Gilberto and Caleb must put pressure on the passer. Hold Burnet to 28 points, and Llano will win.
How do we score more than 28 points? Passing of Rabb to 6 different receivers for one. And Llano’s rushing attack needs to get 125 yards. Carter, and Sawyer, and Jalen can get it, but the key is Llano’s offensive line must play their best game ever. Eli, Colton Center, Gilberto, Colton Ekstrom, Cody Harp, Clancy Durham, Caleb, and Jordan Webb must get their game faces on. This game is what it is all about. And beating Burnet is something Llano is very capable of doing. The line must get a surge. And playing 100% is what Llano is all about.
Llano again will be a big underdog. Great. I hope Harris picks the Dogs by 21. But, watch Llano win this one by 12.