Jackets are Back

   When you hear “once in a blue moon”, you may not know that actually has real meaning concerning the moon!  A great retired LHS teacher told me Friday night that it was the times in which a full moon appeared twice in the same month.  Does not happen often.  And the next time will be in 2015.  Friday night in Jacket Stadium, was a blue moon, the second happening in August.

   The 26 to 27 loss to State Champion Wimberley Friday night will not happen again in August, but one thing is for sure.  Wimberley hopes not to face the Yellowjackets another time this season.  The 42 point underdog Jackets gave the Champions all they could handle, and outplayed the Texans through out the entire game. 

   Few expected such an inspired performance.  And there will be nay sayers that will say Llano surprised Wimberley.  Remember that the Jackerts were the ones that started off slowly, going three straight possessions of three and out, while the Texans scored first.

   Wimberley drove to the 15 yardline with their first possession only to fumble and see seniors Zach Morgan and  Storey Tatsch create the Texans’ second turnover in the quarter.  The Jackets offense played well for  for three quarters, but the defense was what stood out to be counted.  This was the best Jacket defense in 9 years.  Llano has had 9 seasons of making defense a second thought after all other thoughts were placed ahead in proirties.  From senior Rhett Brooks at safety, to Tristan Sabrsula at the two technique, Llano has gotten serious on defense.  This will and can be a season where the offense can keep the scores close, and the defense can win games.  For old timers, this is old time Yellowjacket football.

   Not until the second play of the second quarter did Llano click, and and the Jackets sccored from the two yardline after a nine play drive that saw junior Layton Rabb hit senior Wil Siegenthaler for 26 yards, and then hit junior Issac Hutto for 10 more.  The running game had 7 carries for 42 yards, with Rabb, Brooks, Storey and senior Matt Center doing the honors for the final two yards.  For a first game, line play was very strong.  Center Taylor Stewart, senior Jacob Beasley,  Tristan, juniors Gilberto Arredondo and Eli Tiffin, and Ryan West all showed up to beat the Texans.

   Llano’s 20-21 half-time score showed Llano was not into this for just a good show.  The Jackets scored first in the second half to take the lead on the 2011 Champions, and then the defense went to work…..an interception by senior Matt Center returned the football for a 40 yard score….Gilberto played tough in the middle…Storey played well, as did senior Allen Lucas and junior Caleb Penny.  Junior Devin Mayne made his varsity debut and had great plays.  Beasley, Morgan, and junior Carter Tasch all had plays with impact.  Players were stepping up and not waiting for someone else to do the job.  Gang tackling was back in Jacketland.  Hutto and Gilberto had blocked passes.  Morgan and Penny had quarterback sacks.  Mason Ladd in the secondary had several outstanding plays, as did Carter, Wil, Rhett, and another newcomer to varsity play, junior Sawyer Stiles.  The defense was fun to watch.

   Layton Rabb, starting his 6th varsity game at quarterback had a sound night.  Hitting 13 of 23 passes and about 200 yards, scrambling when needed, it was a very good start.  Completions of 26 yards, 14 yards, 31 & 26 yards, with 5 completions over 20 yards…good passing night with key catches from Issac, Matt, Rhett, and Wil.  Llano even has a 31 yards pass that was a screen pass!!!  Look it up if you don’t know what that is!!!!

   And special teams also sshowed up.  Senior Cooper Hill was on all of these teams, and showed strong leadership and experience.  Morgan had the best play.  With the football snapped over his head, he recovered, scrambled, and still punted for positive yards.  It was a super heads up play.

   The Jackets were on the Texans’ 34 yardline when time ran out.  And something I have not seen in years.  After the game, Llano players and Coaches were….mad.  Yes, mad as ‘ell, and we’er not going to take it anymore.  This 2012 Jacket team  came into this game, picked to loss by 6 touchdowns to the defending State Champions… Yellowjackets, no matter what, had to have concerns.  But when the gun sounded, Llano players played with the confidence not seen in years.  The Jackets were not looking for a moral victory.  Llano came to win.

   Llano plays in Bangs this week.  Bangs won easily last year in Llano.  Bangs is ranked 30th in 2-AA, while last week Llano was ranked 134 in 3-AAA.  Look for Harris to pick Bangs by 3 this week.  These Jackets need a win…now…beating a very good Bangs team in Bangs  this week will keep this mojo moving in the right direction.  Coming home this Friday night at 1-1 will be a big step for the Yellowjackets.  Llano by 8.

   Had some fun Saturday morning.  I sent the following e-amil to an olf friend, Van Harris, owner/publisher of the Hariris Ratings Weekly.  Van: Hope you have seen the Llano-Wimberley score….our kids got behind early in the first qt, and came back for a 20-21 at half-time…our line outplayed their line…they had better skill folks…both teams missed two pt. conversions late…their senior quartertback went out at halftime with most likely broken ribs…their soph QB was a very good athlete…I know we will not be picked in a single game before district begins…but my pick is Llano will be 4-1 going into the Liberty Hill game…I think the 42 pts spread helped our team get better…Coach Craig Slaughter has Llano playing like Llano, in only one week…your old friend, mikel virdell.

   His response:  freaking unbelievable….Go Llano ! 

You can take the Harris Ratings Weekly by calling Van at 940-498-5176

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