MARBLE FALLS—Don’t worry about waiting around to see what glimmer of hope arrives out of this story, or if the quarterbacks were armed with promise, or if the receivers showed that they’re catching on. Most every aspect of Llano’s 7-on-7 game passed muster, June 12, as the Jackets and Mustangs continued a tandem summer-stock production that’s getting to be more well-known than Penn and Teller.
“They got out there and competed,” argued offensive coordinator Jarrett Vickers. “They were having fun and sweating; you couldn’t ask for anything better.”
The coaching staff can watch and comment on 7-on-7 but can’t coach.
For the record, the Jackets and Marble tied one game, while the hosts won the other two. The games, though, were close, and remember, this is a very talented skilled-position team for new gridiron foreman, Todd Dodge.
Rhett Brooks led LHS to its first score of the opener with completions to Wil Siegenthaler and Deven Mayne, and an 11-yard touchdown toss (on the 45-yard field) to Storey Tatsch.
Llano was down 14-6 when David Cortez, not exactly built like a Longhorn left tackle, opened a Layton Rabb gift and turned it into a 30-yard gain to the five. This was late in the contest which lasts 30 minutes, and the clock doesn’t stop for replays. “I broke to the post,” Cortez related, “then faked to the corner and caught the ball with room to run.”
Layton and Isaac Hutto teamed for a two-yard score, and Mayne hauled in a two-point conversion. Deven also delivered a superb interruption of a Michael Richardson pass to John Watson at the goal line to preserve the 14-14 final.
“I thought our defense was a whole lot better,” declared Isaac. “We had more confidence.”
In Game Two, Brooks and Siegenthaler got together on a 45-yard aerial, but Rhett had not released the ball in four seconds, so that play was nullified. (There’s no rush on the QB in the summer league.)
Rhett decided pop-pop-pop would do as well as a big boom. He hit Sawyer Stiles for three receptions to the 27, the 15, and eight, and then it was back to Wil for the TD.
Your turn, Layton! Mayne, Stiles, and Siegenthaler had airline tickets before Hutto made the catch of the evening at the back of the end zone. “I just got high and caught it,” Isaac reflected.
With a 12-7 advantage, Deven authored a super interception with three minutes to play. Unfortunately, on the next snap—Llano ball—Brooks’ pass was picked off by Efrain Perez, and he romped beyond the goal line for a 14-12 Mustang victory.
Rhett rallied to fire 34 yards to Hutto for a score in Game Three, and, no, again, this quarterback situation is in no way as defined as the one is in Denver.
Where was I? Oh, Rabb wound up and launched the laces to a galloping Stiles. With the ball soaring toward the late-afternoon sky, you got the feeling Preston had thrown it, or maybe Rusty; it was a classic, mid-autumn journey. Sawyer—without Becky Thatcher looking on—caught it in stride.
The touchdown, alas, was also erased by the four-second rule, but nothing—even in a casual setting as this—can make that moment vanish.
Marble Falls prevailed in the finale 21-13.
“I thought the team displayed a great work ethic and attitude,” said 7-on-7 coach Trey Brooks, Rhett’s brother. “We’ve improved every week.
“Layton and Rhett did real well; the kids believe in both of them, and they have a rapport with both.”
“Everything’s going good,” asserted Jarrett Vickers. “I loved watching the boys getting after it.”