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Ten Highland Lakes Sports Insights

Welcome to this weekly column where readers will find a summary of sports across the region and the impressions left on this writer.

Week five was quiet for most of Burnet County. Three of the four football programs were on district byes in preparation for the final push of the regular season. Now the real games begin with the quizzes in the rearview mirror. Let’s take a look at some of the regional teams that did play.

  1. The Llano Yellow Jackets (6-0, 2-0 District 13-3A Division I) remain the region’s most complete team. People who know me know that byes are not my thing. So I headed west Sept. 30 to witness for myself what Llano County has been enjoying for several seasons. And the Jackets didn’t disappoint. Llano scored seven touchdowns and a field goal off 11 offensive possessions for a 51-12 win against Luling (3-3, 0-2) to end the week’s homecoming festivities with a victory. The Jackets defense was just as dominant, forcing seven punts out of 11 possessions. Llano senior Bryce Mize connected on a 33-yard field goal, and his leg gives Llano another prized possession that few teams have. The district schedule heats up from here with four games left. Llano travels to Universal City Randolph (5-1, 1-1), which is coming off a 10-7 loss to Blanco (4-2, 2-0), at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, at Mickler Memorial Field, located at West Perimeter Road in San Antonio.
  2. The Smoking For Jesus Eagles lost to May 58-12. May is a University Interscholastic League member and ranked in the top five of most Class 1A polls. The Eagles face another tough team when they travel to Kerrville Our Lady of the Hills, a program offensive coordinator Russ Roberts is familiar with thanks to leading the Faith Academy Flames. The Flames and Our Lady of the Hills faced each other numerous times. A bulked up schedule continues to provide the challenge SFJ head coach Charles Frazier, Sr. wanted for his players. And the Eagles are learning plenty.
  3. District 13-4A Division I members will begin play Friday, Oct. 7. Comal Davenport (5-0) is the only undefeated team in the district with three teams — Burnet, Lampasas and Taylor — at 3-2, and Marble Falls and Canyon Lake at 2-3. What makes Davenport dangerous is its offensive balance. Through four games, the Wolves have thrown for 1,018 yards and have rushed for 970 yards. While Davenport has played varsity teams in the past, it can officially go to the playoffs this season if it can finish in the top four of the district standings.
  4. The next hottest team in the district is the Burnet Bulldogs, who have won two games in a row. The Bulldogs faced adversity early with five starters missing a couple of games here and there during the five-week pre-district schedule. And they had some back for the heart-stopping 49-48 comeback win against Early Sept. 23. The most important Bulldog who played might have been junior running back Dash Denton, who had 14 rushes for 100 yards and 3 touchdowns, including the game winner. Earning victories like that can only empower a team as it begins its most important part of the season. That starts with a home game against Lampasas at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7, at Bulldog Field, 1400 Bulldog Stadium Drive.
  5. The Lampasas Badgers lost to Wimberley 38-28 in a contest they trailed from the get-go. But don’t let their record fool you. The Badgers have plenty in their favor beginning with their most recent success. They have advanced to the playoffs for four consecutive seasons illustrating that tradition doesn’t graduate. Senior quarterback David Flores has completed 92 of 140 passes for 1,214 yards, 17 touchdowns and 5 interceptions and 27 carries for 185 yards and 3 scores. Senior receiver Ethan Moreno has caught 42 passes for 542 yards and 2 touchdowns. Needless to say, the Badgers want to throw the ball and often.
  6. Perhaps no teams welcomed the bye week more than than ones that are a couple of miles apart on RR 1431 in Marble Falls. Let’s start with the Flames. Faith Academy has plenty of speed and continues to learn so much every time they step on the field. Faith has a big test when it travels to Waco Live Oak Classical in a rematch of last year’s state championship game the Falcons won. This game kicks off at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7.
  7. Something tells me that while Mustang coaches and players limited their time talking outside of the field house, they were hard at work at moving pieces and trying to decide who can best help them in different spots. Though the Mustangs lost their last two games of pre-district, not all is lost. Remember, Marble Falls lost two in a row last year against Austin McCallum and Liberty Hill and then reeled off five consecutive wins that included three shutouts and two in the playoffs. The Mustangs have shown the ability to bounce back after disappointments. We’ll see how they do against Canyon Lake in a battle of the slot-T offenses.
  8. Canyon Lake (1-3) defeated San Antonio East Central 20-10 Sept. 23 to end a three-game losing skid that included setbacks to Wimberley 21-14, Boerne Champion 44-36 and San Antonio Veterans Memorial 31-28. The Hawks have 208 carries for 1,022 yards and 11 touchdowns and are led by senior Helijah Johnson, who has 56 rushes for 297 yards and 3 touchdowns. He is one of nine Hawks who have carried the ball this season. The contest is at 7:30 p.m. at Hawk Stadium, 8555 FM 32 in Fischer. The most important point here is that while neither team can capture a district crown by winning this contest, the winner can take a big step toward the playoffs since this district is so evenly matched. But that doesn’t mean the loser is automatically eliminated. What winning does do is allow that team to continue to control their own destiny.
  9. Let’s talk a little volleyball. The Burnet Lady Dawgs added another big District 24-4A win when they came into Max Copeland Gym and swept the Marble Falls Lady Mustangs to move to 3-0. Marble Falls dropped to 0-3. Since dropping a set in the district opener, the Lady Dawgs have swept Lampasas and Marble Falls and continue to show why they’re the defending district champions and that the district crown will come through Burnet. Next up for Burnet is a home match against Georgetown Gateway (3-0) in a battle for first in the district standings at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4. The Lady Mustangs are still searching for their first district win and will attempt to get it at Lago Vista, also on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
  10. Let’s give out a couple of game balls. The first to Llano senior receiver Jackson Dillard who caught 6 passes for 125 yards and 4 touchdowns. Luling had no answer for the Jackets’ lethal passing attack, and Dillard caught half junior quarterback Briggs Green’s passing yards of 259. It was truly a special night.
  11. To Burnet senior volleyball player McKenzie Davis, who had 12 kills, 2 aces and 3 digs during the win against Marble Falls. Davis is one of four outstanding Burnet hitters and is a big reason why defenses must decide who they plan to stop. Davis has taken advantage of her opportunities and continues to be a big part of why the Lady Dawgs remain the team to beat.

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