SUBSCRIBE NOW

Enjoy all your local news and sports for less than 6¢ per day.

Subscribe Now

WACO — A 26-point deficit after the first quarter might have made other opponents quit against Dallas The Covenant. But not the Faith Academy football team (9-2), which fought back with everything the players could muster Saturday.

In the end, though, The Covenant still claimed a victory, 47-22.

The game ended the season for the six-man football program, but Roberts said the team could take pride in its accomplishments.

“We lost a lot of seniors (because of graduation),” he said. “This might have to be a rebuilding year. We had some situations that went our way. We lost to the No. 1 team in state (Bulverde Bracken) and the No. 2 team in state (The Covenant). Those are the teams you want to lose to. I’m looking forward to next year.”

This was Roberts’ first year with the Flames, which is part of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.

During the game Saturday, Flames senior quarterback Travis Roeder hit senior Dalton Powell on a 27-yard pass for Faith’s first points. Roeder connected on the two-point attempt.

Two minutes later, sophomore Jason Byrd found Powell for a 50-yard reception, 26-16.

But The Covenant got those points back to take a 34-16 halftime lead.

The Covenant opened the second half by returning the kickoff for a touchdown.

Roeder found Powell for Faith’s final touchdown.

The Covenant’s Patrick Miller scored the last touchdown on a 5-yard run with 16 seconds left in the third quarter.

“I appreciated the fact the kids played hard,” said head coach Russ Roberts. “We were able to fight back after being down, 26-0. We never got 45(-point mercy ruled). I think that’s one of the things we tried to teach this year. We’re going to fight. I was appreciative of that. I thought they gave good effort.”

The Flames began the game with a fumble deep in The Covenant’s territory.

“We overcome that,” Roberts said. “They scored 26 points in the first quarter. I think that was definitely the difference in the game. It looked like we were going to move the ball. We just were unable to score.”

Faith averaged more yards per snap (6.2) than The Covenant (5.3) and also had more yards in total offense (363) than the opponent (342).

In their final game, Roeder completed 12 of 29 passes for 227 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, while Powell had nine receptions for 222 yards and three touchdowns.

But the Faith turnovers were huge.

The Covenant recovered a fumble on the Faith one and scored and returned an interception for another touchdown.

“I didn’t think it was a good offensive day,” the coach said. “We had pretty good yardage, but a lot of it was wind shift. We had to make a lot of adjustments.”

The Faith defense performed well, Roberts said.

“I thought we played better than what they expected us to,” he said. “Most possessions are going to yield points. In the first quarter, nobody scored on their first drive of the game. We stopped them. When we forced them to take the ball down the field, we had a chance of stopping them.”

Roberts said the stadium was very windy.

“We toyed with taking the wind or starting off with the ball,” he said. “We took the ball. We did move it into the wind. I think the wind gave them the advantage.”

Roberts guided the Flames to a top-5 ranking in the small private schools poll and a playoff win for the first time in at least four years.

He called this season one of “education.”

After accepting the job in May, Roberts set out to learn everything he could about six-man football.

jfierro@thepicayune.com