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Faith Academy aims to stay perfect against undefeated Schertz John Paul II

Faith Academy's Jacob Metcalf finds some open space during the Flames' 34-14 victory over St. Mary's Hall of San Antonio on Sept. 20 at Pony Stadium in Marble Falls. Photo by Paloma Ortiz

[box]GAMETIME
Faith Academy Flames vs. Schertz John Paul II Guardians
KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27
WHERE: Judson Gray Complex, 9142 FM 78 in Converse
TUNE IN: Listen to the game on KBEY 103.9 FM, at KBEYFM.com or on Northland Channel 15 starting with 7 p.m. pre-game.[/box]

JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF

MARBLE FALLS — The Faith Academy and Schertz John Paul II football teams have more in common than their records.

The two squads square off at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Judson Gray Complex on the high school campus, 9142 FM 78 in Converse. KBEY 103.9 FM Radio Picayune and KBEYFM.com will broadcast the game live starting with a 7 p.m. pre-game show.

Entering the Sept. 27 contest, both teams are 4-0. But they’ve also defeated two of the same opponents: Austin Eastside Memorial and Austin St. Dominic Savio. And the Flames still have to face the other opponents John Paul II has defeated, Texas School for the Deaf and San Antonio Hawkins.

But the similarities don’t end there. When Faith announced it would become an 11-man program in 2011, head coach Russ Roberts began studying squads that had recently transitioned from six-man football to 11-man. One of those programs was John Paul II. He said he has plenty in common with John Paul head coach Ed McCabe.

“We look at our athletes, and we try to put together an offense and defense that suits the skills of our athletes,” he said.

The Guardians made the move to 11-man no more than two years earlier than the Flames. John Paul is led by Miguel Ortega, who has 40 rushes for 260 yards, Adam Laskowski with 20 carries for 219 yards, Michael McCabe with 22 carries for 172 yards, and Jacob Bradley with 30 rushes for 139 yards. Each player has scored four touchdowns.

Roberts said he thought there was a chance Faith and John Paul would be in the same district in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. But that didn’t happen.

The Flames go into this contest after a 34-14 win against St. Mary’s Hall of San Antonio.

Trailing 7-0 after the first quarter, Faith scored 14 points in the second and 20 in the third. Faith had three other touchdowns taken off the board because of penalties. Still, Roberts said his players simply wouldn’t be denied.

Senior quarterback Austin Ellis had three passes for 77 yards and two touchdowns. One was to junior Hanner Shipley for 33 yards. Shipley’s only pass went for a 34-yard touchdown to junior Royale Brown. Brown added 15 carries for 105 yards.

Sophomore Asa Ortiz had three rushes for 62 yards, including a 51-yard touchdown run. He also caught Ellis’ 14-yard pass for a touchdown.

Ellis had 10 rushes for 104 yards that included a 55-yard scamper to the end zone.

Roberts said his athletes played well in a contest that meant a lot to both squads.

“They had circled our game back in two days,” he said. “They were not losing to Faith again, and they did. It’s nice to be the spoiler.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com