JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
MARBLE FALLS — The Faith Academy of Marble Falls football team aims to end the 2014 season with its third consecutive victory against a Schertz John Paul II team.
The contest is 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7 at Pony Stadium, 1511 Pony Circle Drive in Marble Falls.
John Paul II is still in the playoff hunt.
“They’ll be motivated,” Faith head coach Russ Roberts said. “They have a better team than most realize. They feel like they have a score to settle.”
The Flames beat the Guardians 28-21 in 2013 and 53-20 in 2012.
The 2013 victory was especially sweet for Faith. Both teams entered that contest undefeated. And the Flames had to score late to secure the win.
This year’s John Paul II squad is led by running backs Joe McCabe with 86 rushes for 564 yards and three touchdowns; Jeffrey Bradley with 62 rushes for 457 yards, seven touchdowns and a team-leading 74 yards on two receptions and a touchdown; and Jacob Bradley with 58 rushes for 456 yards and five touchdowns.
Guardians quarterback Cade Anderson has 12 completions for 159 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.
Roberts said the Flames must be committed to playing defense the way they did against Halletsville Sacred Heart when Faith held that squad to 20 points. Halletsville had been averaging 40 points a contest.
Without a solid defensive effort, “the offense won’t make a bit of difference,” he said.
The Flames are coming off a 41-15 loss to Temple Central Texas Christian on Oct. 31.
One of the highlights for Faith was the return of junior Jonathan Reyes, who suffered an injury in the season opener.
“He came back and made a real contribution,” Roberts said.
The Flames trailed 35-0 at the half. Jonathan Bryer, who finished the game with 30 rushes for 178 yards, scored on a 53-yard run with Reyes adding the extra point. Magnum Burcham added a 15-yard touchdown run and caught the two-point pass from Rawley Jackson at the end of the game.
“We made the effort to get back and try to stop the bleeding,” Roberts said. “In the first half, we kept turning the ball over.”
The second half was highlighted by long possessions, Roberts said. One of CTC’s possession took most of one quarter to finish, he said.
“We played defense by playing better offense,” he said. “I thought we fought back hard, and I was proud.”
The Flames had five first-half possessions that ended with a missed field, a lost fumble and three punts. Two Faith turnovers in the game set up touchdowns for CTC.
CTC reserves took over in the second half. But when the Flames got to the opponent’s 20-yard line, the starters returned, Roberts said.