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MARBLE FALLS — The Faith Academy football team ended its season with a 24-13 loss to Schertz John Paul II on Nov. 7.

The Flames (2-8 overall, 1-5 Division III District 3) did not have the season they wanted, but head coach Russ Roberts pointed out many positives headed into the next few months.

Faith has seven offensive and defensive starters returning next season and will only say good-bye to three seniors. Those players gained valuable experience, and many freshmen had to learn as they played.

“I think it’ll do a whole lot more for them,” Roberts said. “We’ve been able to (play underclassmen) because they’ve grown up a lot.”

In the first game, the Flames lost Jonathan Reyes and Asa Ortiz to injuries. Reyes returned for the final two games, but Ortiz is still recovering. Those two will return in 2015.

Reyes and Ortiz were expected to contribute mightily on both sides of the ball. The Flames had to learn to play without them. That allowed other athletes to step up.

The Flames also had some positives during their loss to John Paul II, Roberts said.

“We really appreciate the kids and their hard work,” he said.

Faith took a 13-0 lead but gave up an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. That triggered a 24-0 run by the Guardians en route to the victory.

To confuse the Guardians, the Flames changed up their looks.

“I felt like it worked,” Roberts said. “The kids handled it with success. I thought our kids responded well.”

One of the obstacles they tried to overcome was the loss of senior quarterback Magnum Burcham, who had suffered an injury during a drive that looked promising, the coach said.

“That weakened us considerably,” he said. “We were coming close to getting a touchdown. After that, the drive stalled at their 20.

“We were crushed,” he added. “It took our quarterback out of the game when were trying to get back in it.”

Roberts noted Burcham already had a leg injury last year that he rehabbed.

The Flames also will bid farewell to Tristian Wilson, the athlete who has played in the program the longest, and Daniel Penner, who was the last Penner brother to complete his eligibility playing for Roberts.

“Tristian is a good player. He’s worked hard. We’ll really miss him,” Roberts said. “Daniel has provided a lot of leadership. I felt like he was the best leader we had. He knew what was needed and necessary to get this team going.”