JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
MARBLE FALLS — The Faith Academy of Marble Falls football team is using last season’s 2-8 record as a motivator as the Flames open the season at Austin St. Andrew’s on Aug. 28.
Until last season, Faith had won 22 consecutive regular-season games.
“Obviously, the 10-0 (record) the year prior was a lot more fun,” new head coach Randy Denton said. “We put in a lot more work in the offseason, and I think the seniors are ready to lead and get closer to the 10-0 than the 2-8.”
Faith finished its fall training camp with a scrimmage against Boerne Geneva on Aug. 22.
The Flames scored two passing touchdowns. One was courtesy of senior quarterback Rich Coleman to sophomore receiver Cab Booth. The other was from junior quarterback Braden McBryde to senior receiver Jonathan Reyes.
As a result of the scrimmage, Coleman will start at quarterback, though McBryde also will log minutes in the position, Denton said. Coleman brings a different element to the offense, he added.
“(St. Andrew’s brings) a lot of pressure defensively,” Denton said. “We think Rich gives us a little more chance as far as being a better runner, being more elusive in the pocket.”
Senior Clay Cozby will start at center with senior Tommy Pelham at offensive guard. Freshman Connor Castleberry takes over at left tackle, while junior Michael Hall is at the other tackle position and junior Dawson Jordan is at guard. Senior guard Nathan Klick and junior guard Tyler Thompson are the reserves.
“That group has a chance to be probably the best offensive line this school has seen in the few years,” Denton said. “They’re big, they’re fast, they can move their feet. We just need to do gel a little bit together. I think that group has a chance to lead this team for sure.”
The running game will be handled by sophomore running back Jared Gastineau and senior running back Asa Ortiz. Junior Preston Richardson and sophomore Isaac Oliver also will carry the football. Expect to see the receivers such as Booth, junior Reagan Hanish and senior Gavin Henderson used more in the run game, too.
Denton said St. Andrew’s uses a pro-style defense that aims to confuse quarterbacks and blitzes from different positions.
“That’s really our challenge this week is for our quarterbacks,” he said. “We’ve been talking to them all week about playing quarterback. They’re not just out there distributing the ball, handing off the ball. We have to figure out where the pressure is coming from, get us in the right play, and I think if we do that and identify the pressure, we can have some success.”
The Faith defensive line averages about 225 pounds per player, which is up from about 175 pounds last season.
“We do a pretty decent job of stopping the inside run,” Denton said. “We’re a little inexperienced on the defensive backfield.”
The game against Austin St. Andrew’s kicks off at 7 p.m. at 5101 Southwest Parkway in Austin.