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JENNIFER FIERRO / STAFF WRITER

MARBLE FALLS — The Faith Academy of Marble Falls football team made the most of its final home regular season game and gave fans plenty of reasons to cheer Oct. 21.

The Flames (3-4 overall, 1-2 Division III District 4 of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools) beat the Texas School for the Deaf 49-30.

“It was good momentum,” Flames head coach Stephen Shipley said. “This was a game we knew we could beat them.”

Faith began its first offensive series with a trick play by lining up junior running back Preston Richardson on the line. He pretended to block and then slipped into the flat while junior quarterback Garrett Henderson moved the action to the opposite direction. Then Henderson stopped and threw to a wide-open Richardson, who ran for 40 yards to set up the first touchdown.

It happened when junior receiver Cab Booth caught an 18-yard pass from Henderson.

“What gets kids fired up are trick plays,” Shipley said. “Anytime you can go up quickly, you have confidence. That takes pressure off the defense. It’s easier on the defense. They know they have the lead.”

The Flames never trailed, and the coach said there was never a point during the game Faith didn’t believe it wouldn’t win because of how the players began the contest.

“This is the first game this season where we scored on our opening drive,” he said. “In the first five games, we turned the ball over.”

Booth finished the contest with six catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns. Senior running back Kameron Ellenberger had 140 rushing yards and four scores. Junior Jarad Gastineau caught a 45-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Braiden McBryde to help Faith earn 450 yards of total offense.

Waco Reicher Catholic and Bryan Brazos Christian have secured two of the four playoff spots. With Faith’s win over the Texas School for the Deaf, the Flames, Bryan St. Joseph’s and TSD are all tied for third. TSD beat St. Joseph’s already. So Faith is looking to win the last two games, both on the road, to automatically qualify for the postseason.

The next contest is Oct. 28 at Brazos Christian with kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

The good news for Faith, Shipley said, is “we’re in control of our own destiny.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com