STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
MARBLE FALLS — When the Faith Academy of Marble Falls football team welcomes the Austin Royals on Friday, Sept. 14, the Flames might be looking at mirror images of themselves.
That’s because the Royals (1-1) use much of the same offensive and defensive schemes utilized by the Flames (1-1), according to Faith head coach Jeremy Wentrcek.
“You have a better idea of what the offense is trying to accomplish,” he said. “There’s certainly an advantage to that.”
The two square off at 7:30 p.m. at Mustang Stadium, 2101 Mustang Drive.
The coach called the Royals offense a more traditional six-man scheme that uses a spread back concept.
The spread back is a player who can equally run and pass the football. The quarterback in six-man can only pass the football.
“They’ll spread the field and find the open space,” Wentrcek said. “They have a downhill running game with two quality backs. We have to stop the downhill running game to have the opportunity to be successful.”
Those running backs are junior Joseph Cook, who has 26 carries for 198 yards and three touchdowns, and freshman Bo Pogue, who has 11 carries for 100 yards and a score. Junior quarterback Braeden Ables has completed 26 of 43 passes for 389 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions. Senior receiver Joshua Miller has four receptions for 112 yards and a score.
The Royals’ defense also is steeped in six-man tradition. Pressure will come from various defenders. Senior Connor McDonald leads the Royals in tackles with 23 followed by senior Grayson Lambert with 15.
“We need to establish our offense quickly to prove we can move the ball,” Wentrcek said. “I think both teams are capable of scoring. It should be a fun outing. One of the things we’re seeing is every team has open space on defense. We’re trying to take advantage of the middle of the field every time we can. We like to put our backs in the middle and dump on them. We’re seeing some success doing that.”
The Flames will play in Marble Falls following a 54-6 loss to Summit Christian Academy last week. Wentrcek said Faith committed too many mental errors that were difficult to overcome. Eliminating those errors were at the top of the list throughout every practice this week.