STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
The Faith Academy of Marble Falls six-man football team is preparing to face its toughest challenge of the season Friday, Sept. 28.
The Flames (1-3) travel to Bracken Christian School (3-0) for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at 670 Old Boerne Road in Bulverde. Faith plays in Division I, District 2 of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, while Bracken Christian is in Division II, District 2.
The Warriors played for the 2017 six-man state championship last year, losing to Live Oak Classical 66-30.
“They know the program and know it well,” Faith head coach Jeremy Wentrcek said. “We have a lot of respect for them.”
That’s especially true of senior athlete Presley Day, who has more than 250 rushing yards and over 100 receiving yards so far this year for Bracken Christian. In his first two years, Day ran for about 2,100 yards and 35 touchdowns.
“He’s a great downhill runner,” Wentrcek said. “He has speed. We’ll have to do things to stop him.”
The Warriors’ use tight offensive formations and prefer to run the football. Wentrcek noted defenses can’t be suckered into thinking run-only because that’s when Bracken Christian will throw and surprise their opponent.
Defensively, Bracken Christian has the same scheme as the Flames, which is good news because it means Faith’s offense sees it every day.
“Our guys are used to it,” Wentrcek said of the Bracken Christian defensive setup. “We feel they’ll rush at us and drop two back.”
The silver lining of Faith’s 46-40 loss to Cherokee last week, according to Wentrcek, was the Flames found an offensive identity: running the football.
“In the past, with our offense, we’ve run,” he said. “That set up the pass. (Here), we’ve had real success running the ball. We’ve got a bunch of guys who can run and catch.”
When Faith mixes in the passing game, it might not be the longer throws that fans are accustomed to seeing. Instead, look for the Flames to pass in space, or throw shorter passes, to give runners the best opportunities for yards after the catch.
Flames junior Travis Hughes has completed 37 of 69 passes for 306 yards, eight touchdowns, and three interceptions. Sophomore Maison Thornley has 13 carries for 99 yards and a touchdown and 26 catches for 126 yards and two touchdowns.
Freshman Case Coleman has 10 receptions for 133 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Colby Offutt has caught 11 passes for 58 yards and five scores.
This contest is the last before Faith begins district play. Wentrcek said the team would like to enter the next part of the season with a great outlook, so winning this game can be huge.
“We’d like to finish (pre-district) and go into district play with momentum,” he said. “We need to eliminate turnovers as a general rule. We have to eliminate mental errors and put together four solid quarters of football. We haven’t seen that.”