STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
The Faith Academy of Marble Falls football team is preparing for a big night Friday, Oct. 12.
The Flames (1-4) open Division I, District 2 six-man play on their new home field. They face Austin Veritas Academy (3-2) in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools match, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at the Faith campus, 3151 RR 1431 East in Marble Falls.
Faith head coach Jeremy Wentrcek said the players are looking forward to having a game on their field after practicing on it for a couple of weeks. The Flames have been playing their home games at Pony Stadium on the Marble Falls Middle School campus.
“We’re extremely excited,” he said. “There’s nothing like playing a home game on your home field.”
Both teams are looking to snap losing streaks: Faith’s only win came in Week 1 against The Christian School of Castle Hills, 51-33. Veritas beat Katy Faith West Academy 64-16 on Sept. 21.
Though the Defenders are on a three-game losing streak, the program has plenty of tradition. They won the 2015 state championship against Waco Live Oak Classical and the 2016 state championship against Rockwall Heritage Christian and were the state runners-up last season, losing in the championship to Dallas Lutheran.
“We’re excited to play a quality opponent,” Faith head coach Jeremy Wentrcek said. “It’s a young, talented team, and you’re dealing with the ups and downs of that and how you respond to each opponent.”
Two Defenders the Flames will pay close attention to are sophomore running back Jared Fuller, an all-state player, and senior quarterback J.D. Carter, who threw for 2,035 yards and 33 touchdowns last season. Veritas runs a spread offense, and Carter is accurate in throwing short and long. The Defenders use spacing to their advantage. Wentrcek compared Veritas to Cedar Park Summit, a team that beat Faith 54-6 on Sept. 7.
“Veritas throws the ball 90 percent of the time,” he said. “Their quarterback is a true eleven-man quarterback who has a really good arm and is mobile.”
The key for the Faith defensive players is to keep Veritas in front of them and not give up explosive plays, Wentrcek said.
Though the Defenders are allowing 34 points a game, Wentrcek believes Veritas head coach Jonathan Hatfield has spent the the past several weeks pinpointing how to get that unit to play better. Hatfield is known for having versatile defenses that show one look at presnap but have the speed to adjust and confuse the quarterback.
“Coach Hatfield is known for his defenses,” Wentrcek said. “We have to get into open spaces and get our kids the ball.”
The Flames were on a bye last week but still had three practices. Wentrcek said they used the time to go over fundamentals and make corrections on technique, footwork, and other basics of the sport.
“It was quality time,” he said. “It felt good for the kids to have a reprieve.”