STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
In one play, Faith Academy of Marble Falls head football coach Stephen Shipley got his answer on whether his version of the 11-man spread offense could work in the six-man game.
It came August 15 during the Flames’ first scrimmage, which was against Giddings State School.
Junior quarterback Grayson Poage found sophomore receiver Case Coleman for about a 30-yard reception on the second play of the matchup. Poage threw the ball toward the right sideline and put it only where Coleman could make the grab.
Though Giddings outscored Faith 4-2 in the controlled portion and 24-12 in the live quarter, Shipley exited the field confident this spread offense, when executed properly, will tire defenses.
“We had them on their heels,” he said. “They were bent at the waist with their hands on their knees.”
The Flames got on the board during the controlled portion when senior quarterback Travis Hughes found senior receiver Colby Offutt.
Faith sophomore quarterback Kooper Cain threw a touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Justin Mottle.
Hughes found Offutt twice in the live quarter for touchdowns.
Shipley also saw areas where his athletes can improve.
“We have to run crisper routes,” the coach said. “We have to get rid of the ball quicker.”
The Flames made several solo tackles but not enough to keep Giddings from reaching the end zone. Shipley said his players were in position most of the scrimmage to make the tackles, but the Giddings athletes are faster and physically bigger than many of the Flames.
“We’re not tackling anybody like that in practice,” he said. “We were in position; we just couldn’t hold onto them.”
Shipley didn’t hold back on his praise of Giddings.
“That’s the best team we’ll see all year,” he said. “That team will win state.”
Faith Academy competes in six-man Division I, District 2 of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. The Flames open the season August 30 against The Christian School at Castle Hills. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Wheatley Heights Sports Complex, 200 Noblewood Drive in San Antonio.