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Faith Flames must hold explosive Arkansas, Cherokee

Faith Academy football

Faith Academy of Marble Falls junior Gunner Blair (4), Dylan Offutt (8), and their Flames teammates welcome the Cherokee Indians to Britton Field on Friday, September 20. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Photo by Stennis Shotts


The game plan for the Faith Academy of Marble Falls six-man football team is simple: stop Arkansas.

Arkansas is Cherokee junior running back Tristian Arkansas, who ran for 1,450 yards and 26 touchdowns last season. He also had 10 interceptions.

If the Flames (2-1) can rein him in, they might be looking at their third win this season.

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. Friday, September 20, at Britton Field on the Faith campus, 3151 RR 1431 East in Marble Falls. Faith competes in Division I, District 2 of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, while Cherokee is a member of the University Interscholastic League’s District 16-A Division II.

Cherokee (0-3) enters this contest seeking its first victory this season. Last year’s game between the two ended in a 46-40 victory for the Indians with Arkansas racking up 252 rushing yards and five touchdowns, including one on a 35-yard reception.

Faith head coach Stephen Shipley said Arkansas affects plays on both sides of the ball.

“He has speed and is pretty quick,” the coach said. “He’s their go-to player.”

Cherokee’s preference is to establish a running game and tire out the defense, Shipley said.

“They run the ball ninety percent of the time,” he said.

Defensively, the Indians stay close to the line of scrimmage and use their speed to close in on ball carriers.

The Flames will counter with senior quarterback Travis Hughes, senior Colby Offutt, sophomore Case Coleman, and junior Grayson Pogue.

Shipley said they won’t force their will on Cherokee.

“We’re going to take what the defense gives us,” he said.