STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
The Faith Academy of Marble Falls football team’s 82-44 win against Austin Hill Country solidified the Flames’ playoff berth and ended a three-game losing skid.
The Flames are now 5-4 overall and 1-3 six-man Division I, District 2 of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. Along with the win November 1, they celebrated homecoming and the 20th anniversary of the campus.
“We play so much better at home,” Faith head coach Stephen Shipley said. “Our defense and (senior) Colby Offutt were the difference in the game. Our kids have a confidence at home that we don’t have on the road.”
Faith showed a lot of grit when, on the first explosive play of the game, the ball carrier fumbled as he was well on his way to scoring. Hill Country (3-6, 1-3) recovered the fumble.
Shipley said he told his team to forget the play and believe in themselves and the game plan.
“I knew that when they got the ball, we’d shut them down,” the coach said. “I told them, ‘We proved we can break one. We’re going to score. Go out on defense and get the ball back and let’s do it again.’”
The Flames did get the ball back and began scoring, thanks to the Offutt’s play, sophomore Case Coleman, and junior quarterback Grayson Poage.
Shipley said the passing game looked superb, adding Faith scored more points on Hill Country than any of the Knights’ other opponents.
“Colby had a great game,” Shipley said. “He and Case pretty much scored all the touchdowns. Grayson Poage threw quite a few touchdowns. Colby rushed for quite a few (scores). Colby had an unbelievable game rushing and catching the ball.”
As pleased as the coach was with the scoring, he was thrilled with the Faith defense. He noted the Flames got so many stops that they were within one point of mercy-ruling the Knights. Had the Flames converted on a one-point conversion after a touchdown in the third quarter, the game would have been called. In six-man football, when one team gets a lead of 45 points or more in the second half, the game ends.
Faith stacked the box, which forced the Knights to pass instead of run the football. Even though Hill Country had a couple of explosive plays, it wasn’t enough to overcome the Flames’ potent offense, Shipley said.
Knights freshman quarterback Jonathan Lee might have had his worse offensive outing of the season, Shipley said.
“Our aggression, our swarming to the ball on defense was the difference in the game,” he said. “We needed to have a game where we brought everything together.”
Faith ends the regular season against Round Rock Christian at 7:30 p.m. Friday, November 8, at Britton Field, 3151 RR 1431 East in Marble Falls.