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Faith Flames lose semifinal contest

Faith Academy Flames football

Faith Academy junior Malachi Blackington scampered his way to the end zone in a Division II state semifinal game against Bryan Allen Academy on Dec. 12. The Flames lost 54-22. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The Faith Academy of Marble Falls football season ended in a 54-22 loss to Bryan Allen Academy on Dec. 12 in a six-man Division II semifinal contest of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools playoffs.

The Flames (7-3, 3-0 District 4, Division II) earned many milestones throughout the year, including winning the district championship, their first in a decade, and two postseason contests. That’s what the team’s lone senior, Grayson Poage, hopes players, coaches, and fans remember this season.

“Faith in the (recent) past didn’t make the playoffs or got out in the first round,” he said. “We knew this was a special group that could break that. We did it, and no one expected it. We were the underdogs the last two games.”

After a scoreless first quarter against Allen Academy, Faith struck first when junior Malachi Blackington ran up the middle to paydirt and an 8-0 lead with 8 minutes 55 seconds left.

An interception by junior Rich Coleman set up the Flames for their next score. Poage found junior Justin Mottle on a touchdown throw for a 16-0 lead with 5:46 left in the half.

Then, the Rams (7-3) scored twice to tie the contest at 16-16 going into the half. In the second half, Allen took the lead and never trailed again.

Poage said Faith had a couple of players out with injury, who are huge contributors. Their absence forced the Flames to adjust their game plan. 

“We were banged up, but I felt like we fought till the end,” he said. 

When people reflect on this season, Poage said they can see how much those in the program care about each other.

“We’re a group of boys who love each other and played for each other,” he said. “Hopefully, they’ll win it all next year. Most of all, I want people to say I played for the glory of God, I was always a good sport, and led my team the best I could.”