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Unbeaten Faith, Austin Veritas to battle

Faith Academy of Marble Falls football

Faith Academy of Marble Falls senior Ben Martin and the Flames are bracing for their toughest opponent, Austin Veritas. Photo by Stennis Shotts

A battle of undefeated football teams will unfold at Faith Academy of Marble Falls’ Britton Field on Friday, Oct. 15. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. When the game ends, one six-man squad will remain in firm control of District 4, Division II in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.

The Flames (5-0 overall, 2-0 district) are doing everything they can to ensure they come out on top against an Austin Veritas (6-0, 2-0) program that has a three-game winning streak against Faith. 

Last year’s contest was the closest, a 44-30 Defenders victory. Veritas won 48-0 in 2019 and 46-0 in 2018. 

Faith enters this game after a bye Oct. 8. 

“That gave us an extra week to prepare,” Faith head coach Stephen Shipley said. “It’ll be a big test for us. This is a team we’ve had circled on the calendar since last year. We had a chance in the fourth quarter (last season) to beat them. It’s by far going to be our toughest game.”

The Defenders’ offense, which has scored 380 points this season, revolves around senior quarterback Tyler Metro and a slew of receivers led by senior Justin Fuller, who is “their stud on the deep ball and is shifty,” Shipley said.   

“He’s a Tom Brady-type,” Shipley said of Metro. “If you give him time, he’s going to pick you apart. He’s one of the best passers in the state. He’s a true pocket passer. We have to get pressure on him.”

Senior receiver Bryan Hancock is another big threat for Veritas.

“They like to go deep with the home run ball,” Shipley said. “Veritas is methodical. They don’t make mistakes. They do what they do very well.”

Defensively, Faith will lean on seniors Ben Martin and Cody Owens to “control the line of scrimmage,” Shipley said, and seniors Brendan Thames and Dylan Offutt. The Flames have given up 149 points in 2021.

The Veritas defense, which has given up a total of 155 points this season, is led by junior Lane Hayes, who’s “pretty aggressive,” Shipley said. 

Faith’s offense also has been potent, scoring 306 points so far. In the first four games, the Flames scored on every possession except one. And, the Flames have shown an ability to run the football when opponents have concentrated more on stopping their passing attack or throwing the football when defenses decide to crowd the box.

Seniors Case Coleman, Harrison Hanner, and Offutt are the offensive leaders.

“Dylan is our general on offense,” Shipley said. “He can control the offense and audibles. I expect this to be a high-scoring game. It’ll come down to who can keep from turning the ball over and who can get stops. And, who can force turnovers. We want to pound it out and eat some clock.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com