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Flames win 55-6 to advance to semifinals

Faith Flames beat Allen Academy

Faith Academy senior Ben Martin was a ball hawk during the Flames' win over Bryan Allen Academy Nov. 19. Martin had two interceptions and a receiving touchdown. Photo by Mark Stracke

The Faith Academy of Marble Falls football team played another complete game Nov. 19 to advance to the Class 2A semifinals of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.

This time, the Flames (11-0, 6-0 District 4) beat Bryan Allen Academy (5-6) 55-6 in a contest that ended in the third quarter. 

Faith now faces Conroe Covenant Christian at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 26, at Allen Academy, 3201 Boonville Road in Bryan.

“Allen Academy was a very physical team upfront,” Flames head coach Stephen Shipley said. “They were the most physical upfront of the teams we’ve played. It was good for our guys to see that. If you’re moving on to the semifinals and finals, you’re going to see physical teams.”

Faith led 40-6 at the half thanks to its powerful rushing attack by seniors Case Coleman, Harrison Hanner, Ben Martin, and senior center Kooper Cain. Of the eight touchdowns, three were passes to Harrison, Martin, and senior Dylan Offutt. 

“Allen played a defense where they played back and rushed two,” Shipley said. “If you give our backs a running start, it’s hard to stop. They chose to play back and not attack upfront. So having Case and Harrison in the open field, that really helped. They came out wanting to attack the pass.”

Shipley noted that Cain’s consistency on snapping the ball is the first part of plays that’s so routine that few people recognize the importance along with his run-blocking ability.

“His snaps are on the money,” Shipley said. “And we were under center more (Nov. 19), which is out of character for us. With our center, the main thing is you have to snap the ball and be consistent. Kooper isn’t really a big guy, but he’s scrappy and will put up a fight. He gets in there and mixes it up and makes key blocks to spring us. But it starts with the snap.”

Martin led the defensive effort thanks to catching two interceptions. In all, he has 11 in 11 contests with eight of those games ending early because of the mercy rule. The Rams’ only score came on a passing play.

“We put Ben on their best receiver, and he goes one on one,” Shipley said. “So far, he’s winning those battles.”

The coach credits the athletes and defensive coordinator Sonny Wilson for playing with an edge on that side of the ball.

“We bring it, the pressure,” Shipley said. “We don’t sit back and wait. We want to make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Give credit to Sonny for coming up with game plans each week where opponents have so many moving parts on offense. And when they line up, we can adjust pretty quickly. The defense has got a game plan to shut them down. It’s tough to hold them to six. He’s done a good job of having our defense ready week in and week out.”