CAPTION: Senior Will Lewis and the Faith Academy of Marble Falls Flames host the Smoking For Jesus Eagles in a clash of two powerhouse six-man teams. Photo by Stennis Shotts
The first contest between the Faith Academy of Marble Falls and Smoking For Jesus Ministry School football teams is happening at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, at Britton Field, 3151 RR 1431 East in Marble Falls.
It’s a match-up of two teams that played for state titles in different leagues in 2021 with the Eagles (0-2, Texas Association of Independent Athletic Organizations) winning their second in a row as members of the Texas Christian Athletic League.
The Flames (1-1) were the runners-up of the Class 2A Division II state championship of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools last season.
But graduation hit both programs hard and both are looking for consistent play in 2022.
While Faith enters this contest after mercy-ruling McDade 55-8 Sept. 2 after suffering a loss to Austin St. Stephens 66-20 Aug. 26, Smoking For Jesus is still searching for its first win. The Eagles lost to Austin Veritas 56-52 Sept. 2 and to Cherokee 59-14 Aug. 26.
One constant for the Eagles that hasn’t changed is the quarterback. Senior Isaac Legier is back and has been putting up impressive numbers. He has 20 rushes for 239 yards and four touchdowns and has completed 25 of 42 passes for 332 yards, four scores and an interception. His favorite target is senior receiver Johnathan Frazier, who has seven receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
“Our defense will have a big test this week with Isaac,” Flames head coach Stephen Shipley said. “Isaac can throw and run. You have to know where he’s at at all times. He’s that talented. If you give him time to throw, he can complete passes. You give him a lane to run, he can run.”
The Eagles are very disciplined defensively, Shipley said, adding they put pressure on opponents to make mistakes. The Smoking For Jesus defense is led by junior Connor Kitchens, who has 12 tackles. Legier has a sack and an interception.
“They do a good job of staying in containment,” he said. “They have some players. They have a roster that can make plays on offense and defense.”
After reviewing the film from the McDade game, Shipley notes his team can be better.
“We still have mistakes to fix,” he said. “I was happy with the win for the most part. In the second quarter, we started making mistakes. But we came back in the third quarter and finished them off.”
He notes that teams on the rest of the Flames’ schedule will be able to take advantage of Faith miscues, including the Eagles. Therefore, the Flames must play error-free ball, the coach said.
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