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Faith Academy football season ends in playoff loss to Conroe Covenant

CAPTION: Faith Academy football head coach Stephen Shipley (kneeling left) commends the Flames on a great season and reminds them of all they accomplished following the playoff loss to Conroe Covenant Nov. 11. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The Faith Academy of Marble Falls football team lost to Conroe Covenant 46-0 Nov. 11 in a first round playoff game of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.

The loss ended the Flames’ season in a contest that was finished in two quarters.

Still, head coach Stephen Shipley noted Faith (5-4, 4-0 District 3, Division II six-man champions) accomplished plenty this season.

“We’ve been through a lot this season,” he said. “We’ve had some hiccups. We started the season with 21 players suited up and ended with 13 including five freshmen and three sophomores. I look at it as a year that nobody expected anything out of us. We had our letdowns at the beginning of the season with turnovers and a lot of things that come from inexperience. Then we won the district championship with a 4-0 record. Our kids didn’t give up. We decided we were going to win district, and we did.”

The Cougars (10-2, 5-1 District 5, Division II runners-up) scored six touchdowns on eight possessions led by Jackson Rudy. He had 11 rushes for 93 yards, including a 19-yard touchdown run, and completed 3 of 8 passes for 101 yards and 2 scores. Kade Houston had 3 rushes for 45 yards and 3 scores and a 12-yard touchdown reception, while Dylan Harper caught 2 passes for 48 yards and 2 touchdowns and Charlie Wade had 1 reception for 43 yards.

Covenant had 241 yards of total offense to Faith’s 11.

“We were going to be outmatched physically and experience-wise,” Shipley said. “They were loaded with seniors, and we have freshmen and sophomores who are developing physically and mentally. They’re learning the game and their responsibilities.”

He noted junior Cross Sanchez got the Cougars’ attention. The defense refused to allow Sanchez, who set a record a week earlier for scoring the most touchdowns in a game in program history, to take over the match-up. Covenant had a spy on the Flame, who finished with 12 carries for 9 yards, completed 2 of 8 passes for 25 yards, and caught 3 passes for 6 yards.

“We put Cross in the slot and just didn’t see him,” Shipley said. “Covenant’s thinking was that if we shut down No. 13, we’ll shut down Faith Academy.”

He commended senior Elijah Blackington for playing with a shoulder that was still sore.

“It was his senior year and a playoff game, and he was going to try,” the coach said.

Covenant ends a two-game losing skid to Faith, which beat the Cougars 32-18 in 2021 and 62-57 in 2020.

“On paper, they outmatched us,” Shipley said. “They were ready, they were prepared, and they were hyped up.”

As he reflected on the last several months, Shipley said he was proud of what this team accomplished and sees plenty of growth and talent returning next year.

“Let’s take those things from this year and build on them for next year,” he said. “Next year, we’ll be better.”

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  1. […] Faith Academy of Marble Falls football team’s season ended in a 46-0 mercy-ruled loss to Conro…, an opponent that absolutely wanted to play the Flames. The Cougars (10-2, 5-1) snapped a two-game […]

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