The Faith Academy Knight football team hit the road for its first and only scrimmage of the preseason following the schedule updates from the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools last Friday. The Knights faced off with the Our Lady of the Hills Hawks and Living Rock Academy Bobcats, who both made the playoffs last year with the latter finishing as state semifinalists.
“Instead of doing 10 plays per segment, we decided, as coaches, to do a 10:00 running clock,” Faith Academy head coach Trey Carter said. “Strongly outnumbered, the Knights held their own. Our Lady of the Hills had 32 players and Living Rock had 24. The Knights traveled with 10.”
Carter said he was pleased with Faith Academy’s defensive performance after Our Lady of the Hills was held to only two touchdowns when the teams matched up.
“Everybody swarmed to the ball for tackles and caused two fumbles as well, recovering one,” the coach said. “The heavy hitters were out in full force. Landon Snyder, Blaze Byler, and Nathan Figueroa had their share of huge hits and great tackles.”
Also making plays for the Knights’ defense were junior classmates Maury Cano (two pass breakups and multiple tackles), Caden Sweirkowski (five tackles) and Dusty Rogers.
Two athletes who made their varsity football debuts – senior Josh Poorman and freshman Noah Figueroa – both impressed Carter.
“(Poorman) made many tackles on defense, as well as ran the ball well on offense,” Carter said. “Figueroa also handled himself with perfect composure. He commanded the offense throughout the scrimmage even while learning himself. He had some great pass completions, as well as some key blocks for the runners.”
Another new face to the team at Faith Academy, junior Landon Snyder, also made his impact known early, Carter said.
“He had six catches for positive yards off the line, as well as 10+ huge hits on defense and special teams,” the head coach said. “The teams we play will know who he is as soon as the game starts. He’s a head-hunter and loves contact.
Providing scoring plays for the Knights were junior classmates Kaleb Shepherd (60-yard rush and touchdown reception) and Nathan Figueroa (throwing and running touchdowns), thanks in part to the blocking from sophomore center Neil Johnston.
One of the biggest beneficiaries of Johnston’s blocking was sophomore running back Blaze Byler, who accounted for the most yards on the team and added a touchdown on the ground as well.
“I’m extremely excited for the future here at Faith Academy,” Carter said. “We are starting new traditions here, and these boys are on board. I’m proud of their hard work and willingness with anything I ask them to do.”
The Knights open their regular season at home this Friday against the Dime Box Longhorns, who took down Prairie Lea, 45-0, on Sept. 11. Last year, Dime Box finished 4-1 overall in a freelance division of six-man football. This year, the Longhorns are competing in District 14-D2 against Oglesby, Buckholts, and Mount Calm.