SAN MARCOS (Covering Katy News) - Katy's Faith West Academy showed remarkable resilience in fielding a short-handed team on Friday, October 4. With six of the thirteen players out due to injury, the Eagles played the entire second half with only six position players on both sides of the ball, and gave the Hill Country Christian School Rams of San Marcos all they could handle. Ultimately, however, the Rams were able to leave the field with a 48-62 victory.

The two teams play six-man football which is explained below.

The Rams started strong, jumping out to a 0-20 lead. The Eagles had a hard time finding a rhythm on offense, missing some key contributors due to injury or illness at the outset, with seniors Noah Wood, Taylor Cortez, Raymond Jin, and Dan Owen all out before the game started, and freshman Max Hill leaving after a few plays, and freshman Ethan Bailey departing the game right before half. After that early deficit, the Eagles were able to dig deep and put some points on the board before half, with junior Gabe Rice taking a 5-yard pass from senior Marshall Wales, and creating a touchdown by weaving in and out of Ram defenders to the end zone.

Forty seconds before half, there was a lengthy delay due to injury. An Eagle took a hard hit away from the ball and was carted off of the field. Down to just six position players (in addition to dedicated kicker Andrew Tyrell) at half, the Eagles decided to return in the second half and give it their best shot.

It turns out their best shot was pretty good. Faith West scored five touchdowns after half, twice drawing to within six points of the Rams. In their scoring bursts, Wales had a 25-yard pass to sophomore Matthew Stewart, a 27-yard pass to junior Caillin Linton, just over the outstretched arms of the Ram defender, and touchdown runs of 35, 17, and 40 yards. In all, Wales accounted for all six of the Eagles’ touchdowns, on the ground or in the air.

With the absence of half of the team to injury, the rest of the team really grew up and held together. “I was really proud of the boys for the fight that they showed in the game,” said head coach Nathan Utt, “They showed a lot of heart, and never gave up. I’m looking forward to carrying that fight into District play.”

All six of the remaining players had moments to shine on the field. In addition to the scoring plays, Rice had a number of key, drive-extended bruising runs and athletic catches, and Stewart showed continued maturity and strength, coming down with the ball in key situations and making key tackles. Junior Thomas Cedeno made some key tackles, freshman Nathan Hopp was able to make some timely drive-extending catches for first down and join in on some critical tackles, and converted baseball player Linton was all over the field, helping the Eagles to take the fight to the Rams. Wales was everywhere on offense and defense, showing his athleticism and why he is a highly sought baseball prospect, committed to Odessa College for baseball. “Our boys showed honor to the guys that were out, by fighting for them,” said coach Utt, “and by having that ‘no man left behind’ attitude.”

Faith West begins its district play at home next week on October 11, with its homecoming game at 7:00 pm against Lutheran High School of San Antonio. With at least some of the missing players returning to action, and the rest of the team gaining valuable experience and maturity, the Eagles look to bring victory to the home crowd.

Six-man football explained:

Six-man football is a fast-moving game played on an 80-yard-long by 40-yard-wide field. The game specifies a 15-yard distance from the line of scrimmage to gain a first down, instead of the normal 10 yards. Scoring is the same as in 11-man football, with the exceptions being on the point after touchdown attempt and the field goal. A point-after kick is worth two points, while a conversion made by running or passing the ball is worth one point. In addition, a field goal is worth four points instead of three. In Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools competition, a 45-point "mercy rule" exists to prevent lopsided scoring deficits. The game is ended under this rule if a team is losing by 45 or more points at halftime or at any point after. Scoring tends to be much higher in the six-man game compared to its 11-man counterpart; games in which one team scores 100 points or more, now extremely rare in 11-man, regularly occur several times a year in six-man. As of the 2017–2018 alignments from UIL, TAPPS, TAIAO, TCAF, and T-CAL, the state of Texas has 262 six-man football teams. Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-man_football.

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