Three years ago, Daniel Winkler, Jared Veldhuizen, Jacob Thompson and Justin Baugh helped head coach Cody Martin and others establish Stephenville FAITH football.
On Saturday these and other senior Knights will go represent FAITH on the Texas Christian Athletic League gridiron for the last time, and they hope to go out as two-time Division II state champs.
The Knights (11-0) take a 19 game win streak - including eight straight by six-man's 45-point mercy rule - and their 2011 state title and put them on the line in the championship game against Bastrop Tribe Consolidated (10-2) at Waco Methodist Children's Home at 11 a.m. Saturday.
"It's been a fun season; a good sesaon," said Martin. "We certainly didn't script it to play only two whole games; that's made it challenging to get these seniors the playing time they deserve, but when it's because you've dominated the way we have it's a good problem to have."
FAITH is expected to dominate again Saturday, as the Granger ratings suggests the Knights will again celebrate victory by stoppage before four quarters can be completed.
"I'm not anticipating that, not at all," said Martin. "We're anticipating four quarters of football against a tough Bastrop Tribe team that over the last five years has become one of the most solid and respected TCAL programs out there. They've reached the state final several times and haven't won it, so you know they'll be looking to change that."
The teams do have one common opponent, with results suggesting Martin may be on to something. Both teams faced Granbury Cornerstone Christian Academy, the Knights in district and Bastrop Tribe in the playoffs. FAITH beat Cornerstone 62-12 while Bastrop Tribe won that match-up 70-20.
"I know you can't go by scores, but what they did against (Cornerstone) was impressive," Martin said.
Bastrop Tribe defeated Cleburne Christian Academy 78-57 in one semifinal, just before the Knights slammed Tyler HEAT 54-8 in the other at Cubs Stadium in Brenham last week.
"We got to see them play, but that means they got to watch us, too," said Martin. "We'll both be ready to go out and play a good ball game. I just hope it's played to a level worthy of being a state championship."
The Knights have been playing at that level for sometime. After winning the state championship last year, FAITH defeated Gordon early this season. Gordon is still in the hunt for the championship in UIL Six-Man Division I.
"That was a really good game, and (Harvest Christian, a 90-73 FAITH win) was a good one right after that, but since then we haven't played a full ball game."
Bastrop Tribe has won six straight and has 45'd six opponents this season. Tribe lost to its only UIL opponent, falling to Buckholts, 55-30.
"They haven't lost in a while, so they'll be confident, and they should be," Martin said. "(Cleburne Christian) has a good TCAL program and they beat them by three touchdowns (in the semifinals)."
Going out on top a second time has been the mission of the Knights since winning the title last fall.
"We've been there now, and that's a big advantage for us as we try to win it again," Martin said. "In the semifinals, I think Tyler HEAT was a little surprised to be there and kind of caught up in everything while we were just on a business trip. I don't even think our guys even talked about it being a semifinal; it was just another game.
"I know it's hard to approach a championship game that way, but that's what we have to try and do is stay in our heads and play our brand of football - Knights football."