Stephenville FAITH can't go back and erase its two losses to begin the season, but the Knights have wiped the bad taste from their mouths.
FAITH was on the right side of six-man football's mercy rule Friday evening, when the Knights shut out Brownwood Victory Life 48-0 in a game called at halftime.
"Just getting to 2-2 has been great. When you lose as many players as we did from last year and then coaches start making little changes here and there, it's tough," said first-year FAITH head coach Nick Braun. "But the players are growing and adjusting, and even us as coaches are growing and gaining confidence, so it's been fun."
Shadd Cole had another big game with a punt block for a touchdown and a defensive highlight where he recorded a sack, forced a fumble, recovered it and returned it for a TD. All that was in addition to his usual offensive dominance.
"It was another huge night for him. You just come to expect that from Shadd," Braun said. "What impresses me most is that he doesn't just go out on offense and try to put up huge numbers, he works hard on defense and special teams and really does all the little things we need from a player of his caliber."
Garrett Russell forced a fumble on a sack to set up the Knights' game-ending TD just before halftime. He and Aaron Snyder were dominant rushing the passer.
"They were in the backfield all night, holding up the up back so he couldn't move up field and then finding ways to be around the football and make plays," Braun said. "We made some last-minute changes with our defense, and the kids played well."
Joey Braun had one of his best performances at quarterback.
"Joey ran the offense efficiently and is throwing the ball really well right now," said Coach Braun. "He enables us to move Shadd around and do a lot of things offensively."
It was FAITH's 20th win in 22 games. The two-time reigning Texas Christian Athletic League Division II state champs suffered tough losses to UIL powers Lometa and Gordon before winning a 66-64 thriller over Weatherford Christian last week. The Knights battle unbeaten Willow Park Trinity Christian next.
"Things are starting to come together and the guys are gaining confidence every week," Braun said. "Last night, I felt like we were sharp and ready, and sure enough, we went out there with the expectation of having success on every play. That's what you want is that expectation to be beat the guy across from you, not just some of the time, but every play."