Coaches Cody Martin and David Steele were shocked.
After all, they really had no idea what to expect Friday when their Stephenville Faith Knights took the field for a scrimmage against a Burleson Christian home school team.
But the Knights, a first-year home school team themselves, wasted no time showing how far they have come.
Stephenville Faith scored four touchdowns to Burleson’s one and tallied 334 yards of offense to the opponent’s 93.
“We’re very surprised and very happy with how far we’ve come,” Steele said. “Burleson had close to 20 guys and we only had eight, but we kept a rotation going and conditioning was a big part. The weight room was definitely a factor today and it should be all season.”
Jared Veldhuizen led the way, scoring on runs of 60 and 53 yards. He finished with 126 yards on four carries and also made five tackles from his spot at defensive end.
Daniel Winkler and Colton McCabe were also standouts. Winkler scored on a 60-yard sprint and had an interception and seven tackles on defense. McCabe tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Austin Roberson and also recorded seven tackles defensively.
Roberson and McCabe alternated at quarterback and combined for 106 yards passing. The Knights also rushed for 228 yards.
Defensively, Faith forced five fumbles, including two when nose guard Lucas Leamons drove the Burleson center into the quarterback.
“We forced five fumbles, which is great, but we didn’t recover any of them,” Steele said. “We have to go get the ball when there’s a fumble.”
Still, the Knights accomplished a lot, and did it all while committing only one penalty.
“We still have a lot of work to do, but we are definitely off to a good start,” Steele said. “Now we know there aren’t any excuses. The guys have seen that we can take eight guys and go against 20 and win.”
The best part, Steele says, was seeing the joy on the kids’ faces as they tasted victory for the first time - regardless if it was only a scrimmage.
“I asked one of the kids how it was,” Steele said. “He said, ‘I feel great. This is what we wanted.’”