Homecoming is going to be the Falcons’ biggest game of the season but the large crowd of fans will help Fort Worth Country Day defeat St. Andrew’s Friday, senior running back A.J. Ximenes said.
FWCD (2-5) and St. Andrew’s (2-5) are tied for last place in the south division of the Southwest Preparatory Conference.
Last week, St. Andrew’s could not complete with Houston Christian’s face-paced offense and lost, 59-19. Junior kicker Carter Reed missed two of three extra points.
FWCD returns home after falling to Bellaire Episcopal, 45-7. The Knights took control of the game from the start but the Falcons were able to score on the first drive of the second half.
“We had a lot of pride in ourselves for scoring that touchdown,” senior tight end Jacob Edwards said.
Several players who did not see a lot of playing time stepped up and played up to their potential when the were thrown into a position they weren’t used to, he said.
“Any time you gain experience, you improve no matter what,” head coach Frank Gendusa said. “For a lot of them it was the moment when you step up and you’re in a varsity game, you overcome the anticipation of having to play against older kids.”
Younger players like freshman running back Brandon Evans and sophomore running back Stephen Nolan have been standing out on the field, he said.
Ximenes said junior linebacker Robert Arnold has stood out because he has the best work ethic and stands behind his defense.
“Anytime when something goes wrong, he’s the first one to step up and say it was his fault and doesn’t explain why and I feel like that’s a good leadership quality to have,” Ximenes said. “I think he’ll be very beneficial in the future for us.”
Senior linebacker Omar Johnson said he agreed with Ximenes.
“Even though we’ve had less people, the younger ones have been stepping out,” Johnson said. “It’s a good investment for next year because the younger kids get to play more to prepare themselves for next year.”
Gendusa said he wants the offense to move the ball and finish drives this week. He said he expects an aggressive defense because the seniors have missed a couple of games due to the suspensions.
“It’s going to be a blowout,” Johnson said. “St. Andrew’s will want to get back on the bus by the end of the first quarter.”
The Falcons have one conference win from the first game of the season while the Crusaders have yet to win a conference game.
The playoffs are no longer in sight for FWCD but the opportunity to finish the season with two conference wins is in reach.
Both teams hold five-game losing streaks but one team will break the cycle Friday night.
“I’m hoping that we run out the last two games to finish on a winning note and set a tone for what we are going to be doing next year,” Gendusa said.