Buffalos ready to roam

Offensive lineman Barton Clement. Photos by Bill McCaughey

By Bill McCaughey
For the Fort Bend Star –

Last year, Marshall was 11-3 and a play or two away from going to the state semifinals.

But that was last year.

“Last year doesn’t mean anything,” Marshall Coach James Williams said. “We have to prove ourselves this year.”

The players agree.

“Last season was very enjoyable. As we kept going in the playoffs, everyone kept getting more excited,” offensive lineman Barton Clement said. “But that last game (a loss to College Station) has stayed in my mind. It is motivation for me this season.”

“This season is a new mind set. Our only goal is state,” quarterback Jabari James said.

“We have the right mentality. We think we can go to state this year,” wide receiver Henry Thomas said. “It’s important to start strong. To send a message to the other teams. Last year is gone. Now we have targets on our backs. We need to come out strong. There will be no sneaking up on other teams this year. They are waiting for us.”

As good as they were last season, the Buffalos may be better this year.

Wide receiver Henry Thomas.

“This year’s team may be stronger than last years on paper. But we have to prove it this year,” Coach Williams said. “I am excited about our offense. The potential is there to be something special.”

The offense starts with Jabari James, last year’s District 23-5A first team quarterback, who threw or ran for 39 touchdowns last year.

James will be throwing to Henry Thomas, a first team all-district wide receiver and University of Houston recruit, and Korey King, who has 4.4 speed.

“We throw a lot of post routes, fades, and corner routes,” James said. “I worked a lot on my throwing this summer. We have a lot of really good receivers on this team.”

Thomas doesn’t care what type of defense he is going against.

Quarterback Jabari James

“I just have to beat my man,” Thomas said. “If it’s a jump ball, I know I will get it.”

“Jabari had a great year last year, but he still has room to grow. He’s worked on his fundamentals and passing this spring and summer. He can be even better this year,” Coach Williams said. “Henry is such a competitor. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and is very aggressive. He will be our leader on and off the field. Antonio Brooks and Jerry Davis will get most of the carries. Brooks was playing hurt most of the last half season, and Jerry stepped in with some big games.”

The line will be led by Clement, a pre-season all-state pick.

“We will be doing the same thing we did last year, just with more intensity,” Clement said. “This year’s line is the best I have been on. Joe Rivera didn’t play much last season, but I am expecting big plays out of him this year.”

While the defense doesn’t have the big names like the offense does, Williams believes it will be strong.

“We pride ourselves on defense,” Coach Williams said. “Because of the talent on offense, our defense doesn’t get mentioned much, but it will be very good.”

The Buffalos will open the season with Madison on Friday night at Mercer.

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