By Bill McCaughey
For The Fort Bend Star
Two local high school football teams are continuing their march through the playoffs with big wins last Friday night.
Marshall 28, A&M Consolidated 21
With a berth in the regional finals on the line and A&M Consolidated on the Marshall Buffalos’ 14-yard line with 9 seconds to go, the Buffalo defense knocked down two passes in the end zone to hold on to a 28-21 victory.
A&M took possession on their own 28-yard line with 1:04 to go in the game needing seven points to tie. They quickly moved the ball to the Marshall 45-yard line where they faced a fourth-and-10 with 27 seconds to go. On the fourth down pass attempt, Marshall was called for pass interference and a personal foul penalty, giving A&M the ball at the 14-yard line. With 7 seconds to go, A&M had a receiver open in the end zone, but Marshall’s Geovonte Howard closed on the receiver and knocked the ball out of his hands. With 4 seconds left, A&M was called for a delay of game penalty, moving the ball back to the 19-yard line. On the final play, several Marshall defenders batted down a pass near the end zone to preserve their victory.
A&M took a 14-0 lead as Robert Franklin scored on a 2-yard run with 7 minutes to go in the first quarter, and Cade Williams scored on an 11-yard keeper with 7:14 to go in the second quarter. Marshall made the halftime score 14-7 as Antonio Brooks scored on a 1-yard run with 2:02 to go in the half.
After half-time, Marshall came out energized as wide receiver Korey King scored three touchdowns in the third quarter. King’s first was on a 10-yard run with 10:52 to go. After A&M went three-and-out, King returned their punt 81 yards to give Marshall their first lead. With 52 seconds to go in the third quarter, quarterback Jabari James found King for a 27-yard scoring pass and a 28-14 lead entering the fourth quarter.
The Marshall defense kept A&M out of the end zone in the second half until Burl Carraway caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Williams to bring the Tigers within 7 points with 2:15 to go in the game.
Jabari James recovered A&M’s onside kick, but the Buffalo’s, with A&M using up their time-outs, could not run out the clock, leaving the game in the hands of the Buffalo defense.
A&M had 348 yards of total offense while holding Marshall to 266.
A&M quarterback Cade Williams was 11-31 for 210 passing yards, and he rushed six times for 40 yards and a touchdown. Robert Franklin had 11 carries for 57 yards and a touchdown.
Jabari James was 8-11 for 121 passing yards and one touchdown, and he rushed 13 times for 23 yards.
“At halftime the coaches told me to be a leader, lead our team to victory,” James said. “Their defense kept changing their coverage, from man-to-man, to cover 2 and cover 4, but we just kept at it and got the job done.”
“Jabari has done well, really well for us,” Marshall Coach James Williams said.
Jerry Davis had 18 carries for 65 yards.
“Jerry Davis really stepped up when Antonio Brooks got hurt during the season. With Brooks healthy, we really have two starters,” Williams said.
Korey King had three touchdowns on a 10-yard run, an 81-yard punt return, and a 27-yard pass.
“They were mostly playing man-to-man on me so we tried some hitches and were successful,” King said. “When I caught the punt, I just saw a green light. I run track and all I saw was a wide-open path all the way to the end zone.”
On defense, cornerbacks Jaelon Wilson, Brandon Brantley and Geovonte Howard each made big plays in the secondary to keep A&M out of the end zone in the second half. Up front Dylan Sanchez applied pressure to the quarterback, particularly in the last minute of the game.
Place kicker William Hernandez was once again perfect on extra point conversions, going 4-4.
“I just like to take it one kick at a time,” Hernandez said. “I just blank everything out and focus in on what is right in front of me.”
Marshall (11-2) will play College Station (11-2) on Friday at Prairie View A&M University.
“I am the type of coach that doesn’t look ahead. I just work on the game ahead of us. Once we made the playoffs, I knew we had a chance. I honestly knew we could go far. We had a very tough district and a great second-round opponent in Crosby, so we have been tested. The guys have played well throughout the season, “ Williams said.
Stafford 37, Bridge City 28
James Brown scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to increase the Spartans’ lead to 31-14 and Stafford (9-4) held on to beat Bridge City 37-28. They will meet Carthage in the Region III 4A championship game this weekend.
The teams traded touchdowns in the first half, with Stafford scoring on Walter White’s 1-yard run, and Hezekiah Jones’ 32-yard touchdown pass from White. Kirvin Bonilla kicked a 26-yard field goal to give Stafford a 17-14 halftime lead.
Brown then scored on an 80-yard pass from White and a 27-yard run. Kameron Hill finished the Spartans’ scoring with a 16-yard interception return.
Walter White was 8-14 for 100 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and he rushed 14 times for 73 yards and another touchdown. Cameron Montgomery had seven rushes for 100 yards and Brown rushed nine times for 52 yards.
@FtBendAthletics Athlete of the Week
The Fort Bend Star Athlete of the Week is the Marshall football team, their coaches, families and fans. Marshall twice knocked down passes in their end zone with seconds to play to move on to the Region 3 5A Regional Finals.