Two weeks ago, Devon Achane celebrated Marshall’s playoff victory over A&M Consolidated by announcing his commitment to Texas A&M.
Last week, he celebrated that commitment with a performance that’s become old hat to those who watch the Buffalos as they inched closer to a return to the state title game in Arlington.
Achane accumulated more than 250 total yards while accounting for all four of Marshall’s touchdowns in its 28-14 victory over Huntsville in a Class 5A Division II regional semifinal clash Saturday afternoon at Woodforest Bank Stadium in Shenandoah. It was the second consecutive year that Marshall has ended the Hornets’ season.
Marshall (12-1) will now turn its attention to an old nemesis in District 11-5A rival Manvel, the second-ranked team in Class 5A, for a regional final battle at 2 p.m. Saturday at Alvin ISD’s Freedom Field. The Mavericks (13-0) handed the Buffalos their lone loss so far this season, a 38-34 decision in the district opener for both teams Sept. 20.
In four previous meetings between the teams, Manvel has won three times, with Marshall’s only victory coming during the 2018 season.
Achane, the sixth-ranked all-purpose running back recruit nationally according to 24/7 Sports, has now accounted for nearly 6,200 total yards and 105 touchdowns in three seasons at Marshall.
In a low-scoring battle against Huntsville, the Buffs’ defense also shined in holding the Hornets’ offense in check for much of the night. The 14 points Marshall allowed tied for the second-lowest scoring output of the season for the Hornets (9-4), who came in averaging nearly 33 points per contest.
But as has become the norm, it was Achane who helped turn the tide. His two first-half touchdowns – one receiving and one rushing – had Marshall up 14-7 at the half before Huntsville tied the game midway through the third quarter.
Just moments later, however, Achane broke free for a 53-yard scoring dash in response to give the Buffalos a lead they would never relinquish. He added a 3-yard touchdown later in the quarter to finish his day.
Once the two-score lead returned, the Marshall defense showed no mercy. Senior linebacker Quincy Blair had two sacks on the afternoon, while Christian Jackson and Jahkoby Strong-White each had interceptions. Strong-White also recovered a muffed punt late in the third quarter to set up Achane’s final touchdown as the Buffalos forced four Huntsville turnovers.