Playing with a shortage of their trademark intensity on defense, the Texas City Stings were stampeded by the Fort Bend Marshall Buffalos, 42-12, on Thursday at Hall Stadium.
“We’re weren’t flying around, we weren’t hitting like we were last week, and we were just thinking too much,” Texas City head coach Leland Surovik said. “We got a little behind, and it was hard to get that momentum back up.”
Texas City managed to stay in range of the Buffs in the first half, but Marshall delivered three haymakers in the third quarter to essentially KO the stings.
Leading 14-5 at halftime, Marshall got a 71-yard touchdown run from Devon Achane (nine carries, 204 yards, three TDs total) on the first play of its first possession of the second half.
A 54-yard quarterback scramble by Jabari James preceded a 7-yard TD run by Jerry Davis (13 carries, 153 yards, three TDs) midway through the third quarter, and a 55-yard dash to the end zone by Achane put the Buffalos up, 35-5, with 2:55 remaining in the period.
Early in the fourth quarter Texas City scored its lone touchdown of the game on a 2-yard TD run by Jonathan Jones that was set up by a 26-yard QB scramble by Phillip McDaniel (10-for-22, 110 yards passing; 16 carries, 59 yards rushing), a 14-yard McDaniel run, a 12-yard run by Corday Williams and two Marshall late hit personal foul penalties.
The Stings could not take advantage of a Zach Henry interception returned near midfield on Marshall’s following possession, and the Buffs came right back and scored on a 42-yard TD run by Davis.
“They’re talented as can be over there, they’re fast, and they’re going to make you make mistakes,” Surovik said. “We made them tonight. We had a great game last week, and we came out here flat, and you can’t play a fast team like that with no emotion.”
Texas City drew first blood midway through the first quarter when a bad snap on a Marshall punt attempt was pounced on by Buffalos punter William Hernandez in the end zone for a safety.
The Buffs wasted little time in striking back, though, scoring on their next possession with a 56-yard TD run by Achane giving Marshall a 7-2 lead at the 2:22 mark of the first quarter.
Marshall added a 16-yard TD run by Davis early in the second quarter for a 14-2 lead, but Texas City managed to cut the lead to 14-5 on a 31-yard field goal with 5:13 remaining in the first half.
Helping set up the Stings’ first offensive points of the game was a 33-yard pass play from McDaniel to tight end Ra’Vion Oliver-Haynes.
Things could have gotten ugly before Marshall’s big third quarter, as the Buffalos had four long touchdowns called back on penalties, including two that preceded the safety.
Marshall’s defense held Texas City to just 225 total yards, while the offense racked up 498 yards — 457 of which came on the ground and 309 of which came in the second half.
Up next, Texas City (3-5 overall, 3-3 in District 23-5A) will wrap up the regular season 7 p.m. Nov. 10 at home against Fort Bend Elkins in a game where both teams will likely need a win to get into the playoffs.
“Our back is against the wall,” Surovik said. “We have to beat Elkins to get into the playoffs, and then take it one game at a time after that.”