ARLINGTON, Texas – The emotional season for the Marshall Buffalos came to a disappointing end with a loss in the 5A Division II state final to powerhouse Aledo, 55-19.
A season for Marshall that was rocked last week when senior defensive back Drew Conley was shot and killed, ended with a 15-1 record and the deepest playoff run in school history.
Marshall has played with heavy hearts since their teammates death and showed a lot of grit and determination in Friday’s night title game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
They fell behind quickly to Aledo, who marched down the field on their opening drive of the game behind their star running back Jase McClellan, who scored the first of his four first half touchdowns on a 42-yard run.
Marshall would answer quickly when they downed a punt on the one yard line and on Aledo’s ensuing first down play, Buffalos linebacker Jerrell Mayweather forced the Aledo fumble in the end zone and defensive end Frank Miller recovered for the touchdown. Marshall missed the point after.
The Buffalos would again answer a McClellan touchdown run with their own score, when running back Devon Achane ripped off a 42-yard run to put Marshall in the red zone. Then quarterback Malik Hornsby would punch it in on a four yard run. Marshall would go for a two-point conversion, but running back Antonio Brooks was stopped well short of the goal line.
McClellan’s final two first half scores put the Buffalos down 28-12 at halftime.
Marshall would catch a break to start the second half, when McClellan opened the 2nd half with a 59-yard touchdown, but the play was called back on a holding call. However, it was a brief break in the Aledo scoring, who continued that drive until they took 5:18 off the clock and scored their 5th touchdown of the game on a Tre Owens, 3-yard run to take a 35-12 lead.
If the game wasn’t out of hand already, Marshall would mishandle the ensuing kick off and Aledo would score again, three plays later, to put the Buffalos behind 42-12, midway through the third quarter.