Fort Bend Marshall presents formidable foe; Buffs coach talks about challenge with Indians

Published 12:42 am Tuesday, November 29, 2022

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Much like they have done all season, The Fort Bend Marshall Buffalos have dominated in the playoffs.

The Port Neches-Groves Indians (11-2) take on Fort Bend Marshall (12-1) at 7 p.m. Friday at Galena Park in a state quarterfinal showdown.

The Buffs have outscored playoff opponents 160-25 in three games. The most recent win came in a 55-18 decision against Lake Creek in the Regional Semifinal.

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FB Marshall’s only loss on the season came at the hands of Crosby in a non-district contest.

Quarterback Jordon Davis and receiver Ja’koby Banks lead one of the most dynamic offenses in Texas.

This season, the Buffs averaged 42.6 points per game, while holding opponents to 7.2 points per game.

“Our seniors are our leaders,” Fort Bend Marshall Head Coach James Williams told Port Arthur Newsmedia this week. “Banks has always been in the front of our team. Jordan Sample and Logan Granville are always in the front. They have taken on the leadership roles and want to do it right.”

The two teams met in the first district game in September that ended with a 35-14 win for the Buffs. The 21-point victory was the closest game FB Marshall played in district and the playoffs.

“Coach Joseph and staff have done a great job over there,” Williams said. “They have a very disciplined team and they execute very well in all facets of the game. It is definitely not surprising that they are here. I envisioned this weeks ago because they do such a great job. It is going to be a good game.”

Williams said playing a team for a second time is always tough and presents unique challenges.

“It is just part of it,” Williams said. “You can’t think about the first game. You have to get it out of your head. You have to look at them now. Both teams are different than they were in the first meeting. Both teams are more polished. You develop more as the season goes along. Guys get more confidence. You execute the identity of your team. I really can’t speak enough about how well Coach Joseph and his staff do.”

Williams said the Indians have playmakers but added their real strength is in how well everyone plays as a unit.

“You can tell they play together,” he said. “They sync really well. It is really a team effort. They have guys who make plays and score a lot of points, but it is what they do collectively so well.”

These two teams also have a recent history in the playoffs. They met three consecutive years in the playoffs from 2018-2020, with all games going in the Buffs favor.

In 2018 and 2019, the Buffs lost in the state championship game. They made it to the quarterfinals in 2020 before losing to Crosby. Last year FB Marshall was bounced in the first round by Barbers Hill and have been ranked in the top-5 all season and entered the playoffs ranked No. 2 in 5A Division I.