It’s a battle of unbeatens with vastly different postseason pedigrees as Aledo is making its 10th state title game appearance, looking for its eight state title whereas Fort Bend Marshall which has only been open since 2002 is playing in its first state championship game. Aledo after getting tested in back-to-back weeks in Region II by South Oak Cliff and Frisco Reedy had no such trouble on Friday night ripping past Wichita Falls Rider 63-7. RB Jase McClellan led a dominating effort for the Bearcats rushing for 129 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries, while the Aledo defense forced four Rider turnovers. The game was 42-0 at the half and most of the second half saw Aledo’s backup players seeing plenty of action.
Fort Bend Marshall dealt with some things much more important that football last week as the Buffs mourned the death of a teammate shortly after their fourth round win over Huntsville last week. Marshall’s players fought through the pain and sadness and a very tough Corpus Christi Calallen squad to win 19-17. RB Devon Achane for the second straight week put the Buffaloes offense on his back rushing for 181 yards and all three Marshall touchdowns in the win. Marshall’s defensive line was solid as well standing up to a physical and time consuming Calallen Wing-T offense.
The key for Marshall to pull off what most would consider an upset is junior QB Malik Hornsby. He wasn’t sharp last week in the win over Calallen and he’s going to need to be at the top of his game as Aledo will certainly be keyed on slowing down Achane.
– Matt Stepp
Tepper's Preview & Prediction
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Jase McClellan, RB (HUDL): Even casual fans have gotten used to seeing Aledo’s Oklahoma-bound junior running back over the past three seasons since he burst onto the scene as an insanely talented freshman. With another all-state campaign and 44 touchdowns under his belt this season, what’s left to say about Jase McClellan?
Jojo Earle, WR (HUDL): As if McClellan was already unfair enough now Aledo has another elite talent that has emerged out wide this season in sophomore receive Jojo Earle who’s accounted for 18 touchdowns.
Jake Bishop, QB (HUDL): Fort Bend Marshall has the athletes to match with Aledo, which isn’t something that’s said quite often. That means Aledo’s junior quarterback will be asked to make plays with his arm, which he has been very efficient at doing this season (69 completion percentage).
Malik Hornsby, QB (HUDL): Fort Bend Marshall has often looked unfair with Malik Hornsby behind center. The star dual-threat junior quarterback has added another level since his addition to the Buffalo offense.
Devon Achane, RB (HUDL): Achane is one of the most exciting open-field playmakers and has accounted for 37 touchdowns this season for the Buffalos including a monster four-score effort in the regional finals against Huntsville. Achane’s tallied 1,246 yards on the ground and 587 yards through the air.
Norman Baker OLB (HUDL): He may not be the most high-profile player on Fort Bend Marshall, but the Buffalo’s junior linebacker will be pivotal in hunting down Jase McClellan for 60 minutes. Baker’s used to a heavy workload with a team-high 129 tackles to his name, 21 tackles for loss and seven sacks.
– Ishmael Johnson
HOW TO WATCH
The game can be viewed on FOX Sports Southwest Plus and will be streamed on the Fox Sports Go app.
FOX Sports Southwest Plus is used by FOX Sports Southwest to simultaneously show multiple events on two channels and is available to all TV providers that carry FOX Sports Southwest.