HOUSTON – Devon Achane just laid on the turf.
He had just given all he could. Working through multiple cramps, the Fort Bend Marshall junior running back had just made one last heave down the field with 33 seconds left and his team down by three.
“I saw Dalevon Campbell in the middle of the field raising his hands up, I just threw it to him and I trusted him,” Achane said. “He made the play.”
Listen to the full game below!
Initially, Achane thought he had thrown the ball too high on the 4th down and 12 play. Campbell used every bit of his 6-foot-3 frame to go up in between two defenders, bring down the ball and break through and stride in for the 47-yard touchdown with 33 seconds left in the game.
“I don’t even know,” Campbell said about how he got into the end zone. “I wish I could tell you.”
The roar from the Fort Bend Marshall faithful told Achane the last-second heave had worked.
“That’s when I got up,” Achane said about hearing the cheers. “At first I was crying. I was mad. I thought we had lost. He made the play. It was very exciting for this team.”
The last-second heroics sealed a wild 47-43 victory for Fort Bend Marshall over Huntsville in the Region III-5A-DII Finals at Cy-Fair FCU Stadium on Thursday.
“This probably took the cake,” Fort Bend Marshall coach James Williams said about this being the wildest game of his career. “I give credit to Huntsville. Great team, great coaching staff, great game. It was amazing.”
With the victory, the Buffs are heading to the state semifinals for the first time in program history and buck the trend of being ousted in the fourth round of the playoffs.
“Fourth time in seven years and we finally got through,” Fort Bend Marshall coach James Williams said. “Feels great. These guys deserve it; they’ve worked so hard. I’m so proud of these kids. I’m so proud this coaching staff. It feels good.”
This ends a streak of two-straight seasons that the Buffs' year had come to an end in the regional finals. Fort Bend Marshall improves to 14-0 and will get the winner of Calhoun-Calallen, whom plays inside the Alamodome on Friday.
Huntsville finishes the year at 12-2 and falls just short of making it to the state semifinals for the first time since 1980.
This one was a wild one from the beginning.
Fort Bend Marshall raced out to a 20-0 lead in the first quarter, fueled by a trio of Achane touchdowns – two rushing and one receiving.
Achane finished the game with 15 carries for 112 yards, three scores; three receptions for 95 yards and a score and one pass for 47 yards and a touchdown.
“My team needed me,” Achane said. “They ran plays for me to make plays. So that’s what I did.”
Huntsville fought back.
The Hornets cut the lead down to striking distance at halftime thanks to a safety and a rushing and passing touchdown from Matthew Southern, making it 27-16 Fort Bend Marshall at the half.
Outscoring Fort Bend Marshall 16-7 in the second quarter gave the Hornets some momentum.
A 19-yard pass from Southern to Cameron Myers and a 27-yard field goal from Nathan Batten, pulled the Hornets within one, trailing 27-26 with 4:51 left in the third quarter.
“No, just keep going, keep doing what we’re doing,” Williams said about his message to the team at that time. “Keep fighting, no wavering. Just had to keep playing.”
With those scores, Huntsville outscored Fort Bend Marshall 26-7 in the second and halfway through the third quarter.
A pair of touchdowns to close out the third quarter – a 48-yard run from Achane and a 17-yard run from Malike Hornsby – extended the Buffs’ lead to 40-26 heading to the fourth.
Hornsby finished 7 of 16 for 184 yards and a score and rushed 15 times for 53 yards and two scores.
“It feels great playing with these guys,” Hornsby said. “Best in the state. When we come against another team we’re rocking and rolling. That’s the family.”
Once there, Huntsville took over with a six-yard run by Tyrique Carter and a safety on a failed punt attempt to pull within five.
With 2:33 left, Southern reeled back and hit Jaylon Griffin, who finished with five catches for 113 yards and one score, in stride for a 64-yard touchdown pass, giving Huntsville the 43-40 lead after the two-point conversion.
Southern finished the game 15 of 33 for 244 yard three touchdowns and one interception.
Facing a 4th and 12 at the 47 of Huntsville and the play was drawn up. Hornsby would take the snap, toss it to Korey King, he would toss it to Achane, who would throw it.
“They had good penetration, so the guy we originally handed the ball off to they hit him quick,” Williams said. “He was lucky to get the ball off. Then Devon got it around the edge and Dalevon went up and made a tremendous play. “It’s just a team effort.
"Those guys are great.”
Needing one last play, Antonio Brooks picked off a deflected Southern pass across the middle, which is all Fort Bend Marshall needed to seal the four-point victory.
FB: Devon Achane 43-yard rush 7-0 (1st Quarter – 7:28)
FB: Devon Achane 1-yard rush 14-0 (1st Quarter – 4:37)
FB: Malik Hornsby 86-yard pass to Devon Achane 20-0 (1st Quarter – 1:50)
HV: Punt out of the end zone safety 20-2 (2nd Quarter – 11:44)
HV: Matthew Southern 6-yard rush 20-9 (2nd Quarter – 10:55)
FB: Malik Hornsby 1-yard rush 27-9 (2nd Quarter – 6:32)
HV: Matthew Southern 4-yard pass to Miles Tatum 27-16 (2nd Quarter - 2:36)
HV: Matthew Southern 19-yard pass to Cameron Myers 27-23 (3rd Quarter – 7:56)
HV: 27-yard field goal by Nathan Batten 27-26 (3rd Quarter – 4:51)
FB: Devon Achane 48-yard rush 33-26 (3rd Quarter – 4:14)
FB: Malik Hornsby 17-yard rush 40-26 (3rd Quarter – 0:40)
HV: Tyrique Carter 6-yard rush 40-33 (4th Quarter – 11:51)
HV: Christian Jackson is tackled in end zone for a safety 40-35 (4th Quarter – 9:45)
HV: Matthew Southern to Jaylon Griffin 64 yds 43-40 (4th Quarter – 2:31) 2 pt conv. Southern to Miles Tatum
FB: Malik Hornsby to Korey King to Devon Achane 47-yard pass to Dalevon Campbell 47-43 (4th Quarter – 0:33)