ALVIN – Heading into a game, which pitted a pair of undefeated District 10-5A-DI teams against each other, there were a multitude of storylines.
The defensive unit of the Sharks would be talked about, considering they were the best in the district coming in. Friendswood beating Foster 34-32 the previous week to preserve their undefeated season was a lot of the talk heading into this showdown.
Shadow Creek wanted to make a statement.
Anchored by LSU-commit Alec Bryant, Texas-commit Xavion Alford and Kansas State-commit Ronald Tripplete to name a few, the defense did its usual job, holding the Mustangs' offense to zero points, but it was the offensive unit that made the loudest statement.
And it's time to take notice of the Sharks' offense.
Led by first-year quarterback Kyron Drones, the Sharks offense was firing on all cylinders – hitting a pair of 64-yard touchdown passes and a 34-yard touchdown run in the first quarter – to end Friendswood's campaign for an undefeated season with a 51-6 victory on Friday at Freedom Field.
"I felt during the week that we had some really good preparation days, good practices and they were able to come out here today and get off to a good start," Shadow Creek coach Brad Butler said. "I was proud of their focus because that was a good football team."
With seven games in the books, just past the halfway point of the 2019 season, Fort Bend Marshall coach James Williams would grade his team at a solid "B" on the report card.
Williams' group has gone 6-1 overall with a 4-1 mark in District 11-5A-DII play with its lone loss coming a few weeks back to Manvel.
"We're making progress but we have a long way to go," Williams said. "Obviously, you want to win every game, unfortunately this season we haven't done that with a loss to Manvel. But they are a great team and played better than us and we just made too many mistakes. Overall, we're continuing to get better and learn who we are, because we're a different team than we were last year. So, we have to learn our own identity."
Looking back to that loss this season, which in 2018 Fort Bend Marshall didn't lose a game until the title bout with Aledo, Williams first game credit to Manvel coach Hall and their gameplan.
When looking towards his team's performance that night, protecting the football was the issue.
"At the end of the day we talk a lot about things that help you win and lose football games," Williams said. "Most important, you can't do things that help you lose. No. 1 thing in that is turnovers. In that game we had five turnovers. You can't win a game that way, especially against a team like Manvel."
Looking towards the rest of the season, the Buffs have three games remaining on the regular season slate before the playoffs begin.
This week, Fort Bend Marshall takes on Sharpstown on Saturday - kickoff set for 1 p.m. - before closing out with Northside and Madison. Then after that will be the playoffs.
"It always start with discipline, we have to play disciplined football," Williams said about what he wants to see his team improve on before the playoffs. "We have to play with fundamentals. A lot of people think we have a lot of great athletes over here but a lot of those guys look fast because they play the game the right way. They play the game hard, read their keys well and played disciplined football, so they're always a step ahead.
"We have to get to that point where we're doing that on defense and offense. Keep executing and form our identity."
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