Marian running back Paul Martin has been used to getting all the attention this season, but it looks like there is a new sheriff in Hometown.
The Colts apparently have a second running back with game-breaking abilities in junior Dylan Quirk. Martin certainly won't mind sharing the lime light with Quirk, especially if he keeps helping the Colts get victories.
That's exactly what Quirk did Friday night against Jim Thorpe. Quirk stampeded the Olympians, rushing for 247 yards on just 11 carries, helping the Colts gain the Anthracite League win, while earning the week nine TIMES NEWS Player of the Week.
The reason for Quirk's recent success is simple. The kid just started playing three games ago. Quirk tore his knee up last season and wasn't able to return to play until the sixth game of the year. The Colts' new offensive weapon knew it would be a long hard road back to the football field, but it had to be done.
"I was actually going to physical therapy the next day after my surgery," said Quirk. "My trainer Steve Strauss really worked hard with me to get me back and he had me jogging just six weeks after my operation."
Quirk got the opportunity to get some serious carries a few weeks ago against Shenandoah Valley when Paul Martin came down with an illness. The resilient runner wasn't shy about the fact that he was feeling some jitters before he went into the ball game.
"I was nervous when I got my opportunity to play," added Quirk. "It was the first time I was really ever playing in a full speed high school football game. As the game went on though I started to gain confidence in my knee and I wasn't nervous anymore."
Marian head coach Stan Dakosty certainly isn't upset with the fact that he now has two running backs he can go to. Quirk's coming out party couldn't have come at a better time, with the Colts needing a win this week to advance to the Eastern Conference Playoffs.
"Dylan coming back from his ACL injury has been huge for us," said Dakosty. "Paul Martin was sick and Dylan got the opportunity to play. He exploded against Shenandoah and the rest is history. We have two good backs now who really compliment each other well."
Marian has been running the football with tremendous success all season. Last week against the Olympians Martin also put up some big numbers rushing for 198 yards on 28 attempts to add to Quirk's 247 yards. Those kind of big rushing nights can't happen without good offensive line play and Quirk will be the first to compliment his big guys up front.
"The holes were wide open for Paul and I Friday night," said Quirk. "They have been driving the defense off the ball all season long and I wouldn't have had such a big night without them."
Next up for the Colts is Tamaqua, who also needs a win to qualify for Eastern Conference play.
"We just need to execute and then execute," said Quirk. "Our line needs to play well again and so do Paul and I. It's going to be a hard fought football game. We need to come out right from the start and make a statement that we're ready to play."