Quirk, Martin lead Colts
ron gower/times news Marian's Paul Martin (26) bulls through the Jim Thorpe line, avoiding a tackle attempt by the Olympians' Alex Pope (left) and PJ Johnson en route to a second quarter touchdown.
Marian's Paul Martin showed once again why is considered one of the top running backs in the region.
It's a good thing he is too, because if he wasn't, he wouldn't even be able to start on his own team.
Martin carried 25 times for 198 yards and four touchdowns on Friday night. As gaudy as those statistics are, they had to take a backseat to backup Dylan Quirk's numbers. Quirk ran 11 times for 247 yards and two touchdowns.
Thanks in large part to the performance of the their tag-team tailbacks, the Colts posted a dominating 45-14 victory over Jim Thorpe.
"Those two kids compliment each very well," said Marian coach Stan Dakosty. "It's a nice luxury to have a great back like Paul [Martin] and then be able to bring in someone as explosive as Dylan [Quirk] when we want to give him a little break.
"They are similar runners, but they have some unique strengths that make them a very tough 1-2 punch to defend."
Martin, who now has five games this season where he has gained at least 140 yards, said that both he and Quirk benefitted from some great blocking.
"We really have to give a lot of credit to our line and our fullbacks, They opened some huge holes for us."
Quirk added, "Paul is an outstanding runner and he did a great job again tonight. I just try to take advantage of the opportunity when I get the ball and fortunately I was able to do that tonight."
After a scoreless first quarter, Marian put together one of the strangest second quarters you will ever see. The Colts scored four touchdowns in the stanza, but also turned the ball over four times, including a pick six by Khaaliq Lynch right before half that cut Marian's lead to 25-8.
The Colts got a pair of touchdown runs in the quarter from both Martin (three yards and four yards) and Quirk (42 yards and nine yards).
Despite the comfortable lead and over 300 yards of offense in the first half, Dakosty said he wasn't happy.
"Halftime was pretty intense," said the veteran Colt coach. "We want our kids to strive for perfection. That's our goal and five turnovers in one half of football isn't close to that.
"But I was very pleased with how we responded in the second half. It was much better performance."
Marian responded by scoring the first three times it touched the ball after intermission.
Martin scored on a 10-yard burst to cap a 59-yard march that made it 32-8.
After the Olympians answered with a touchdown run by quarterback Patrick Duvigneau, the Colts got a 31-yard TD run by Martin and a one-yard score by Phil Schron to close out the scoring.
"We forced five turnovers in the first half, but just didn't take advantage of them," said Jim Thorpe coach Mark Rosenberger. "Our running game was non-existent (30 yards on 28 carries). It seemed like we were in second-and-long and third-and-long situations all game.
"That allowed Marian to tee off and get a lot of pressure on Patrick [Duvigneau] when we tried to throw. That's a tough way to play."
Marian, which piled up 490 yards on the ground while holding the Olympians to under 100 yards of total offense, kept their postseason hopes alive with the win.
"Jim Thorpe has a number of playmakers on offense and I thought we did a really nice job of shutting them down," said Dakosty. "Now we have to get ready for Tamaqua. We have to take care of our business and then hope that's good enough to get us into the postseason.
"We're not too far away from being a very good football team."