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Martin is the man for Marian

Matt Martin has what it takes to be “the man” when a football team needs a big play.

The junior running back for Marian has a great sense of balance, peripheral vision and can get the tough yardage in the clutch.

His latest outing against rival Panther Valley says it all: 25 carries, 190 yards rushing, two touchdowns and the will to lead his team to its second straight win of the season, which seems to be flourishing down the stretch.

That unto itself could be a tell-tale-sign why the Colts are suddenly reviving the dormant program and hope to finish with four straight wins. Thus, his big game against Panther Valley has earned him Times News Football Player of the Week.

Stan Dakosty, the venerable and highly respected coach, commented during the season, “give me 11 Matty Martin’s and we’re good to go.” In other words, Martin is a special type of player who can lead his team to wins.

After Friday’s commanding 28-12 win against rival Panther Valley, Dakosty was beaming about Martin’s performance. “He is a terrific running back who gets the job done.”

Make that dependable, too.

“Matty is a true-student athlete, a hard-worker and a determined player,” Dakosty said.

What is often overlooked about the 5-11, 210-pound junior is his linebacker play.

“(Matt) is a very good defensive player; he’s the type of kid that not only sets the tone for us on offense, too,” said Dakosty.

A year ago, Martin was running as a fullback, but with such quick feet and vision, the coaching staff moved him to the tailback slot. Dakosty said one of the reasons for Martin’s success lies with fullback Joey Walko.

“Our offensive line is maturing, and Joey has been the big reason at fullback for getting Matty blocks so that he can hit the hole go inside and outside,” Dakosty explained.

Martin loves the new look at his position, but it took a few games to adjust.

“I needed to not go into the piles; I needed to read the field better,” Martin explained. “It took me two games to learn how to read better, whether to go outside or inside. But each game I’m adjusting, and my offensive line has been a big reason for the success.”

Martin said that his night against the Panthers was a high-water performance thus far in his career.

“By far my best,” Martin said when asked about his numbers.

Yet, he said playing linebacker is fun, too.

“Overall, this has been a great experience, I love to hit people playing (linebacker),” Martin continued. “Win or lose, our coaching staff has been great, and we really can see the improvement from the beginning of the season up until now. It’s been fun, too.”

Martin loves his burgers, the Patriots football team and someday would like to fly planes.

“I thought about the military, whether it’s the Air Force or the Navy, because I’d love to (learn) to fly a plane,” said the standout student. “And, yes I’d love to play college football if I get the opportunity.”

For sure, Martin will get plenty of opportunities as the road is still ahead of him in his flourishing high school career.

There are two more games left to play this season - Friday hosting Pine Grove, then a contingency game at home in Week 11 with Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech.

Not to mention 2022 as well.