Martin cruised past Tekonsha on Friday night, 68-6 in their opening playoff game. It was offensive fireworks early and often for the Clippers. On the third play from scrimmage, JR Hildebrand broke loose for a 60-yard run to the endzone. He ended the game with 140 yards rushing on six carries, scoring two touchdowns. He topped that performance by throwing a school record 6 passing touchdowns. The previous record was set held by three Martin quarterbacks, including current coach Brad Blauvelt. Hildebrand finished 11 for 17 passing for 188 yards with 6 touchdown throws.
Karter Ribble played running back this week and made a big impact rushing with 84 yards on just four carries. He was explosive through the line a scrimmage and hit a couple big runs. Karter was on the receiving end of one of Hildebrand’s touchdown throws, an 11-yard connection. Taegan Harris also had a big night catching two touchdown passes and racking up 108 yards receiving. Drake Buell also caught two touchdown passes for Martin. TE Sam Jager added an 18-yard touchdown reception. Finally, sophomore Gavin Meyers rushed for a 70-yard touchdown.
On defense, Chris Tuinstra led the way with 8 tackles. JR Hildebrand and Drake Buell added 7 tackles apiece. Sam Jaeger chipped in with 5 tackles. “We played much better as a defensive unit this week,” Brad Blauvelt shared. “We played together, and we played fast. We got 8 guys to the ball numerous times. The night was full of big plays on offense and 3 and outs on defense. Our mentality was to play fast tonight and not slow down on both sides of the ball. We wanted to come out and throw the ball.”
The commitment to the aerial attack was partly in preparation for next week’s showdown with Adrian Lenawee Christian. “We know we will have to throw this coming week to be successful. I’m proud of our performance, we have some things to clean up in practice this week (just like every week). Adrian (Lenawee Christian) has knocked us out of the playoffs the last two years, we’ve been waiting to get another shot at them for a year now.”