By Jerry Del Priore
However, the injury hobbled him and his play, as the third seeded Vikings failed to muster up any offense in their 10-0 loss to No. 6 Erasmus Hall in the PSAL City Conference quarterfinals Saturday at home.
The South Shore coaching staff has sang the praises of Martin all season long, saying as he goes, so do the Vikings. So, with him at less than 100 percent, he still managed to give a great effort, according to head coach Matt Ciquera.
“He’s the best player in the city, in my opinion,” Ciquera said. “It was very unfortunate he got hurt on our very first offensive drive. It clearly affected us for the rest of the game, but I think he did a great job. He didn’t want to come out, as he was playing with heart, playing for his brothers. I am very proud of him.”
The Dutchmen scored the game’s lone touchdown on a jump ball score late in the first half, with the successful two-point conversion staking them to an 8-0 lead.
South Shore’s defense played well, and kept them in the game, but its offense couldn’t sustain a consistent drive, as dropped passes and overthrows led to team-wide frustration.
Digging a deeper hole, a snap over Martin’s head deep in Vikings’ territory resulted in a safety and 10-0 advantage early in the fourth quarter.
South Shore was able to move the ball into Erasmus’ red zone. Prime to score, however, running back Omar Jarrett had one Erasmus defender to beat, but a good open field tackle caused him to fumble, which the Dutchmen recovered at the Vikings’ 15-yardline.
Although eliminated from the playoffs, Ciquera found the proverbial silver lining, considering South Shore is just two years removed from the Bowl Conference.
“This is a great group of kids,” the fifth-year coach explained. “You can’t say too many teams that moved from the Bowl Division two years ago that have had undefeated (regular) seasons. So these guys will always be in my heart for that regardless.
“Obviously, it didn’t end the way we wanted it to end. But these guys gave everything they had—from January weight lifting through Big Apple (games), through the season, all the way to one of the last eight teams in the city, going 10-1 is nothing to sneeze at.”