SELINSGROVE - Martin the Missile.
That was the nickname given to Selinsgrove's Angelo Martin by a couple of radio commentators Friday night. Martin was Selinsgrove's ammunition as he dashed the Milton defense for 179 yards and five touchdowns en route to a 41-18 win over Milton Friday night in the District 4 AAA semi-finals. Selinsgrove will play Jersey Shore next Friday in the District 4 AAA championship game.
If Martin was the missile, his offensive lineman were the tanks as they paved the way for a total of 348 yards, six touchdowns on the ground on 34 carries.
"All week our coaches have been drilling offensive line," said Martin. "They always say it starts up front, it starts up front and you know tonight that really showed. You know we blocked well and that was really, I got to owe it to them."
The offensive line also protected quarterback Isaiah Rapp, as he had all day to throw on his passes and was only sacked once.
"Our offensive line answered back," said Selinsgrove coach Dave Hess. "We've had a lot of problems this year in term of injuries and missing guys. My goodness we had to convert second-string quarterbacks to running back and wide receivers to running backs and we're at a place where we're starting to get a whole lot better right now. We're very young, but they really stepped up tonight and played well and I'm very proud of them."
Martin's five touchdown runs came on carries of 60, 5, 56, 14 and 15. His runs of 60 and 56 came on the first play of his teams drives. Martin also was big in the return game as he retuned kickoff returns for 51 and 42 yards.
Martin wasn't the only running back to benefit from the play of the offensive line, Conner Liesesfield finished the game with 80 yards and a 27 yard touchdown run. Mason Pope also had a big run of 52 yards.
The defense also played well as Nate Bingaman had two sacks, Austin Benner played well in the secondary and the defensive line constantly stuffed the run.
Milton trailed 28-6 early in the third quarter, but it looked liked the Black Panthers were going to make a comeback. Their next drive marched down the field before a two-yard touchdown run by Josh Brown and the offense was beginning to show signs of life, but the defense couldn't contain the Seals ground game.
Quarterback Brady Chappell led the Panther offense, throwing for 217 yards and two touchdowns, both of which went to Greg Shultz.
Milton will lose 16 seniors, including Chappell and Schultz and Milton head coach George Goodwin knows they will be hard to replace.
"It's tough to say goodbye for a variety of reasons," said Goodwin. "Alot of them started both ways, we're pretty depleated as far as next year goes but some of these underclassmen gotta step up and take the reigns and continue the tradition that the seniors built."