POCATELLO – With the 2A State trophy raised above his head, Brady Martin was mobbed by his teammates.
The senior tight end and defensive lineman received the first-place trophy from the coaching staff and let out a celebratory scream after St. Maries (12-0) won its first football state championship Friday after a 31-8 win against Declo at Holt Arena.
“I cannot even put it into words how amazing it felt to be surrounded by my teammates,” Martin said. “We’ve been playing football together since third grade. It was amazing to have them all around me. It’s a feeling I’ll never get again.”
For Martin, the postgame party was deserved.
The senior scored three touchdowns, including a pair of fumble returns, in his final high school game. His 85-yard scoop and score with 55 seconds remaining capped the team’s 31-0 scoring run and sealed the Lumberjacks’ win.
He also found the end zone on his only catch of the game, a 41-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
“It is indescribable,” Martin said. “I cannot believe it. … I never thought I’d play like this.”
After Declo (10-3) running back Keegan Duncan rushed 10 times for 175 yards and a touchdown in the first half, the sophomore carried the ball four times for minus-1yard in the final 24 minutes.
Duncan, who scored a 58-yard run on the Hornets’ first possession, rushed 15 times for 238 yards and three touchdowns last weekend against Aberdeen.
“We worked all week on stopping the run,” Martin said. “We knew (Duncan) was an athlete, but he was only a sophomore, so we didn’t think he had a lot of experience. If we knocked him down a couple times, we could get in his head.”
As a team, Declo totaled 72 yards in the second half after gaining 222 by halftime. The Hornets turned the ball over five times, three of which came inside the Lumberjacks’ 20-yard line.
“We are really good,” Martin said of the defense. “We only allowed eight points. … A lot of games we let teams march down and score. But then we lock in.”
After pulling out of Holt Arena’s parking lot, the Lumberjacks will celebrate their first title at Golden Corral before beginning the 12-hour bus ride home. The team’s last two playoff appearances ended in the quarterfinals.
“It is a little surreal right now,” St. Maries coach Craig Tefft said. “It hasn’t sunk it yet. I’m just so proud of the kids and the community. There are so many people that had their fingers in this.”
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