Latest loss to UC finishes Martin
Posted: Friday, October 19, 2012 12:01 pm
By MIKE HUTCHENS
Sadly for Martin, the outcome of its second game this season with Union City was no different than the first.
An 8-6 loss to the Golden Tornadoes Tuesday night in the TMSAA playoffs immediately ended the Panthers 2012 football season.
Martin concluded the year with a 4-4 record.
Much like their first meeting — a 28-20 Panther loss in which UC rallied with 20 second-half points to win — Tuesday’s rematch was close.
In fact, a two-point conversion — made by the Tornadoes and missed by Martin — was the ultimate difference.
“We should’ve gotten that two-point play,” veteran MMS head coach Mike Stigall said afterward. “We missed an opportunity there in the second quarter to get some points, and that turned out to be critical, too.”
After a scoreless first half, Union City’s Jalen Crumble bolted 31 yards up the middle on a trap play at the 2:30 mark of the third quarter.
The Tornadoes’ Jeremy Bumpus was ruled to have barely dented the goal line on the ensuing conversion, a critical play in the final outcome.
Martin answered with its best drive of the night, a 10-play, 63-yard march that was culminated when Joe Perry fought his way into the endzone from the one with 5:16 left in the contest.
A pair of 13-yard pass completions from McKinney Baker to Tavin Holland were critical in the march, while D.J. Coffman, the Panthers’ leading rusher with 50 yards on nine carries, had a 17-yard gainer in the drive.
On the two-point play following Perry’s score, Coffman was snowed under after taking a direct snap and trying the left side of the line.
MMS never got the ball back again.
Union City ate up the remaining time with a 10-play drive that reached the Martin 14 before the host team took a knee to kill of the final seconds. Jeremy Bumpus had 46 of his 115 rushing yards in that sequence, including two big conversions.
The Panthers missed out on their other chance for points in the first half after a pretty 46-yard pass completion from Perry to Holland advanced the ball to the UC 16 late in the second quarter.
A false start penalty and two tackles for lost yards by Tornado defensive lineman Santiago Ruiz set the Weakley Countians back, though, and a fourth-down pass try intended for Holland from Perry was batted down.
Stigall had respectful words for both Martin’s opponent and his own troops afterward.
“Bobby (UC head coach Bobby Williams) has a good group over there,” the Martin skipper said. “Us being familiar with them from the regular season probably had a lot to do with the fact that there wasn’t more scoring.
“As far as us, we had some injuries this year. We’ve had seven kids who either missed time or were lost for the season at some point. But I’m proud of my team and that we played hard until the end.”
Stigall said he would graduate “28 or 29” eighth-graders on to high school with just 13 members of this year’s squad returning next year. Published in The WCP 10.18.12