October 6, 2013

Eastern Maine Notebook: Hampden QB bound for mound

By Dale Duff
Special to the Telegram

HAMPDEN - Here is how Hampden Academy football coach Kevin Canty describes his quarterback, Matt Martin.

"He's a quarterback that pitches but he doesn't throw (the football) like a quarterback who pitches."

Say what?

Canty is referring to Martin's mechanics of throwing a baseball close to 90 mph but also throwing a football down the field 35 yards with pinpoint accuracy. Canty said not many athletes can do that.

"It's his arm strength and his release. He has great mechanics,"said Canty.

Friday night, Martin led his Broncos to a fourth consecutive win, 21-13 over Lawrence. Martin threw for 103 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for another 116 yards.

Martin's season totals are impressive: 44 of 84 for 984 yards, and 17 TDs. Not bad considering he didn't play in the season- opening loss to Mt.Blue.

And not bad for a kid still playing baseball on Sundays.

"I go up to the UMaine campus and throw some. A bunch of local high school players are playing some fall ball on Sundays," said Martin.

Martin, a senior, has verbally committed to play baseball at UMaine next year but admits he's having fun with football.

"I love basketball too. Whatever sport I'm in, that's what I love," he said.

His coach believes Martin also could play college football. Canty is a former college offensive lineman, who spent the past seven years as a college coach, the last two at Husson.

"Matt is a great leader. Terrific arm. He has a knack for the game,"said Canty. "I commend Matt and all our players for buying into our new system when I came on board this summer."

Canty brought in a college- style spread offense.

"He told us the offense was going to pass a lot and I was more than fine with that," said Martin.

So was offensive lineman Cam Prescott, who captains the crew that protects Martin.

"We have a saying, 'linemen lead the way.' I think that's the most true statement on the football field," said Prescott. "Matt always seems to thread the needle and get the ball in there. He's fun to block for."

The fun continues Friday night when Martin and his Broncos meet Ben Lucas and Cony (4-1). Combined, the quarterbacks have thrown nearly 250 times in five games. 

GIRLS' SOCCER: Bangor (8-0), the defending Eastern Class A champ, through eight games has given up just two goals despite losing starting keeper Cordelia Stewart to a knee injury before the season. 

BOYS' SOCCER: Easton (10-0-1) is ranked No. 1 in Eastern Class D and in the middle of the state's longest layoff because of the potato harvest break. After beating Washburn 4-0 on Sept. 16, the Bears don't play again until Oct. 15th -- a 28-day break.

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