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CdM's Martin packs a punch

Daily Pilot High School Football Player of the Week

Junior tailback, who credits offensive line, rushed 33 times for 194 yards and two TDs in win against Newport Harbor.

September 26, 2013|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
(KEVIN CHANG / Daily…)

The T-shirt with "F.I.S.T." right across the front is the one tailback Cole Martin is working on adding to his wardrobe. Each of his offensive linemen at Corona del Mar High has one.

The T-shirt is really for the big guys.

Dennis Wilbanks, the offensive line coach, came up with the T-shirt. The acronym on the T-shirt stands for "Five Is Strong Together."

The five represents the left tackle, left guard, center, right guard and right tackle. Martin is the first to tell you those five are responsible for his success whenever he runs with the ball.

Going into this week, the five paved the way for Martin to rush for 650 yards, the third-highest total in Orange County this year.

One of the five isn't with the team right now.

Coach Scott Meyer says Quinn Bassler, the left tackle, had his tonsils removed Saturday. Almost 10 hours after Bassler blocked for Martin in a game, Meyer says Bassler went into surgery.

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Meyer says Bassler's tonsils bothered him for the past four weeks, but the senior wanted to play through one more game before he underwent surgery. Bassler wanted to start in the Battle of the Bay game against Newport Harbor and end the Sea Kings' six-game losing streak in the rivalry.

Bassler showed up as he always does, ready. Martin marveled at his high pain threshold. One of the linemen who got his tonsils taken out three years ago couldn't believe Bassler kept playing.

"My tonsils weren't as big as his were," says Giovanni Gentosi, a senior center. "His throat was almost closed.

"He could like barely breathe."

In the second half, the Sailors were the ones trying to catch their breaths.

Bassler helped CdM wear down the Sailors, allowing Martin to rush 33 times for 194 yards and two touchdowns in the Sea Kings' 34-14 win at Orange Coast College. When it ended, with the Sea Kings (4-0) celebrating their first Battle of the Bay triumph in seven years, Gentosi told Bassler, "Good luck."

Bassler had surgery scheduled the next morning. Gentosi knew it wouldn't be easy for Bassler to chew food after the surgery.

At least he went into the surgery with memories of Martin chewing up yards after halftime. The junior carried the ball 19 times for 132 yards and two touchdowns in the second half.

The second half is when the Sea Kings dominated, outscoring the Sailors, 27-0.

They took it to a team that used many two-way players. They never let up, not even on the Sea Kings' final drive. With the game already determined, the offense punched it in with 80 seconds left.

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