CYPRESS – The Texas high school playoffs are packed with unforgettable moments and on Saturday afternoon in Cypress, Cole Martin stepped up for his moment.
Temple’s junior kicker calmly took his opportunity in the spotlight and nailed a 42-yard field goal as time expired, giving the #4 ranked Wildcats a thrilling 38-35 victory over previously unbeaten and #2 ranked Ft. Bend Ridge Point.
Following a perfect hold from placeholder Tyler Hannon and after watching the football sail through the uprights, Martin fell to the ground and in seconds was mobbed by his Wildcat teammates in a dog pile to be remembered by all.
With the victory, Temple (11-1) advances to the state quarterfinals to face Richmond’s George Ranch Longhorns (12-1) next weekend. George Ranch defeated Bryan 48-13 to advance.
Ridge Point came into today’s game having given up only 108 points the entire season. But on this day, the Wildcat offense would prove to be a much more difficult challenge. Temple moved down the field quickly on their first possession as quarterback Chad President found Aaron Freeman for 53 yards setting the Wildcats up inside the Panther 15 yard line. However, the drive ended with President throwing the first of three interceptions on the day.
Following a Panther turnover on downs, Jeff Carr who rushed for 77 yards on 21 carries, bolted through the Panther defense for a 15 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Temple lead with 7:22 left in the first.
Temple went up 14-0 in the second quarter as President hit Davion Curtis on a 65 yard touchdown pass with 9:34 remaining. Curtis would be President’s top target of the day with 6 receptions for 177 yards and two touchdowns.
Ridge Point answered with its first score on the day, a Cedric Horton 5-yard run making it 14-7.
Temple would match that score 60 seconds later as Jeff Carr’s 47 yard catch-and-run set up Marques Hatcher to barrel in from 15 yards out giving the Wildcats a 21-7 lead with 6:09 left in the half. Hatcher finished with 86 yards on 13 carries.
Ridge Point pulled within 21-14 on a KeShawn Ledet 2 yard run with 2:37 remaining.
Temple responded once again as President found Chris Minter wide open in the middle from 21 yards out giving the Wildcats a 28-14 halftime lead.
Ridge Point scored on their first possession of the second half, and Temple struck back two plays later. Chad President once again connected with Jeff Curtis, this time for a 73 yard touchdown strike with 9:23 left in the third giving Temple a 35-21 lead.
Martin’s moment was set up when Ridge Point knotted the game at 35 on a Remus Bulmer 47 yard touchdown run with 5:21 remaining. Both teams traded possessions with the Wildcat defense forcing a Panther three and out with 1:55 remaining in the game.
Starting at their own 29 yard line, President hit Carr for 22 yards, putting the Wildcats in Panther territory at the 46 yd line. The Ridge Point defense stiffened and Temple was facing a 4th and 7 with only 14 ticks remaining in the game.
Temple decided to go for it and President scrambled up the middle for 10 yards, picking up the first down with 9 seconds left to play. Needing at least ten more yards, President hit Davion Curtis for 11 yards to the Panther 25. With a quick time out and four seconds remaining, the stage was set for Martin. Following a Panther timeout, on his day, Cole Martin did not disappoint. His game winning field goal led to a raucous celebration by all who wore Wildcat blue at The Berry Center.
Along with President finding Curtis and Minter for touchdowns, Carr had four receptions for 79 yards, Hannon had 3 for 35 and Freeman had 2 for 65 yards. President was 16 for 27 with a total 377 yards passing for the day.
This week’s fourth round game will be the first for Temple since 1993. That year the Wildcats fell to Lewisville in the state semifinals. Temple’s state quarterfinal matchup with George Ranch will be Saturday December 6th at the Kelly Reeves Complex in Round Rock. Kickoff is set for 2:00.