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Max Martin, Farmington spoil debut of Ypsilanti Lincoln's new field

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Ypsilanti Lincoln fell to Farmington in its first game on its new turf field on Friday night.

Ypsilanti — Max Martin ran for two touchdowns and threw for another to help Farmington ruin Ypsilanti Lincoln’s debut on its new grey and blue turf Friday night, 35-14.

Martin was forced to play his senior year at Farmington after Farmington Hills Harrison closed its doors this past June.

And Farmington head coach Kory Cioroch had to be pleased with the addition of the 6-foot-4, 200-pound Martin, who hurt Lincoln with his arm and legs and did some damage from his safety position as well.

“I love it here, excited to just be a part of this,” Martin said of playing for Farmington, which advanced to the Division 3 regional finals last year. “I feel we can start a run for Farmington and make sure they’re well known for football.”

Farmington (3-0) — which played without Wisconsin-bound linebacker Jordan Turner (injured foot) — jumped on Lincoln for a 14-0 lead, scoring on drives of 65 and 64 yards in the opening quarter.

First, Farmington took advantage of a Lincoln roughing the passer penalty that took place after Stevie Guerriero’s third-down pass from midfield was incomplete.

Farmington took advantage after getting the first down at Lincoln’s 35 with Greg Moore breaking loose for 25 yards to the 5, setting up Keion Shaw’s 3-yard touchdown.

After Farmington stopped a Lincoln drive by forcing a fourth-down completion, Martin directed a 12-play, 64-yard drive and converted one third-and-7 play with a screen pass to Shaw for 12 yards. Shaw also rushed for 31 yards on six carries, leading to Martin’s 5-yard touchdown run with 1:09 left in the first for a 14-0 cushion.

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Farmington held a 20-9 advantage in plays and a 129-37 cushion in total yards after the first quarter.

Farmington had a chance to take command early in the second when defensive back Alan Roberson stepped in front of a Lincoln receiver, intercepted the pass and returned it 20 yards to the Lincoln 44.

Farmington advanced to the Lincoln 26, but on a fourth-and 4 Martin’s pass was knocked down by Lincoln’s Malachi Locke in the right corner of the end zone.

The fourth-down stop gave Lincoln momentum, and after a horse-collar penalty quarterback Ethan Rose found Nygel Hargrave for a 65-yard touchdown pass midway through the second quarter.

And Lincoln (2-1) scored again three minutes later after Jaheem Treadwell intercepted Martin’s pass at the Lincoln 38 on Farmington's ensuing drive. That led to Kyjuan Rice’s 52-yard pass to Locke to the Farmington 12. Lincoln extended the drive when Jordan Collier picked up two yards on a fourth-and-1, then scored on the next play from a yard out to pull even at 14 with 2:52 left in the half.

Farmington scored off a turnover as well when a fumbled punt gave Martin a short field to work with at the Lincoln 18. Martin quickly took advantage with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Jacody Sikora for a 21-14 lead with 24 seconds remaining.

“I can make plays like that, just have to work on doing it more often and stay focused throughout,” Martin said. “It meant a lot to me because it let me end the half on a high note after that interception I threw. I was real happy Jacody could make the catch. He’s a great athlete and I really appreciate it.”

The new turf did the job with a thunderstorm and another downpour hitting the area in the afternoon, which left mud and puddles outside the field but perfect conditions on it.

Still, the second half was delayed by a half hour due to lightning.

When play resumed, Farmington dominated, forcing Lincoln to two three-and-outs and then putting the ball in Martin’s hands.

And Martin broke loose for two big runs, a 26-yarder to set up his 27-yard scoring run that opened up a 28-14 lead with 2:53 left in the third.

Then, Farmington scored on the first play of the fourth quarter when Shaw scored on a 62-yard run to extend the lead to 35-14.

“We got into the locker room (at halftime) and we had a deep conversation that we had to come out with that energy,” Shaw said. “We went up 14-0 and gave up those two deep balls and we weren’t happy about it. We strive very hard on our defense. Coach told me that he was going to feed me the ball in the second half and I did what I had to do.”

And, on that 62-yard touchdown run?

“I have to give it up to my line because without them it wouldn’t be possible, and once my line split that hole, my fullback (Andre Wardlaw) hit that linebacker and there was nothing but green light,” Shaw said.

Shaw finished with 152 yards on 22 carries. Martin rushed for 100 yards on 10 carries as Farmington piled up more than 350 yards on the ground.

“They are so physical,” Lincoln coach Chris Westfall said of Farmington. “We didn’t get anything going in those first two drives (of second half) and just started to wear out. And mistakes hurt us. We had them three-and-out (on game’s opening drive) and rough the passer. We had penalties and turnovers and you can’t beat a good team doing that.”