Ohio State 2017 quarterback commitment Tate Martell, a two-time national champion at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, has agreed to do a weekly journal of his senior season with the Gaels prior to his college enrollment in January.
I’ve been a part of two straight national title teams and have played against a number of good teams and in a number of big games, but last week I played in the craziest game of my entire life. I’ve played in multiple nail-biting games but none as scary as last Friday’s game against St. Thomas Aquinas was.
They were a very talented team up front, maybe even better than we expected them to be, and we expected them to be really good. It is difficult to do anything against teams with a great front seven and on offense we weren’t clicking like we can. We got things going against their defense a little more than in the first half but the adjustments that they made were really great. They were a great team and confident, just like we are, so there was a lot of crap talking throughout the whole game, but that was what I expected from a team like that because I know that’s how we can be, too.
Those overtimes were the biggest moments of my high school career, and I say that knowing it’s true. For us, to be down to one play, that fourth-and-8, was insane. It was a little scary and a lot of pressure to go into that play and know that it was on me to sit in the pocket and go through my reads, and I knew exactly where I was going when I came up to the ball.
I knew I was going to get No. 22 to sit on my tight end, because I had hit him earlier, so I made sure to look at him and hitch up and throw the dig right behind the linebacker and right in front of the safety. We were prepared for the play, all I had to do was throw the ball on time and accurately.
The second overtime somehow was even more stressful. We had the ball first and got all the way down to the 1-yard line but got stopped just inches away on fourth down. Honestly, I was sitting there more hopeless at that point than I’ve ever been in any other game. Our defense, though, wasn’t going let it be easy.
Then Bubba (Bolden) blocked that field goal and I knew it was meant to be, for us to win the game. I couldn’t believe we were going to get another shot but they were going to get the ball first again and we’d have to put the second overtime out of our mind.
Then, in the third overtime, they scored again quickly and we had to step up. I was able to throw another touchdown on the first play and then we were lined up to kick the extra point to head to overtime No. 4, but St. Thomas got an encroachment penalty and I went running to my coach (Kenny) Sanchez and told him “I know we can get this. Let’s go for two,” and we did. The play worked, Biaggio (Ali Walsh) fought his way past the goal line and then it was over, the best game I’ve ever played in. It still feels like it was a little unreal.
I think the craziest thing about it was knowing that it was all on the line, basically one game for everything. All three years of everything we have accomplished, it all kind of fell to just one play, and we got it. It was the best feeling ever winning that game. You couldn’t write a better game out if you were creating a movie.
I felt bad for my future teammate and brother Trevon (Grimes), because I knew he got hurt in the game but at the time I had to focus on the game and getting the win for my team. It’s hard to watch a friend go down and then know you have to worry about something else. It didn’t really hit me until I texted him later that night asking him how he was and stuff and he told me that he would be all good, but it seemed like it was a pretty serious injury at the time. When I found out it was his ACL on Sunday, I texted him again telling him to get better and get ready for us to kill it at Ohio State together. I know everyone sees the stuff on Twitter and the trash talking between teams but a lot of us are going through all this stuff together and you really do get close to people and care about them.
We have to stay focused and finish strong these next few weeks. We’ve made it through the real tough part of our schedule but we can’t overlook any opponents. We’ve always done what we need to do and I know we’ll stay focused.
Thanks for reading everyone. See you next week. –TM–