It was one for the record books.
And Marty McFarland has the football to prove it.
The Abraham Lincoln High School senior scored three touchdowns and grabbed an interception on defense in the Railsplitters’ 33-0 thumping of Olney Charter High School on Friday afternoon — a feat worthy of receiving the game ball.
“It was great! It’s an incredible feeling. This is my first one!” an ecstatic McFarland said after coach Ed McGettigan tossed the football his way. “This one is for my mom.”
His mother, Kisha, had plenty to be proud of after her son’s electrifying performance on Sept. 30. McFarland, a 5-foot-6, 170-pound fullback, caught three passes for 102 yards, rushed for 14 more, and recorded three touchdowns, one interception and eight tackles — helping his squad improve its record to 2-1 in the Public League Silver Division.
“This was one for the books. He had a great game — three touchdowns, one interception and a lot of great tackles,” said McGettigan. “He’s a special player when he puts his mind to it. He’s a very good player.”
The Railsplitters dominated last week’s matchup from the start. Junior Khalil Walker returned the opening kick for a 75-yard sprint into the end zone, giving Lincoln a 6-0 lead within the first 15 seconds of game action.
McFarland was the next to strike, snagging a 47-yard pass from junior quarterback Miguel Sanchez for his first touchdown of the day. Senior Joshua McClam — who leads the Railsplitters in scoring with 36 points — scored with 1:02 remaining in the first quarter. Kicker Amir Alberouki was 3-for-3, allowing the Railsplitters a 21-0 cushion after the first 12 minutes of the game.
The second quarter was non-productive for both squads, plagued mostly by penalties. McFarland did punch in another TD with seven seconds remaining in the half. The Railsplitters’ attempt of a two-point conversion was unsuccessful, but they still went into halftime with a 27-0 lead.
Four minutes into the second half, McFarland intercepted Olney quarterback Ericke Taggart’s pass. Two plays later, with the Railsplitters’ offense on the field, he was celebrating a touchdown in the end zone once again.
By the middle of the third quarter, Lincoln’s coaches decided to give most of their junior varsity players a taste of varsity action. The rest of the game was a slightly messy and penalty-filled battle.
Final score: Abraham Lincoln, 33; Olney Charter, 0.
McFarland certainly was the star of the day, but not without help from quarterback Sanchez, who went 4-for-7 for 103 yards and a touchdown. McClam rushed for 79 yards — improving his season total to a team-high 279.
“It was a great game. It was cool that everyone got in and was able to play,” said McFarland. “We worked as a team, and it was our day. We have a good team here. We’re a hard-working team. We stick together.”
With the win, Lincoln improved to a 2-1 record in league play and 3-2 overall. As the Times went to press this week, the Railsplitters were preparing to travel to Edison High School for a Thursday game.
ldquo;I think we have to continue to keep our head in the game and work together,” said McFarland. “Hard work and dedication — that’s what it’s all about. If we continue to do that, I think we can take it all the way.”
McFarland has been on the Railsplitters’ varsity squad for three seasons. Although Lincoln struggled last year, compiling a 1-5 league record (5-7 overall), McFarland racked up some impressive numbers. He led his team both in rushing (323 yards) and scoring (48 points).
The 17-year-old McFarland plans to continue his athletic and academic careers in college. He wants to major in engineering.
For now, though, his eyes are fixed on the ultimate prize — winning a Public League championship.
“We’re trying to build every week and we continue to work hard,” said McFarland. “We want to win it all.” ••
Editor Melissa Yerkov can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org