Northeast Times

A day to remember

Ab­ra­ham Lin­coln seni­or Marty Mc­Far­land scored three touch­downs and grabbed an in­ter­cep­tion on Fri­day af­ter­noon — by far his best per­form­ance of the sea­son.

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 my­erkov@bsmphilly.com  

You can reach at myerkov@bsmphilly.com.

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