HYPERBOLE would cheapen what St. Joseph's Prep quarterback Chris Martin accomplished this season. Just the facts should suffice.
As the Daily News presents its 2013 All-City football team, the 5-10, 185-pounder is one of the four top honorees. All he did was return from a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee to lead the Hawks to their first PIAA Class AAAA championship.
Martin, the co-Catholic League Player of the Year, injured the knee in the AAAA city final, but returned in the state quarterfinals after missing two games. In his first game back, Martin threw for a career-high 235 yards, which he bested the following week with 243. He also tossed three touchdowns in the 35-10 state-clincher against Pittsburgh Central Catholic.
That three-game run: 37-for-63 (58.7 percent) for 673 yards and seven TDs. For the season, Martin went 152-for-240 (63.3 percent) for 2,208 yards and 27 TDs. Martin, who hopes to play football at Johns Hopkins next season, leaves Prep with 3,414 yards and 39 touchdowns in the air and 971 yards and 14 more scores on the ground.
The turf is also Jarrett McClenton territory. The Archbishop Wood Co-Catholic League Player of the Year led the Vikings to their second PIAA AAA state title in three years with a 40-carry, 238-yard performance against Harrisburg's Bishop McDevitt (both AAAA PIAA championship records).
The 5-8, 160-pound junior running back finished the season with 1,705 yards on 177 carries (9.6 per). He also added 28 ground tallies, two punt returns, one pick-6 and one receiving score. In only 2 years, McClenton owns 2,348 yards and 36 TDs on the ground. Add nine catches, 161 yards and a score in the air. He also has four special-team scores (two punt returns, two kickoff returns. And, don't forget three interceptions.
Well, leave that side of the ball to Imhotep senior, and Public Player of the Year, Deandre Scott. He has it covered. The 5-8, 180-pound safety, who committed to Arizona State, has earned a reputation as one of the hardest hitters in the city.
However, he is also impressive with the ball in his hands.
Scott led the Panthers as they became the first public school to compete for a PIAA football championship. After a 41-0 loss to South Fayette in the finale, Scott finished the season with 429 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
When he wasn't moonlighting as a running back, Scott also notched six interceptions, returned two fumbles for TDs and registered a pick-6. Mr. Versatility also found time for three punt-return TDs and a kickoff return.
In fact, for his career, Scott rushed for 851 yards and nine touchdowns, and can also claim 14 total return touchdowns: six via special teams (two KR, four PR), six pick-6s and two tallies off fumble recoveries. Plus, 13 career interceptions.
Malvern senior Troy Gallen, the Inter-Ac Player of the Year is last, but certainly not least. The 6-0, 175-pound running back set a goal of 1,000 yards coming into this season. The Delaware commit nearly met the mark in his final three games alone.
Not only did the effort help clinch the Friars a share of the Inter-Ac title with the Haverford School, but his 955-yard total during the span represented the best output in three consecutive games in city leagues' history, according to TedSilary.com (West Catholic's Curtis "Boonah" Brinkley had posted 951 in 2003).
For the season, Gallen had 1,536 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns. He added five scoring receptions.
In his three seasons, Gallen amassed 2,230 yards on the ground and 27 scores. He added 890 more in the air and 11 TDs.
Our Coach of the Year is Gabe Infante, of St. Joseph's Prep. Not only did the Hawks earn their first state championship, they also did so despite injuries, little playoff experience and with several underclassmen as key contributors.
Deandre Scott, safety, Imphotep Charter
Jarrett McClenton, running back, Archbishop Wood
Troy Gallen, running back, Malvern Prep.