With the post-game talks from each of his coaches finished, Woodbridge head coach Gary Wortham called out one final name before it was time leave the football field.
It was the name everyone expected and waited in anticipation for. Wortham requested Charley Martin come forward and receive the game ball.
The soccer player turned first-time football player deserved the honor. He kicked the extra point that gave the visiting Vikings a 31-30 Cardinal District win over Forest Park in double overtime. The senior also booted a 33-yard field goal in the first overtime that put the Vikings (1-0, 2-2) up 24-21. It was his first successful field-goal attempt this season.
His first-ever field-goal attempt came with 0.2 seconds left in regulation when his 47-yard kick was short and wide left. With time expired, the game went into overtime.
Martin hoped for a chance to redeem himself and Wortham assured him he’d be fine as long as he maintained a short memory.
Woodbridge received the ball first in overtime from the 10-yard line, but was stopped three times by a formidable Forest Park defense. With Christian Boone snapping and Josh Ramirez holding, Martin calmly kicked the ball through the uprights.
“I felt like I could have made the field goal in regulation,” Martin said. “The team put me in position. I did not follow through. They got me in position again and I kept focused.”
Forest Park sent the game into the second overtime after Jaiden Dominguez kicked a 20-yard field goal.
In the second overtime, Forest Park (0-1, 1-4) got the ball first and scored on its first play when quarterback Justice San Agustin ran right up the middle and scored on a 10-yard run. Woodbridge blocked the extra-point attempt.
Taking over possession, Viking quarterback Nazir Armstrong ran 10 yards on second down to tie the game at 30, setting up Martin’s game-winning kick.
Wortham knew nothing about Martin when he showed up in the spring for conditioning. But he’s become impressed with him as a student (he carries a 4.2 grade point average) and as kicker.
“He’s special,” Wortham said. “He’s a smart kid and he has a good leg. We’re going to find him a place for him to play [in college].”
Martin and Wortham credited first-year kicking coach Jake Smith with developing all the kickers. Smith is a Forest Park graduate who kicked at Sacred Heart.
Martin decided to come out for two reasons.
Two of his friends, Ramirez and Bryce King, were on Woodbridge’s team. Plus, he thought the Vikings needed help.
After returning kicker Carter Gilley missed much of the preseason with an injury, Martin received more playing time.
When Gilley took on the punter duties, Martin remained the kicker for field goals and extra points.
“He really stepped up,” Wortham said.