It was almost like a scene straight out of “Rudy.”
In the waning minutes of Dixie’s 48-7 victory over Hurricane, the Flyers found themselves on the Tiger 1-yard line.
An excited air swept through the Dixie sidelines and shouts began to be heard.
“Come on, Alex.”
“Let’s go, Martinez.”
Seldom used senior Alex Martinez took a handoff and busted his way into the end zone. While the touchdown was essentially meaningless, no one informed the Flyers of that.
If anyone missed Dixie’s state championship celebration from last year, they got to see something similar when Martinez crossed the goalline.
“Martinez is just that spirit on the team that we just love,” Dixie quarterback Zak Harrah said. “It was probably one of the best things I have ever seen to see him get a touchdown. I mean, everyone was just going wild — it was the greatest thing.”
Martinez isn’t the biggest kid. He’s not the strongest or the fastest, but what he brings to the Dixie team can’t be measured in yards and touchdowns.
“He comes to every practice, work his butt off, doesn’t get to play very much, so as soon as we got a shot for him, we took it,” Dixie coach Andy Stokes said. “We love him. He deserved it. He cheers louder than everybody — we just gave him an opportunity.”
Well, he usually cheers louder than everybody because on this night the loudest yells were reserved for him.
When Martinez ran back to the sideline after his crowning moment, he was greeted with hugs from his teammates and coaches. He’s used to being on the other side of those celebrations.
“He doesn’t play much, but he’s always there just cheering us on,” Harrah said. “He’s just that humble spirit on our team that we love.”
Martinez’s moment was there for the taken because of a hot start from Dixie. A week after losing to Snow Canyon 38-23, the Flyers came out with something to prove jumping out to a 34-0 lead at halftime. The win puts the Flyers back in the drivers seat for the 3AA South title. Dixie can clinch the championship with a win over Pine View on Oct. 23.
“It was a great win,” Harrah said. “It gets us back on our feet. Our backs were against the wall before today.”
But as much as the win meant for the Flyers in terms of a region championship and playoff seeding, that all took a back seat on Friday, when their own version of Rudy finally got some glory.
Follow Ryan Miller on Twitter, @millerjryan.