Friday Night Faceoff: Martin Football is the 'Death Star' of DFW
Are you ready for this week's Friday Night Faceoff?
Each week, WFAA.com brings you live coverage of a top high school football matchup in the DFW area. Follow along with high schools contributor Reece Kelley Graham (@ReeceKelleyG) as he provides updates on the teams throughout the week, plus live coverage on social media and the postgame recap.
There's lots of games on Friday, but join us at @wfaasports on Twitter for updates on the biggest games throughout the Metroplex!
Week 7's matchup: Arlington Martin at Mansfield
Who: Arlington Martin Warriors (5-0, 2-0 District 4-6A) at Mansfield Tigers (4-1, 2-0 District 4-6A)
Where: Mansfield's Vernon Newsom Stadium – 7:30 p.m.
For the past two seasons, Mansfield High School has been schooling everyone – regardless of the district the Tigers were playing in.
In 2015, Mansfield surprised everyone and took District 8, which at that time was home to perennial powers like DeSoto and Cedar Hill. The Tigers went 6-0 in district play and made it all the way to the Division II state semifinals.
Mansfield owned a new group of teams after moving to District 4 last season, once again going undefeated and going over four Arlington teams in the process.
Playing up a class from other Mansfield teams, the Tigers have done very well for themselves at the expense of teams from outside their city limits.
Arlington Martin has taken exception, and is ready to return the favor.
While Mansfield might be the defending champ, Martin is playing like a state champ. The Warriors enter this week's matchup undefeated – and none of those games were very close.
This game probably decides the district champion. Who's ready?
Here's what you need to know about Arlington Martin
Last season, District 4-6A, to be frank about it, was pretty mediocre.
Mansfield went undefeated and took the district crown with ease. Everyone else was sitting somewhere around the .500 mark. Arlington went 5-2 in district, but was 6-5 overall.
And then there was this Martin team, who was getting less attention despite having the same record and number of district wins as Arlington. The Warriors won their last four before fizzling out in the first round of the playoffs.
Still, this team was intriguing.
If only we knew the monster they would become.
With a winning margin of +172, Martin has made going over even the best competition look easy. And the Warriors have been pretty cerebral in the process.
A 57-26 win over Skyline.
A 17-point win over Southlake Carroll.
A 19-point win over South Grand Prairie.
And last but not least, two straight weeks of thumping the teams in the district's basement.
The Warriors are like the Death Star from 'Star Wars.' You didn't know they were there until they blew up your planet. They even dress in black, just like The Empire.
Last week, Martin practically turned Cravens Field into a crime scene. The Warriors destroyed Fort Worth Paschal 76-0. Brutality at its finest.
Two words: Juma Otoviano.
The dual-threat quarterback has been listed by some as an athlete, as a running back – doesn't matter, this kid can play.
As a ball carrier with tremendous vision and balance, once Otoviano hits a hole, there's little a defense can do to stop him. He seems almost impossible to tackle. I'm not trying to give the kid a big head or anything, just saying the film is really, really impressive.
He's rushed for 540 yards and 14 touchdowns, averaging close to eight yards per carry. He can also air the ball out, passing for close to 700 yards on the season.
Anybody who can attack you in so many different ways should be feared. The Warriors average 51 points per game, and it all starts with Juma...
...And a fantastic offensive line that gives him more space than he needs. Jacob Holland and tight end Brayden Willis do a great job leading this group.
Otoviano took over for Matthew Cook, who played quarterback for Martin last season. Cook was one of only four departures on offense, meaning the Warriors retained a lot of experience.
Willis has been the primary target in the passing game, averaging 23 yards on his 17 receptions. He leads the team in receiving and is approaching 400 receiving yards already.
An offense with a dual-threat QB and an elite TE... the ultimate head scratcher.
Wide receivers Sorrell Brown, Kentrell Smith and Chaise Neilsen average around 15 yards per catch as well.
Otoviano overshadows running back Montrell Smith, who's actually averaging more yards per rush than the QB. He has fewer touches and scores, but he and Otoviano make for the perfect one-two punch. Antwone Parker is another 100-yard rusher.
Martin's defense is giving up less than 17 points per game. This group knows how to demoralize an opponent.
Kansas State commit Spencer Trussell is a beast and doesn't give QBs much time to make a decision. The defensive end penetrates into the backfield in a hurry.
Linebackers Darrell Wair and Kelvin Spencer might be the best defensive duo in the district. Keelan Chilton isn't someone you'd want to throw towards often.
I'm just a football writer, and even I'm scared of this team. Not only are the Warriors solid in all the traditional areas, but also provide so many unique challenges.
Five DFW teams have already felt their wrath. Mansfield could be next.