THRASHED! Turnovers doom Martin in 27-16 loss to Mansfield

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Having a player who can do everything is a blessing.

And on most nights, Arlington Martin quarterback Juma Otoviano is just that.

The dual-threat QB has a seemingly supernatural ability to dodge and break tackles. Under the hum of Friday night lights, Otoviano plays like a superhero.

But as Arlington Martin found out in Week 7, even heroes aren't immune to accidents. While running most of your offense through one player can be a blessing, it can also be a curse.

After reportedly suffering a knee injury sometime during the first half, Otoviano hobbled out to the sideline following the break on crutches. Martin, who led district rival Mansfield 16-14 at halftime, wouldn't score again. The senior QB didn't play another snap on the night. The Warriors would run only eight more plays and fail to gain another first down.

Up against a Tigers team looking to defend its district championship, the tide of Martin's perfect season quickly changed. Smelling blood in the water, Mansfield would score twice in the fourth quarter, taking the 27-16 win.

Mansfield's ground attack was relentless, with Avery Chatman, Jaqulis Coleman and Theo Owens combining for over 200 yards. All three averaged over six yards per carry. Chatman ran for 167 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries while Owens scored twice from inside the red zone.

QB Shawn Hartsfield completed 4-of-8 passes for 52 yards, two of which were hauled in by wide receiver Jackson Gleeson.

Martin's Montrell Smith rushed for 88 yards on 10 carries.

If the Warriors had been able to grab an early lead, they may have held off the ravenous Tigers -- but early turnovers prevent Martin from gaining the upper hand.

On its first drive, Martin marched the ball all the way down to Mansfield's three yard line before losing a fumble. The Tigers did nothing with the ensuing drive, but still, the fumble cost the Warriors time and hopes of striking while the iron was hot.

Mansfield made the stop when Martin got the ball back and the Warriors settled for a field goal.

On Martin's next drive, the backup quarterback came in while Otoviano was being evaluated on the sideline. A pass on second-and-long was picked off, giving Mansfield the ball to begin the second quarter.

Martin would score touchdowns on its next drives, the latter of which came on a 68-yard run by Otoviano, who had returned. But still, there's no telling how differently the game could have played out if the Warriors could have capitalized early.

Meanwhile, Mansfield was taking what Martin was giving them.

Following Martin's first score, Mansfield began pounding the ball. Owens fumbled the ball near midfield, but two Martin defenders kicked the ball for extra yardage instead of falling on it. The Tigers ended up recovering the ball.

Mansfield even had a quick answer for Otoviano's long TD run. Defensive back Cam'Ron Jones returned the following kickoff 98 yards to put Mansfield back within two.

By the time the Tigers had taken a 20-16 lead early in the fourth quarter, another turnover was the last thing Martin needed.

The Warriors muffed the punt, giving Mansfield the ball inside Martin territory. A few more runs by Chatman and another score by Owens was the nail in the coffin.

Otoviano's injury didn't cost Martin the game. The Warriors couldn't find an answer for Mansfield's backs all game long.

With the win, the Tigers take control of District 4-6A. Martin's first loss came at a bad time, but let's hope Otoviano rebounds quickly. 

He can still lead these Warriors deep into the playoffs.

Twitter: @ReeceKelleyG

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