MASON, Mich. (WLNS) – For Mason’s AJ Martel, when he scores once he scores a bunches. On Friday, the sophomore scored his 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th touchdown of the season. Making it his second four-touchdown game this year. The other came in Week 3 against Williamston.
His final stat line against Lansing Eastern was 186 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
“It’s kind of surreal,” Martel said. “You don’t expect to score four touchdowns in a game, but we all did our job, great blocks upfront.”
Mason football coach, Gary Houghton, said, “He had some really nice games earlier in the season and it was just a matter of everything coming together with our blocking. He makes some great cuts. He’s got some great acceleration. So, I’m very impressed with his poise as a sophomore.”
To make it even more impressive – his performance on Friday and this season – Martel has done it all with a fractured hand. He’s been sporting a cast on his right hand all season, and even that hasn’t affected his coach’s confidence to give him the rock.
“I think it had a lot to do with what he did for us in the off-season,” Houghton said. “He was there for everything, every lifting, every session that we had where we would work on skill guys. And he really impressed me in track with his speed.”
Both of AJ’s parents are teachers, and his dad is the wrestling coach at Mason. With that strong balance of academics and athletics in the Martel household, Houghton possesses a lot of trust in Martel, despite him being just a sophomore.
“He’s one of the smartest, with football IQ and classroom IQ, that I’ve ever coached,” Houghton said. “He knows everybody’s job out there.”
“I love football. So, I’m very based around football, but at the same time, you know, my dad’s a teacher so I’m super into getting good grades,” Martel said. “Having that background of studying and putting your whole mind into something, pays off a ton out there.”