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Football: Fairview’s Hill, Martin leaving lasting mark

JEREMY PAPASSO
Fairview’s Sam Martin (left) and Anders Hill will launch one final assault on the state record books when the Knights take on Valor Christian Saturday in the Class 5A state title game at Sports Authority Field.

The numbers speak for themselves.

Fairview quarterback Anders Hill has compiled a statistical line in 2013 that few Colorado signal-callers have ever matched. Fellow senior Sam Martin has done the same at wide receiver, in some instances putting up numbers that simply are unprecedented.

The leaders of the vaunted Fairview offense have much in common. The rapport they share off the field clearly manifests itself with their almost telepathic connection on it. Like their classmates, they boast a sense of responsibility to live up to the proud heritage of Fairview football. Unlike many of their opponents in Saturday’s Class 5A state championship game against Valor Christian, both Hill and Martin have played the 2013 campaign without the comfort of knowing their college destination.

And they have one more thing in common. Those boggling numbers the duo has been putting up? There’s really only one number that matters to either of them. That number is one — the amount of victories remaining that would give Fairview the program’s first state title since 1987.

“I definitely think it’s fun chasing after those records, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about just winning,” Hill said. “We’re going to do whatever it takes to win for the team. If they’re falling off in coverage, I’m not going to complain about running the ball 50 times a game. If that’s what it’s going to take to win the game, that’s what it’s all about.”

After seeing only limited duty as a sophomore two seasons ago and having his 2012 junior season shortened by a fractured ankle, Hill will fall short of leaving the sort of mark Martin is making in the state’s career record book. Yet Hill’s assault on the best single-season numbers in Colorado history during his magical senior year has been no less impressive.

Hill’s 261 completions is the second-best total in state history, trailing only the 293 recorded by former Fairview star Taylor Tharp during the Knights’ state runner-up season of 2002. Hill’s 383 attempts is the third highest single-season mark in state history, and to put that in perspective, Tharp’s state record of 484 attempts means Hill has done his damage in 101 fewer attempts than the former Fairview star.

With 3,659 passing yards, Hill already has surpassed Tharp’s best single-season mark to move into fourth-place in the state’s all-time single-season list. Hill needs 191 yards to pass former Silver Creek star and current Washington State quarterback Austin Apodaca for third-place.

Add to Hill’s totals 224 rushing yards and a 39-yard reception — which he made on a double pass from Johnny Feauto during last week’s semifinal win against ThunderRidge — and Hill’s 3,922 yards of total offense this season ranks sixth in state history, trailing Apodaca by 130 yards for fifth.

“I can speak for Sam when I say this, but we’re really just pouring all our energy into winning each game each week,” Hill said.

Added Martin: “I think everyone this season has really embraced their roles to contribute to the team as a whole. I don’t think guys are really trying to take on roles that aren’t within their power, and I think it’s always been focused on what we can do as a whole this year.”

Already the owner of the state’s single-season record for receiving yards at 1,719, Martin can reach a number of other milestones with one final big game Saturday at Sports Authority Field. Martin passed former Fairview stars Patrick Blakemore and Kelton Lynn on the state’s single-season receptions list, and with 101 going into the finale, it probably won’t take long for Martin to eclipse the record of 102 receptions set by Jefferson’s Sean Siemsen in 1993.

Heading into his final game, Martin ranks third in career receiving yards (3,690) and is tied for seventh in career touchdown receptions (34).

“Honestly, neither of us have taken a step back and looking and those records right now, either the ones that are in reach or the ones we’ve already accomplished,” Martin said. “I think right now everything is focused on what we’ve done as a team, and what we’re still doing as a team, and what we have to look forward to this week.”

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