In the past 12 years, Ingle Martin has visited the highest plateaus of football at every level and has pretty much been through it all.
Martin, 29, has won state championships in high school, accepted two Mr. Football awards, and has played college and professional football and, as recently as last year, enjoyed a state championship as an assistant at Ensworth High.
All that aside, there’s probably nothing quite like winning your first game as a head coach and beginning to put your own stamp on a program. That's something Martin experienced Friday when, before a packed house at Christ Presbyterian Academy, the Lions upset Goodpasture 35-14 to open the 2011 campaign.
Not many, outside of his own players, saw that one coming. Goodpasture, a frequent visitor to the AA state finals, knocked CPA out of the playoffs four straight times — 2006, 2007, 2008 and again last year (CPA didn’t make the playoffs in ’09).
“All I want is for our team to get better," Martin said. “It’s just one win. At this point, all we are thinking about is our game Friday against Kenwood."
CPA hosts Kenwood (0-1) this week.
As for the rousing win in his head coaching debut, Martin said, “[Legendary UCLA coach] John Wooden used to say that it’s amazing what you can accomplish when no one cares who gets the credit.’’
It was obvious that the CPA players thought Martin should get the credit. After the game, which represented the first 'Martin Bowl' (Goodpasture’s coach is David Martin), the players honored their coach by giving him the game ball.
• Monster game for Wharton: Beyond its new coach, CPA can thank sophomore transfer Vic Wharton for much of the opening night success.
The lightning-fast Wharton scored four of the Lions’ five touchdowns — and did so in three different ways.
His 78-yard kickoff return late in the second quarter when he sped up the left sidelines gave CPA the lead for good 21-14. Wharton also scored on 34- and 58-yard runs and caught a 71-yard bomb from junior quarterback Albert Mitchell, a worthy successor to last year’s passing whiz Nolan Genovese.
Wharton finished with 126 yards in six carries and caught four more passes for 78 yards and a touchdown.
“It was great to get the season started like that and see coach Martin get his first win,” said Wharton, a transfer from Knoxville Catholic.
Wharton and his family relocated to Middle Tennessee after his father, Vic II, got the jobs as both track coach and assistant football coach at CPA. His grandparents and an uncle, former Overton High and UT star Brandon Wharton, also live here.
“On the kickoff return, the blocking was great. It just opened up for me,’’ he said. “It was a great night; everyone played well.”
Besides running back, Wharton also was used some as a quarterback in the wildcat formation where he threw a couple of passes. Several times he also used his speed to reverse his field from one sideline to the other, picking up additional yards.
All this is comforting to Mitchell, who hit 7-of-11 for 175 yards and two touchdowns, one of them a perfect strike to senior wide receiver Sam Cranford. Cranford escaped the Cougar secondary for a 44-yard score, putting CPA on the board first.
“It’s great to have someone like Vic, who has unbelievable speed and someone who is also an excellent receiver,’’ Mitchell said.
As a quarterback, Mitchell is grateful to work under someone like Martin.
“Coach knows the game, and there’s no situation that he hasn’t seen or hasn’t gone through at every level,’’ said the 6-2 Mitchell said. “It’s been great to work under someone like that who knows the game so well.”
The Martins have made themselves at home at CPA. Ingle’s wife, the former Jennifer Wright, who was an all-state pitcher and a huge part of five straight state championships at Ezell-Harding, is the school’s softball coach and SID.
• Clinic Bowl Kickoff win for Ryan: Intercepting four passes and avenging close losses the past two years, host Father Ryan roared to a 21-3 win over Overton in the 61st Clinic Bowl Kickoff Classic Saturday night.
Running back Raphael Hopkins rushed for 82 yards and two touchdowns in the second half and was named offensive MVP of the game.
Besides winning the Clinic Bowl, Ryan (1-0) also won the Franklin Road Cup with the win between the schools located two miles apart on Franklin Road. Overton won the past two years by scores of 21-20 (2009) and 7-3 (2010), but Saturday’s victory gave Ryan a 19-18 lead in the series.
Cornerback Ryan Bossung, who had two interceptions, was named defensive MVP. Jamonte Graham, who returned a first-quarter interception for an 18-yard touchdown, which gave Ryan a 7-3 halftime lead, and Bill Stejskal also had picks.
• Trailing 17-7 at the half, Camden erupted for 22 points in the fourth quarter and beat Lipscomb 29-17 Saturday night, spoiling a 99-yard rushing game for Gabe Glimps.
The Mustangs (0-1) have an open date before hosting East Lit Sept. 2.
• Montgomery Bell Academy got the Marty Euverard era off to a flying start with a 42-6 blowout win over Kingsbury. Quarterback Dylon Hall hit 10-of-12 passes for 234 yards and four touchdowns for the Big Red, which visits Kentucky power Trinity Friday.
• Hillsboro edged old rival Hillwood 11-7 in a defensive game highlighted by a 49-yard field goal by the Burros’ Joseph Occhipinti, the only score in the second half.
Hendersonville at Franklin, (TV-30)
Brentwood Academy at Maplewood
Cane Ridge at Father Ryan
Davidson Academy at SBEC
FRA at Hillsboro
Hunters Lane at Oakland
Kenwood at CPA
Middle Tennessee Christian at Ezell-Harding
Independence at Page
Knox Webb at Ensworth
MBA at Trinity (Ky.)
Lancaster Christian. at DCA
Mt. Juliet at McGavock
Nashville Christian at Hillwood
Overton at Centennial
Pearl-Cohn at Blackman
Pope JPII at East Lit
Ravenwood at BGA
Smyrna at Brentwood
Station Camp at Antioch
Stratford at Whites Creek
Westmoreland at Glencliff
Goodpasture at Louisville (Ky.) Central