The two were asked to come up to bolster the defense, and neither of the seniors flinched. The Cardinals seniors were eager to do what was best for the team, and they wanted to rise to the challenge.
“Those two were a good combination for us,” said Cardinals head coach Chris Stein. “They both run and few teams have a pair of inside linebackers who can run as well as they can.”
It looks like the pair of Cardinals have done so so far in 2021.
Both are quick linebackers, which helps the Cardinals be flexible on defense.
Since the linebacker corps as a whole has speed, Cardinals defensive coordinator Jackson Dickerson has more freedom to call blitzes. Or, when the Cardinals stay in the back, the defense as a whole has the ability to sprint towards football to limit taller plays.
“Our guys accept what we do defensively,” said Stein.
Martinez led the South Sioux’s defense in Friday’s win, recording seven total tackles, five of which were unassisted.
Martinez also had three tackles for a loss, and he once sacked Northwestern quarterback Nate Ayer.
He was the most improved player in defense, Stein said.
“He’s just not missing, and as a linebacker that’s all that matters,” said Stein. “Peyton never fails. He’s where he’s supposed to be.