CLOSER LOOK: Norte Vista’s Andrew Martinez

Take a closer look at Riverside Norte Vista junior Andrew Martinez and you’ll see an explosive, between-the-tackles runner who applies the hit as often as he’s tackled.

As the thunder to teammate Freddy Holley’s lightning, Martinez pounds the ball inside and often for big gains like his 88-yard gut-buster on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013.

In all, Martinez ran for 197 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries as the Braves defeated Victorville Silverado 38-16 in a CIF-Southern Section first round game.

I caught up with the 5-foot-10, 205-pound bruiser after the game.

What was talked about at halftime after you went knotted in a 10-10 tie?

“At first we started off good and then we mellowed out. We thought it was going to be easy, and it wasn’t. We just had to win,” Martinez said.

“We just talked about the adversity we were facing. We just put it all out there. All or nothing.”

When did you guys find out about the forfeits*?

“Thursday.”

What was the team feeling like?

“We were just disappointed.”

What do you take from this week?

“We’re just going to capitalize on it (and) use it as fuel to make us work harder and play harder.”

* — Norte Vista forfeited seven victories and the 2013 River Valley League title after self-reporting an ineligible player. The Braves play at Hesperia Oak Hills in a CIF-SS Eastern Division Quarterfinal Round game on Friday.

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