George Martin era ends with a bang


George Martin is converged on by two Campbell players during a rush. Photo credit: Justin Newton

Tyler Gallo

If this is the end for George Martin at Robert Morris, what a great and dramatic way for him to go out.

Not only did he become the first Robert Morris quarterback since Erik Cwalinski in 2008 to pass for 2,000 yards, but he led Robert Morris to a climactic overtime victory over Campbell in his final game as a Colonial, finishing with 173 yards in the win.

“I knew I was close to 2,000, but I wasn’t sure where,” Martin said postgame. “It’s nice that I got it, it wasn’t a goal that I set preseason but it’s still nice that I got it. I was happier with the win.”

A local kid out of Ringgold High School in Monongahela, Martin first came to Robert Morris in 2017, redshirting his freshman year.

He spent time as a backup to Jimmy Walker in 2018, playing sparingly, before earning the starting job in 2019, battling for playing time all season with LSU transfer Caleb Lewis.

He finished his 2019 season with 1,348 yards and 11 touchdown passes as RMU went 5-1 in their final Northeast Conference slate.

Last season was stop-and-start for RMU, seeing Martin pass for 520 yards and three touchdowns in three road games. If they had played 11 games, Martin was on pace for 1,906 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Martin saved the best for last in his final season, however. He was the steady hand to guide the ship, and after passing for just 13 yards on eight attempts in their season-opening rout at Central Michigan, the reins were lifted.

Martin went on to pass for a career-high 2,013 yards, 11 touchdowns, 14 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, putting on an impressive showing for his final season in the red, white and blue.

He sat just 160 yards away from reaching the milestone in the game against Campbell and nearly finished just four yards short after a late-game pass was tipped into the hands of a Campbell defender.

However, two missed field goals by the Camels allowed RMU to sneak away with a 20-17 victory and for Martin to seal the record with a six-yard pass to Dylan Smith in overtime.

“It was a lot of fighting and a lot of persistence, we were taking time off the clock… we gave them a chance to win it,” Martin said. “We thought we were going to win it earlier in overtime, but we’ll take it with the field goal. I’m proud of everything we were able to do.”

He now sits fifth in the RMU record books in single-season passing yards, overtaking Tim Levcik. His 315-yard game against Hampton is also fifth in the books, outdoing former quarterback Jimmy Walker by a single yard.

His 185 completions and 311 attempts this season are second in RMU history behind Drew Geyer’s 2004 season.

Martin finishes his RMU career with 4,106 passing yards, 30 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Head coach Bernard Clark talked about how important Martin was to the team.

“He’s meant so much to the team, the fifth-year senior who came in and was playing hurt, out there limping around,” Clark said. “He went out there and got the job done, gave us 100%, gave us everything. That’s our leader.”

It has been five years since an RMU football team has not featured George Martin in some capacity, but out with Martin ushers in a new era with a new signal-caller for Robert Morris football, one who hopes to be as solid as Martin was.