EDISON -- Seminole County had a first-time starter under center Friday with a heartbeat thumping a million times a second.
Once junior Jakhari Martin got the ticker to calm down, the Indians did the same and pulled away from Calhoun County, 33-0, in Region 1-A play.
Martin was starting for Antwan Buggs, Seminole's electric QB who sat our nearly all of the first three quarters for an incident at school.
"(Martin) was real nervous to start with," Indians' head coach Alan Ingram said. "I felt his carotid artery before the ballgame and that thing was just a pounding. We made the decision not to start (Buggs) and start the young guy. We were going to play him as long as we could survive with him. And we could."
Calhoun County (1-2, 1-1 Region 1-A) made life difficult for Martin and Herald Dynamite Dozen running back Chris Brown in the first half. Martin was picked off by Cougars' defensive back Vincent Powell in the endzone and Brown was held to just 26 first-half yards.
"They put 11 on the line of scrimmage and dared us to throw it," Ingram said.
So Seminole (3-1, 2-0 Region 1-A) did just that, with Martin hitting Dee Virgin on a 28-yard hot pass to put the Indians up just 6-0 at halftime.
Indians' junior Myron Perry, a starter at offensive tackle and defensive tackle, said the problem in the first half with a new starter at quarterback was mostly "fussing" between teammates. Ingram said that was corrected at halftime.
Perry pounced on a high Calhoun County snap in the endzone with 10:47 to play to put the game out of reach, 25-0.
Brown eventually broke loose in the second half with a 15-yard scoring run in the third quarter to open up a 12-0 lead. The Seminole tailback finished with 76 yards on 12 carries and also had two catches for 31 yards.
"Brown is a super athlete," Cougars' head coach John Williams said. "You're going to see great things out of that team. They're a patient team. He's a patient coach. (They just) keep pounding, keep pounding. That's what we've got to teach our young guys."
Buggs entered the game late in the third and immediately hit Virgin, who caught two scoring passes for 50 yards, on a 22-yard touchdown to give the Indians an 18-0 lead with 10:55 to play. Perry's defensive score came just eight seconds later.
Seminole's Martin came back in the game in the fourth and busted a 33-yard scoring run to cap off an effective first start. He ran for a team-high 82 yards on 11 carries with a score and threw for 31 yards and another score.
Calhoun's Willie Brown mashed his way to 83 yards on 16 carries and kept the Cougars alive for nearly three quarters with his physical running.
"He makes a lot of things happen," Williams said of Brown. "It makes your job calling plays pretty easy."
Calhoun County plays host to Spencer Friday, while Seminole goes to Daleville (Ala.).