Nov. 13, 2012. For the seventh time in his career, Appalachian State University punter/place kicker Sam Martin (Fayetteville, Ga./Starr’s Mill) has been tabbed as the Southern Conference Special Teams Player of the Week, the league office announced on Monday.
Martin’s latest honor comes after he played a key role in Appalachian State’s Southern Conference championship-clinching 33-28 victory over Furman on Saturday. He made 4-of-4 field goals and averaged 50.5 yards per punt in the win.
The senior was good on field goals from 27, 47, 19 and 32 yards, the latter two accounting for the final six points of the game after Appalachian fell behind 28-27 in the third quarter. His four field goals are the most by a Southern Conference kicker this year and are tied for the fourth-highest total in NCAA Division I FCS this season. He is also one of only nine FCS kickers to go 4-for-4 or better on field-goal attempts this season.
Martin also averaged 50.5 yards over four punts with two downed inside the 20, highlighted by a 62-yarder that was downed on the one yard line with 1:57 to go in the game and the Mountaineers clinging to a five-point lead.
He rounded out the terrific kicking performance by averaging 64.6 yards over eight kickoffs with five going for touchbacks and all but two reaching the end zone.
For the season, the all-America candidate ranks fourth nationally with a 45.5-yard punting average, the second-highest in Appalachian State history. He is also 6-of-9 on field-goal attempts, including a 6-of-8 showing since taking over place-kicking duties on a full-time basis three weeks ago.
Martin finishes his career just one SoCon Player-of-the-Week award short of the school record of eight, shared by Appalachian State Hall-of-Famers Dexter Coakley and Richie Williams.
Martin and the No. 8-ranked Mountaineers (8-3, 6-2 SoCon) are a virtual lock for the 2012 NCAA Division I Football Championship and will begin postseason play on either Saturday, Nov. 24 or Saturday, Dec. 1. The 20-team playoff bracket will be announced on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. on ESPNU.