THOMAS — Nate Martin knew the key to his success on Friday night.
"The key was the line. They did unreal. They did their jobs and we played good as a team," Martin said after rushing for 140 yards and three touchdowns to lead Snake River to a 20-3 non-conference football win over Aberdeen.
"I worked hard this week in practice," Martin said. "I kept my head up and followed my blockers."
Adrian Castaneda also took advantage of the solid line play as he rushed for 73 yards. Gio Pimentel rushed for 49 yards and Brad Coombs had 28 as the Panthers rolled up 214 yards on the ground.
The Panther defense was solid throughout the game, allowing Aberdeen just 27 total yards in the first half and 93 for the game.
Martin scored his first touchdown from 11 yards out with four minutes left in the first quarter. After a penalty on the Tigers, Caleb Phillips run in the two-point conversion attempt.
Snake River scored again with 10:29 left in the second quarter when Martin plunged in from the 2-yard line. Castenada set the play up with a 17-yard pass reception from Wyatt Wray. It was one of just three completions for the Panthers in the game. The extra point kick attempt failed.
Snake River and Aberdeen traded interceptions in the opening minutes of the third quarter. Bret Parkinson picked off the Tigers' Clancey Beck on the first play of the second half.
Rodrigo Bravo returned the favor for Aberdeen, picking off Wray and returning the ball 50 yards to the Snake River 21. Brian Cerna carried it to the Panther 5, but Pimentel recorded a tackle-for-loss and the Tigers eventually settled for Carlos Guzman's 26-yard field goal.
Martin finished the scoring shortly after that, carrying the mail much of the 72-yard drive en route to a 16-yard touchdown. He had 63 of the yards himself.
Aberdeen made one last foray into Panther territory after Austin Horrocks' interception set the Tigers up on the Snake River 35.
Aberdeen moved to the Snake River 7 but Parkinson's second interception ended the game.
"We need to find some balance on offense but I was happy with the way we played," said Panther coach Jeff Dalley.
"Defensively all 11 guys did their job and I was happy the way he did it," he continued.
Aberdeen 0 0 3 0 - 3
Snake River 8 6 6 0 -20
SR-Martin 11 run (Phillips run)
SR-Martin 2 run (kick failed)
A-Guzman FG 26
SR-Martin 17 run (run failed)
Snake River passing - Wray 3-18-3 40.
Snake River receiving-Pimentel 1-17, Casteneda 2-23.
Snake River rushing-Martin 17-140, Casteneda 8-73, Pimentel 10-49, Coombs 5-28.