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Saturday, November 26, 2011
Arl. Martin kicker's performance solid as ice

By Travis L. Brown

BEDFORD, Texas -- Imagine showing up to the 5A Division I Region I semifinal to find that the wind is swirling at around 40 mph and your only job will be to hit the go-ahead field goal against legendary playoff powerhouse Euless Trinity.

Ben Grogan
Arlington Martin kicker Ben Grogan kicks a go-ahead 46-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
It’s no big deal for the Ice Pirate.

Arlington Martin junior Ben Grogan, nicknamed the Ice Pirate by his teammates, sent a 46-yard kick through the uprights to break a 7-7 fourth-quarter tie and propel Martin toward a 19-7 win over Trinity at Pennington Field on Saturday.

Even with the wind at his back, it was swirling enough to cause the goal posts to shake left and right.

“Every time the ball went up in the air it was going sideways and twisting and spinning,” Martin coach Bob Wager said.

So what was going though Grogan's mind in a pressure situation in difficult conditions?

“Nothing,” Grogan said. “I just have to keep my mind clear when I kick the ball.”

That’s how he earned his nickname -- by staying calm and coming through in clutch situations.

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Bi-district »   Area round »
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STATE BRACKETS
Class 5A: Div. I | Div. II
Class 4A: Div. I | Div. II

REGION BRACKETS
5A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
5A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2

“You can’t ice the Ice Pirate,” quarterback and punter Brodie Lambert said. “This team is behind Ben, and we knew he would hit it.”

Around five weeks ago, the kick would not have even been Grogan’s to try. TCU commit Jaden Oberkrom was the field goal kicker for Martin, but Wager replaced him with Grogan midway through the season.

“Competition makes everyone better at every position,” Wager said. “You have to go out and earn your job every day. We treat every position that way. The guy that wins the day, the guy that wins the week, plays on Friday or Saturday.”

Grogan won the job because of the consistency he displayed week-in and week-out in practice, Lambert said.

It all seems to come naturally for the quiet and reserved Grogan, who was all business even after the celebration at the game's conclusion.

“It is awesome,” Grogan said. “ We haven’t beaten them in several years and now we finally did.”