Heading into last season’s game with Brentwood Academy, Kaden Martin was making his second start of 2019. It was Catholic’s biggest game of the season, a prime-time showdown with the four-time defending state champions, a game that was broadcast on ESPN2.
Martin threw two touchdowns, ran for three and led Catholic to its biggest win of the season, as his father, Tennessee Vols wide receivers coach Tee Martin, watched from the stands.
On Saturday, Martin’s second start of the 2020 season will be televised on ESPN as a new type of prime time shows up at Catholic at noon: Trinity Christian-Cedar Hill, a private school from the Dallas area, with Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders as the offensive coordinator.
The game will feature a matchup between high-profile quarterbacks: Kaden Martin, a junior, has offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Miami, Southern California and Tennessee, among others. Trinity Christian senior Shedeur Sanders, Deion’s son, is a four-star Florida Atlantic commitment.
“(The game) is not about my kid,” Tee Martin said. “It’s not about his kid.”
Catholic (1-0) defeated Chuckey-Doak in Week 1, with Martin totaling three touchdowns. Trinity Christian (0-1) lost to Madison-Ridgeland Academy last week, with Sanders throwing for one touchdown and running for another, according to MaxPreps.com.
Martin is classified as a dual-threat quarterback by 247Sports.com. Sanders is a pro-style quarterback. Both can make plays with their legs. Martin is left-handed. Sanders right.
“Typically in football games, whichever quarterback plays the best, that team wins,” Catholic coach Steve Matthews said.
Kaden Martin downplayed the hype of the game.
“It doesn’t matter, even if it was any other school,” he said. “It’s great to play against one of the greatest. I can’t wait.”
As he prepared to face Brentwood Academy last season, Martin said he felt no additional pressure in preparing for the biggest start of his high school career. But the game Saturday is now, without a doubt, the biggest start.
“That’s Kaden, going back to when he was young,” his dad said. “Kaden made some of his biggest plays in pressure situations. I think those situations, he embraces it.”
Trinity Christian had won three straight Division II state championships in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. The school, however, had its TAPPS membership terminated in December because of alleged violations of the bylaws, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The school joined the Texas Christian Athletic League and is playing a national schedule. Trinity Christian is 39-3 since 2017, which is when Deion Sanders was named the offensive coordinator.
“It doesn’t matter if they’re from Louisiana, if they’re from California, what state they’re from, it’s another football team,” Kaden Martin said. “They’re a high school, just like us.”