Justin Sturm was...well, he was "Justin-on-the-spot."
The Marietta High defensive lineman just happened to be the recipient of a tipped pass that went for a touchdown in last Thursday night's scrimmage against the Bellaire Big Reds at Don Drumm Stadium.
OK, OK, it was only a scrimmage, and no score was officially kept. But give the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Sturm credit. He did make an interception, and he did run it back for a score.
It's not very often that linemen do that.
Of course, Sturm had a little help, and he'll be the first person to tell you.
It all started with the Bellaire quarterback rolling to his left to pass. When he released the football, Tiger linebacker Ryan Offenberger, who was in pursuit, jumped up and with both of his arms outstretched.
The attempted throw never got over Offenberger.
"Ryan (Offenberger), who plays middle linebacker, came through, and
tipped it up," Sturm said, "and it just landed right in my hands - and I was gone. I didn't know what to do but just run."
Sturm did the right thing, and fortunately he had the presence of mind to run in the right direction. Sometimes, during a wild scramble like that, players get turned around and run the wrong way.
It's even happened to professionals.
Jim Marshall, who used to play for the Minnesota Vikings and collegiately at The Ohio State University, once recovered a San Francisco 49ers' fumble and ran 66 yards into his own end zone.
At least, Sturm didn't do that.
Well, needless to say, Sturm was pretty pumped up and excited after the scrimmage - and he had every right to be. He also put it into perspective.
"It was my first touchdown," Sturm said. "Linemen get the grunt work."
Still...do you think maybe the Tigers could use another offensive weapon?
"I think Justin wants to play tight end, but I'm not moving him there, now," said second-year Marietta High head football coach Andy Schob. "It was a nice catch and a nice run. It looked good."
No question about that.
MHS is scheduled to host Cambridge High in an OHSAA Jamboree Game at 7 p.m. tonight. And, who knows...maybe Sturm will get another opportunity to dash to paydirt.
Hey, you just never know, especially if you're 'Justin-on-the-spot."
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor, and can be reached at 376-5441, or at firstname.lastname@example.org