Bastrop High cornerback Mardarius "Marty" Thompson proved that he can hang with the best of them during Friday night's 25-12 jamboree victory over Ouachita.
Back in the spring, the 5-11, 152-pound Thompson was outplayed by Cam Sims, Ouachita's standout wide receiver who recently gave his verbal commitment to Alabama. Adding insult to injury, pictures of a Sims touchdown catch were posted on Instagram.
Thompson got the best of Friday's rematch, though. Every time the Lions took a shot downfield, Thompson matched the 6-5, 204 Sims step for step, leap for leap.
"We moved Marty around some, so Jawara (Davis) played (Sims) pretty good, too," Bastrop secondary coach Korea Davis said. "Marty had a good game Friday night. He's a senior, so I expect that from him. I just hope he continues to build off of it and doesn't get complacent."
Sims finished the night with two catches for two yards — a 5-yard loss on a swing pass and a 7-yard gain. It was a totally different tale from the spring.
"Marty's technique was terrible and he kept getting caught out of position," Korea Davis said of the spring game. "I told him after the spring game that he had to improve his technique if he was going to cover the elite receivers."
Davis had some more advice for Thompson last week.
"I told him during the week that if he stayed with (Sims), he would have some people looking at him," Davis said.
Davis says Thompson must continue to improve in order to have the opportunity to further his football career.
"Marty still has some work to do on his technique," Davis said. "I stress technique to my corners. Once you get the technique down, your athletic ability will take over. Playing sound technique will keep you in a lot of battles. You're still going to lose some of those battles, but you give yourself a chance by playing sound technique. If you're not technically sound, you're going to be out of position."
Thompson has proven that he can match up with the elite receivers. The next step is doing so on a consistent basis.
"Hopefully, he will take the jamboree as a positive and keep working," Davis said.
BDE: When did you start playing football?
Mardarius Thompson: My seventh grade year. Coach (Kevin) Thomas and coach (Earl) Thaxton were our coaches.
BDE: What are your favorite and least favorite parts of football?
Thompson: My least favorite part is warmups.
Page 2 of 3 - My favorite parts are team drills and one-on-ones.
BDE: What is the biggest improvement you have made since the spring?
Thompson: I think I have gotten better on my coverage. I worked on it all summer. The 7-on-7s helped me a lot.
BDE: Cam Sims got the best of you in the spring game. What did you do differently in the jamboree?
Thompson: I didn't want to be on his highlight reel again, so I knew I had to step up. He put some pictures from the spring game on Instagram and that motivated me.
BDE: What did coach Bachman say to you after the game Friday night?
Thompson: He told me I did a good job and that's how I need to play for the rest of the season.
BDE: Did you know you could play that well?
Thompson: I knew it; I just had to bring it out.
BDE: What schematic changes were made after the Ruston scrimmage?
Thompson: (Defensive coordinator Marcus Yanez) told us that the corners were just going to have to lock down and play man and we were going to send everybody. That's when I knew I had to step up.
BDE: How do you like being assigned so much man coverage?
Thompson: I like it. I have a job that I can focus on every play and it helps me out with my technique.
BDE: How is the secondary shaping up?
Thompson: It's shaping up pretty good. Jawari Davis is the right corner and Niger Madison and Lester Lee are the safeties. James Hill and Jacquez Green are the other left corners. We still have some work to do, but I think we're holding up pretty good.
BDE: What are the hardest hits you have received and delivered?
Thompson: I don't remember who we were playing, but I caught a pick in the seventh grade and was running it back and some dude blindsided me.
Page 3 of 3 - We were playing Neville my freshman year and I was on the kickoff return team. I was running downfield and ear holed this dude. I could hear the crowd going, 'Woooo!'
BDE: Do you have a favorite fishing story?
Thompson: My family used to go to a catfish pond every Saturday and catch a cooler full of catfish. That was a lot of fun.
BDE: Outside of football, what is something you hope to accomplish during your senior year?
Thompson: I want to get my grades up and spend as much time with my son (Zariaum Thompson) as I can.
BDE: What are your future plans?
Thompson: I plan on going to college and, hopefully, have some (NFL) scouts look at me. I plan to major in engineering.