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A local Flacco fan

Posted at: 01/30/2013 4:17 PM
By: Robin De Wind

The Super Bowl is this weekend and Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is getting a little divine intervention from a friend in Rochester. A local pastor has known Flacco and his family since his high school days in New Jersey.

Joe Flacco is preparing for the biggest game of his career this weekend as the Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII. A local pastor has watched Flacco's career since he was a freshman in high school.

Pastor Tony Martorana is with Joy Community Church of Goodman Street in the city. He raised his family near Camden, New Jersey. His son, Mark, played football with Joe Flacco. They started as freshman at Audubon High School. Joe the quarterback and Mark the receiver.

The Martorana and Flacco families stayed in touch over the years as Joe went on to play college football until he was drafted by the Ravens in 2008.

Tony and Mark met up with Joe and his family in Baltimore for the AFC Championship game two weeks ago and were invited back to Joe's home. Both Mark and Joe have babies and the families watched the NFC Championship game together. Tony says he will cherish the pictures and time spent.

He is proud of Flacco's accomplishments. He's the only quarterback to win a playoff game in each of his first five NFL seasons. He doesn't like the wrap Flacco gets for not being a clutch player.  He says this is Flacco's time to shine  and he will here in Rochester supporting him.

Pastor Tony Martorana, Friend of Ravens QB Joe Flacco: When he was a freshman, I would watch him walk on to the field and I would get my chair. The field was across the street from the church and I would watch him throw with Mark and I think I watch this kid and now he's an NFL quarterback. Joey will be ready for this game, it's his time to shine. I pray for him every week, I text his mom and she says keep praying, we have one more to go, I'm praying for his health and a victory for him.”

Tony says he will be having a party this Sunday in Rochester to cheer on Flacco and will be in contact with the family.