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Posted August 25, 2012 | Leave a comment
Bulldogs blank Warriors
By Brandon Brown - firstname.lastname@example.org
MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- There's a reason Martinsburg was carrying a 28-game winning streak into the season opener against Sherando on Friday night.
On the practice field, 16th-year coach David Walker makes sure his team is better conditioned and better equipped to handle the battle.
They were just that Friday night.
A ton of new faces in key spots -- same old result, as the Bulldogs wore down then dismantled the Warriors 38-0 Friday night at Cobourn Field.
The Bulldogs overcame four offensive turnovers -- two on back-to-back-plays from scrimmage -- and a bit of a sloppy offensive effort in the win. Their talent overcame any mistakes they might have made.
Newcomer Trey Boyd, a sophomore transfer from Island Coast, Fla., scored twice, both on impressive runs, and senior quarterback Justin "Cookie" Clinton ran in another.
"It felt really good," said Boyd, who rushed for 73 yards on 11 carries. "Now we have some leverage. I'm not gonna lie, I was a little nervous coming into the game with the week of practice we had."
Martinsburg ran its winning streak to 29 games in a row, but Walker didn't care one bit about that.
"Those other 28, they're in the past," he said. "1-0 sounds pretty good right now."
In the postgame huddle, Walker told his team that they aren't nearly as good as they aspire to be. But the 38-point output doesn't justly reflect how the offense sputtered at times.
"Who was the best-conditioned team out here?," Walker asked them.
"We were," the Bulldogs all said in unison.
After losing key players all around the field from last season's perfect run to another Class AAA championship, Martinsburg had some hiccups but showed exactly how talented a team they are.
"You should've scored 60," Walker said in the huddle.
Martinsburg's first drive ended in a Clinton interception along the far sideline, then after the Bulldogs forced a 3-and-out, Clinton brilliantly returned a punt 55 yards down to the 8-yard line only to be stripped and hand the ball back over to Sherando.
Sherando got things going on the next drive with Reid Entsminger at the controls, moving the ball down to the Bulldogs' 31 before Entsminger fumbled it away.
After that, Martinsburg found life, moving down the field behind the running of Clinton and Boyd. And after starting at their own 35, the Bulldogs marched down to the Warriors' 5, and Clinton punched it in untouched.
That's all Martinsburg would need, as the defense did the rest.
As the game wore on, the Warriors wore down. Up by 17, Martinsburg scored three consecutive touchdowns to ice the game. Boyd punched one in from six yards out, then Decoley Jones had a 2-yard score. And after yet another three-and-out forced by the Martinsburg defense, senior Cedric Brown took a punt 52 yards up the left sideline behind a convoy of blocks for the final tally.
The Bulldogs limited the Warriors to 160 yards, 84 coming in the second half.
"They're dangerous and have great athletes," Sherando coach Bill Hall said. "You have to give credit to them. We have to do a better job."
Martinsburg picked up three sacks, including a strip-sack by Eugene German that was recovered at the Warriors' 7 and led to a Tyler DeHaven 37-yard field goal, making it 17-0 in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs blocked a punt, Dean DeSana collected one of the sacks, and Daiquon Everhart had a sack and an impressive interception where he tipped a screen pass to himself and raced 44 yards down to the 21. The Bulldogs would fumble on the next play, though.
"We did pretty well," German said of the defense. "We've just got to be more consistent.
Boyd had put Martinsburg up 14-0 on a 24-yard touchdown run on fourth down midway through the second quarter. That effectively swung the game squarely toward Martinsburg.
Entsminger, who was basically all of Sherando's offense throughout the game, went down with cramps while playing defense with 4:02 left in the third quarter and didn't return.
"Fatigue just got the best of me," said Entsminger, who was 5 for 10 for 37 yard through the air. "I had hydrated well all week. It was just bad luck."
Taylor Loudan (38 yards rushing) and George Aston (32) got a lot of tough yardage for Sherando, Aston's coming in late in the game after Entsminger went down and with sophomore Joshua Ojo at QB.
Entsminger ended the game with 22 yards rushing -- factoring lost yardage from sacks.
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