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Carving a niche: Applemen blast 'Dogs in season's first game

August 29, 1998|By MARK KELLER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Musselman football coach Denny Price claims his team won't rely on the big play to win games this year. Perhaps that's true - but the Applemen certainly took advantage of the big plays on Friday night.

Four of Musselman's six first-half touchdowns came on plays that covered more than 40 yards in a 40-14 win over the Martinsburg Bulldogs in the season opener for both teams.

"Through the winter and summer and preseason, we said we would be a running team," Price said. "We want to control the ball and sustain drives. But if we can break the big play ... you don't look for it, but they do happen."

The Applemen also took advantage of six Martinsburg turnovers, four of which led to Musselman touchdowns. Musselman (1-0) picked off five Kevin Miller passes, including three of his first six attempts.

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"If you preach the run and you're creating turnovers, you have to make them count. You can't waste them," Price said.

The Bulldogs (0-1) nearly gave the ball away on the opening kickoff.

Todd Mosby booted the ball right down the middle of the field, and Martinsburg's Jason McGill and Cavin Green both went after it. The ball tipped off Green's hands and bounced free, but McGill picked it up and returned it to the Martinsburg 40-yard line.

The Bulldogs pushed the ball to the Musselman 25, but Tyler Boswell fumbled the exchange from Miller on first down and Mosby recovered.

Three plays later, Kevin Dingus broke wide on a reverse and outran Prom Son for a 64-yard touchdown.

Trevor Shade scored on a 3-yard burst - set up by a Mosby interception - to give Musselman a 14-0 lead just 2:30 later.

After a Martinsburg punt put the Applemen at their own 17, Shade went around right end, picked up two big blocks, broke two tackles and rumbled to an 83-yard touchdown and a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

"Trevor took an ordinary play and turned it into a big one," Price said. "Those are the kind of things that if you work hard, they pay off."

Shade added a 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. He finished with 101 yards on 10 carries, all in the first half.

Mosby scored on a 40-yard run, and Rodney Hanes returned an interception 48 yards for Musselman's other score.

Martinsburg got on the board midway through the fourth quarter when Miller hit Scott Gusic from 12 yards out. Miller scored on a 3-yard run with 1:00 left.

McGill led the Bulldogs with 107 yards on 19 carries.

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