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Bulldogs' offense gears up for Patriots

November 25, 2002|by MARK KELLER

keller@herald-mail.com

The first round of the West Virginia Class AAA playoffs went off according to the seeds, even if the games themselves didn't follow the plan of some coaches.

Particularly David Walker, whose Martinsburg Bulldogs found themselves trailing for the first time in a long time last Saturday against No. 15-seed Spring Valley.

However, as they have proved all season long, it doesn't take the Bulldogs long to put points on the board ... and a lot of them, if they desire.

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Martinsburg did that in the second quarter, scoring three times in just under 10 minutes to take a 28-13 lead on the way to a 48-13 win over the Timberwolves.

It was one of the few times the Bulldogs (11-0) have been tested this season. Only two of their wins have been by 10 points or less. Last Saturday's 35-point margin is the next closest.

"It was good for our kids to go through that, to be behind early," Walker said. "They had to play really hard and step it up a notch."

Each of the top eight seeds advanced, setting up No. 2 seed Martinsburg's quarterfinal game against No. 7 George Washington today at Cobourn Field.

The Patriots (9-2) are coming off a 63-19 win over Hurricane last Friday, their first playoff win since 1985.

Those sound more like the offensive numbers fans have come to expect from Martinsburg, which scored more than 60 points in seven games this year - including six in a row - on its way to a state record for points in a single season.

While receiver Brandon Barrett has received much of the attention as a result of the Bulldogs' offensive explosion, the Martinsburg running game has GW coach Steve Edwards Jr. just as worried.

"They've been able to do just about what they wanted to do against people," Edwards told the Charleston Gazette this week. "I think (Walker) likes to run equally as well as pass the football."

The Bulldogs scored four touchdowns on the ground against Spring Valley, including two by quarterback Nate Sowers and one from leading rusher Jesse Keyser.

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