Bulldogs remain perfect

November 01, 2003|by TIM KOELBLE

INWOOD, W.Va. - Who needs costumes on Halloween night when you've got boys already as themselves in football uniforms?

After No. 1 Martinsburg shook off an early case of cobwebs, the Bulldogs brought out the broomsticks to make it a clean sweep of the regular season with a 48-0 triumph over Musselman Friday to win the Cumberland Valley Athletic League (4-0) and finish 10-0.

"I thought we came out a little flat," Martinsburg coach Dave Walker said. "Coming off (the Fort Hill win), we didn't have emotion. Credit that to Musselman. I thought their staff did a good job of getting them ready to play."

Musselman (3-7, 1-3) forced Martinsburg into a quick three-and-out that included a seven-yard loss on a pass play to force a punt.


The Applemen proceeded to move 64 yards to the Bulldogs' 16 before Steven Emswiler missed a 34-yard field goal wide right with 3:51 to play in the first period.

Walker called a timeout during the Musselman march to "make some adjustments. After the adjustments, we pretty much played better defense."

From that point, Martinsburg took any eerie tingling on either side of the field and squashed those thoughts as fast as smashing a batch of pumpkins.

Nate Sowers ran 80 yards on the first play, but it was called back by penalty. On the next play, Brannon Hamilton dashed 51 yards for a touchdown.

It took Martinsburg 39 seconds to score its second TD from midfield as Hamilton ran 14 yards and Sowers hit Aaron Stokes for a 36-yard touchdown, his first of five that gives him 38 for the year.

Following a 14-yard punt, Martinsburg took five plays to score on its next possession, a 13-yard gallop by Hamilton after taking an option pitch from Sowers, who set up the drive with a 27-yard run.

On its first effort in the third period, Sowers hooked up with Brandon Barrett three times, the third a 10-yard score that capped a 70-yard drive in five plays.

Emswiler just missed on a 49-yard field goal effort near the end of the third that gave Martinsburg possession at its own 20.

After a five-yard run by Hamilton, Sowers-to-Barrett opened the final stanza with a common result - a 75-yard scoring hookup.

Capitalizing on a Musselman fumble on its first play following the kickoff, Sowers hit Adrian Haskins with a lofted pass in the deep corner of the end zone.

Sowers ended going 12-for-17 for 225 yards which including 7 of 7 in the second half. He now has 5,121 career passing yards as a junior. Barrett caught seven passes that totaled 147 yards and he now has 1,059 yards in receptions, the third consecutive year he has surpassed the 1,000-yard mark.

West Virginia's top-ranked Class AAA outfit gets a week off before the state playoffs begin Nov. 7-8.

"We'll work on some things like special teams and give the kids a chance to heal," Walker said. "They've been going pretty hard and are a little tired. We'll rededicate ourselves to fundamentals."

Some of the fundamentals might be defensively.

Despite a huge size advantage, Musselman put together 203-yard rushing effort which included 92 from a hard-charging Matt Houghton on 23 carries.

The Herald-Mail Articles