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Sowers flunks University

November 13, 2004|by RYAN ALLEN/Staff Writer

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Martinsburg Bulldogs rode the arm and legs of quarterback Nate Sowers to a 33-13 victory over visiting University High School in Friday night's West Virginia Class AAA first-round contest.

Sowers passed for 204 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 192 yards and a score to account for 396 of the Bulldogs' 471 total yards. In the process, Sowers eclipsed 10,000 total yards for his career.

"That's a good feat for me," said Sowers, "but it doesn't mean anything unless we win the state championship."

The night began inauspiciously for Sowers. On the first play from scrimmage, Justin Hostetler intercepted Sowers and returned the ball 20 yards to the Martinsburg 23-yard line.

Martinsburg got the ball right back, however, as Hostetler - the University quarterback - fumbled on an attempted handoff.

The Bulldogs took advantage three plays later when Sowers hit Ryan Miller down the right seam for a 36-yard touchdown.

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The Hawks moved the ball 34 yards on their second possession but again fumbled the ball, giving the Bulldogs possession on their own 42-yard line.

Martinsburg capitalized again when tailback Josh Twyman scored from 27 yards out on a draw play midway through the opening quarter.

The Bulldogs seized control of the game in the second quarter, driving 75 yards and 62 yards for touchdowns.

Sowers capped the first with a 28-yard throw to Shaun Dozler, and the second with a 16-yard pass to Miller. On the latter, Sowers escaped the grasp of a University lineman, scrambled to his right and found Miller in the endzone.

"That was a heck of a performance," Martinsburg coach Dave Walker said of his star quarterback. "I can't say enough good things about him."

The Bulldogs scored on their first four possessions en route to a 26-0 half-time lead.

The Hawks moved the ball all night, surprising Martinsburg by relying heavily on their running game. They ran the ball 52 times while passing on only 10 plays.

They finally got on the board late in the third quarter when a 62-yard run by Cory Jackson set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Hostetler.

Jackson finished the game with 227 yards on 30 carries.

"They haven't run the ball like that all year," said Walker. "We weren't prepared for that."

Any hope of a comeback quickly vanished when Sowers scored on a 40-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter.

A late 4-yard run by Jackson gave University its final points.

After the game, Sowers had already shifted his focus to next week's game against rival Jefferson - a 20-10 winner over Buckhannon-Upshur.

"Its always a hard-fought game with them," he said. "They almost beat us last time so I expect a tough game."

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