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Twyman's milestone runs boosts 'Dogs

November 04, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

SHENANDOAH JUNCTION, W.Va. - Martinsburg senior Josh Twyman eclipsed 4,000 yards rushing for his career, closed in on 1,500 yards for the season and topped 100 yards for the 10th time this year Friday night.

And he did it all in one relentless run against a tiring Jefferson defense.

Twyman broke through a wall of Cougars late in the fourth quarter and rumbled 68 yards up the right sideline to highlight No. 1 Martinsburg's 24-12 Cumberland Valley Athletic League victory.

"I guess they were just getting tired," Twyman said of the run. "They were trying to arm-tackle me and I just kept going and used a stiff arm to keep them off me."

Twyman rushed 27 times for 89 yards before the game-sealing run with about 3 minutes left in the game. He added 9 yards after the run, including his second touchdown, and finished with 166. He now has 1,507 for the season.

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"It's very special because, as a senior, I want to be known as at least a 100-yard-a-game back," Twyman said.

Twyman will have at least one more game to add to his Martinsburg legacy as the Bulldogs (9-1, 4-0) roll into the playoffs on a seven-game winning streak and will host a first-round game next week.

No. 5 Jefferson (5-5, 2-2) needed a win against Martinsburg to have any chance at making the playoffs. The Cougars had a good strategy on defense to keep its hopes alive - especially in the first half - but it took much longer for the offense to get going.

The Cougars stacked the box on the Bulldogs and Twyman early in the game, and often had their deepest defender within 7 yards of the line of scrimmage. It was effective in containing Twyman, who had only 31 yards at halftime, and Martinsburg missed on opportunities through the air to keep the game close.

Both defenses were strong and the game was scoreless until the first play of the second quarter. Deep in his own territory, Jefferson quarterback Jonathan Hash fumbled the exchange into the end zone and was forced to fall on it for a safety to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead.

Martinsburg got the ball back on the ensuing free kick and milked a 12-play, 48-yard drive, capped by Dustin Peters' quarterback sneak from 1 yard. Peters found tight end Jesse Jean for the conversion to give the Bulldogs a 10-0 lead with 6:14 left in the first half.

On 12 other plays in the first half, Martinsburg had minus-4 net yards.

The Bulldogs' defense salvaged the half by holding Jefferson to 39 yards of offense and forced a red-zone fumble on the Cougars' second possession.

"The defense played well, but the offense struggled in the first half," said Martinsburg coach David Walker. "We knew we were going to have to pick it up in the second half, though."

It didn't take long.

The Bulldogs needed just three plays and 1:21 to go 67 yards and take a 17-0 lead. Peters completed a 40-yard pass to Cameron Shelton and Twyman scored untouched from 26 yards.

Peters completed two more passes of more than 20 yards to Shelton later in the second half and finished 6-for-14 for 109 yards.

"(Jefferson) played great defense and they found a way to stop the run," Walker said. "Once we were able to make plays in the passing game, it opened things up for (Twyman)."

Jefferson was shut out until the fourth quarter, when Hash capped a 12-play drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to close the gap to 17-6.

But Martinsburg continued to hand off to Twyman and gradually wore down the Cougars' defense, culminating with the 68-yard run that set up the game-sealing touchdown that made it 24-6.

"We definitely wanted to come out and give it to them after they shut us out last year," Twyman said. "For redemption."

Jefferson got another touchdown when Hash hit Justin Grantham for a 47-yard score with under 2 minutes left to cut the lead to 24-12. But the Cougars never got the ball back.

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