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Yesterday's gone

Bulldogs put last year to rest with big first-round victory

Bulldogs put last year to rest with big first-round victory

November 12, 2006|by MARK KELLER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - After a first-round exit from the playoffs in 2005, the Martinsburg Bulldogs were eager to make a statement to start the 2006 postseason Saturday.

It didn't take them long.

The Bulldogs led for all but 14 seconds of their West Virginia Class AAA first-round playoff game against Brooke, which was the time it took Jordan Mason to return the opening kickoff for a touchdown, sparking Martinsburg to a 49-7 victory over the Bruins at Cobourn Field.

"It was very important for us to let teams know that last year is over," Martinsburg running back Josh Twyman said. "We're not going to quit and we're coming for you."

The second-seeded Bulldogs (10-1) kept coming at the No. 15 Bruins, rolling up 483 yards from scrimmage, including 375 yards on the ground.

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Twyman, who rushed for 1,509 yards and 19 touchdowns in a regular season worthy of Kennedy Award consideration, carried 21 times for 202 yards and three touchdowns to lead the charge for Martinsburg.

Marcus Scott carried seven times for 131 yards, with most of the yardage coming on touchdown runs of 50 and 58 yards.

"This was a game that we needed to play well offensively," Martinsburg coach David Walker said. "We had a couple of turnovers, a couple of mistakes, but overall we played very well on offense."

But the tone for the game was set before the Bulldogs offense even took the field. Mason took the opening kickoff at his own 8-yard line and broke one tackle before motoring to the outside.

Once Mason found his final gear around midfield, nobody could catch him.

"The funny thing is Coach (Britt) Sherman is in charge of the kickoff team and he said, 'We're going to go out here, take the opening kick and make something happen,'" Walker said. "Once Jordan hit the outside, he was gone."

And so were the Bulldogs, who never looked back as they posted 42 straight points before the Bruins (7-4) ended the shutout bid on a gadget play midway through the fourth quarter.

Martinsburg held Brooke to 201 yards, a large percentage of which came when running back Scott Victoria threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to quarterback James Reitter. The Bruins averaged just 2 yards per carry, picking up 74 yards on 37 rushing attempts.

But Walker is looking for improvement on the defensive side of the ball before the Bulldogs play host to No. 10-seed South Charleston in the quarterfinals next weekend.

"We played well defensively, we just missed some tackles, missed some assignments. And this is not the right time of year to be doing that," Walker said. "It's time to buckle down and keep the intensity level and make the plays."

Martinsburg quarterback Dustin Peters ran for a touchdown and completed 10 of 16 passes for 110 yards.

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