'Dogs serve notice, rack up 603 yards

October 27, 2007|By John O'Brien

INWOOD, W.Va. - Martinsburg wide receiver Jordan Mason had a hard time when he looked up Friday night, but the Bulldogs' effort will probably have the rest of the state looking up at them.

Mason was part of a 603-yard offensive explosion for No. 1 Martinsburg in a 44-17 win over Musselman, just days after a Berkeley County Circuit judge reversed a decision to strip Martinsburg of its first two wins of the season because of an ineligible player.

Martinsburg (9-0), The Herald-Mail's No. 1 team, also figures to be ranked first in the state when the next Secondary Schools Activities Commission ratings come out.

"We always knew we were undefeated on the field, we've known all along," said Mason, who had 157 yards and two touchdowns on four catches. "It feels better to know we're sitting at No. 1."


Mason said he had a hard time dealing with the steady rain that fell on Waldeck Field, but it was hard to tell from his performance. He caught touchdown passes of 63 and 53 from quarterback Dustin Peters.

"It's real hard when the ball's wet, your hands are wet and there's nothing on you you can use to dry them off. You're soaked," Mason said. "You just had to look the ball in the whole way, but it's kind of hard when you look up in the sky and the rain is hitting you in the face."

He became the first Bulldogs receiver to gain more than 100 yards in a game since D.J. Porter did it the second game of the 2005 season against Rockbridge County (Va.).

Though trailing only 21-17 at one point, the Applemen (4-6) were thwarted in their attempt to give coach Denny Price a historic win. Price needs only one more for his 245th at Musselman, which would be a state record for a coach at one school.

Price is tied with the former coach of now-defunct Ceredo-Kenova, Carl Ward, who also holds the state record with 10 championships.

University of Alabama-bound kicker Corey Smith booted a 51-yard field goal with 6:56 left in the first half to pull the Applemen to 21-17, but Peters hit Mason for a 37-yarder on the next play from scrimmage, starting a drive that ended with Ryan Rowland's 1-yard touchdown run with 4:35 left.

Though James Jordan missed the extra point, he hit a 30-yard field goal with 45 seconds left to make it 30-17 at halftime.

"We were definitely surprised going into the locker room," Mason said. "We sure didn't think it was going to be that close."

Martinsburg didn't pull away until Peters put a bomb on Mason's fingertips for a 53-yard touchdown with 1:44 left in the third quarter. Rowland capped the scoring with 5:07 left in the game, scoring on a 6-yard run.

Rowland scored three times and gained 219 yards on 23 carries. Peters added 141 on 12 carries while completing 7 of 17 passes for 188 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, which came in the end zone.

"He puts the ball on us and leaves it to us to make plays," Mason said.

Rowland made the game's first play, a 64-yard touchdown run just 85 seconds in. Mason then caught a 63-yard touchdown four minutes later, but Ethan French returned the ensuing kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown.

Peters scored three plays later on a 2-yard run to make it 21-7, and French caught a 3-yard touchdown from Brandon Michael, who did not finish the game because of an injury.

French stepped in and completed 2 of 7 passes for 18 yards while rushing 10 times for minus-2 yards. Michael completed only the touchdown, but gained 53 yards on four carries. Andrew Clark added 50 yards on 17 carries.

The loss ended Musselman's season, while Martinsburg finishes with Jefferson next week. The SSAC is appealing the temporary injunction in an effort to take back the pair of wins, which came against Morgantown and Potomac Falls (Va.).

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