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'Are you serious?' Urbana edges Martinsburg

September 13, 2008|By JOHN O'BRIEN

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Ross Flanigan looked up at the scoreboard and saw what he'd done.

To his surprise, he'd just scored the game-winner in Urbana's 29-28 victory over Martinsburg Friday night.

Flanigan followed quarterback Jesse Heon's 1-yard touchdown with a go-ahead 2-point conversion run that set the stage for a chaotic final 11 minutes. A Martinsburg player had jumped offsides while the Hawks were attempting a game-tying extra point, putting the ball just outside the 1-yard line.

"I thought the 2-point conversion was going to tie it," admitted Flanigan, who overcame a slow start to rush for 205 yards on 27 carries. "I looked up at the scoreboard was like, 'Are you serious?'"

Flanigan described his state of mind at the time as "brain-dead." His legs, though, were working just fine.

Up 14-13 at halftime, the Hawks (2-0) extended their lead on the first drive of the second half with a five-play drive that was all Flanigan runs. He rumbled the final 40 on a touchdown run, putting Urbana up 21-13.

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Martinsburg (1-2) responded with 15 straight points. Quarterback Kam Puller and running back Ryan Rowland combined for 240 yards on the ground but hooked up on a 22-yard pass play that, coupled with Puller's 2-point conversion run, tied the game with 6:28 left in the third quarter. Four minutes later, Puller scored from 15 yards out to give the Bulldogs a 28-21 lead.

The Hawks answered with a 91-yard drive that featured runs of 51 and 28 from Flanigan. Heon finished it off with his second-down sneak, and Flanigan put Urbana ahead.

Martinsburg was not without its chances, though. Puller was stopped on a fourth-down option at the Hawks' 35-yard line with 8 minutes left and Noon Jordan's 38-yard field goal attempt with 1:54 went wide left. His career-long is 37 yards.

The Bulldogs got the ball back on the Hawks' 41 with 55 seconds left after David Hammond's 16-yard punt return.

Puller stayed inbounds on a 2-yard run near the sidelines, burning nearly 30 seconds before Urbana's Matt Semelsberger went unblocked on his way to blindsiding Puller, causing a fumble that the Hawks recovered.

Martinsburg coach David Walker called Puller's run "a sophomore mistake" and his offensive line's play "horrendous."

"We didn't block nobody," he said. "We didn't know who to block."

Puller rushed 28 times for 151 yards and completed 3 of 7 passes for 46 yards. Rowland rushed 20 times for 89 yards, including a 2-yard run with 3:30 left in the first half that tied the game at 7-7.

Brandon Bishop returned a punt 12 yards for a score 90 seconds later, but Martinsburg could not convert the extra point. Urbana went 80 yards in 1:33, scoring on Heon's 16-yard pass to Paul Grabowski that made it 14-13.

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