Martinsburg spoils Washington's home opener

September 20, 2008

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- His team's home debut probably didn't go as well as Washington football coach Mark Hash had hoped, but it probably went about like he'd expected.

The Patriots were outclassed in their first-ever home game, losing 55-8 Friday night to a Martinsburg team seeking redemption after two early-season losses. The Bulldogs lost last week to Urbana, 29-28.

"They're one of the top three or four programs in the state of West Virginia," Hash said. "They had something to prove tonight, and they proved it."

Martinsburg (2-2) led 28-0 after the first quarter and 42-0 at halftime. Coach David Walker even punted on first down twice in the second half to prevent his team from running up the score.


Sophomore quarterback Kameron Puller rushed for 83 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 87 yards and another touchdown in limited work. Running back Ryan Rowland added 45 yards and two touchdowns.

"I didn't want to get too far ahead. That's pretty much the reason (for punting on first down)," Walker said. "It's easier for us to get the young kids in on defense."

Washington already has its first win, a 14-6 triumph over Hedgesville in the season-opener. Now the 1-2 Patriots will have to wait until an Oct. 10 matchup with Kettle Run (Va.) to have another chance at their first home win.

"It's a long road and we know it, and the kids know it," Hash said.

It certainly looked that way in the first half Friday night. Puller scored on a 49-yard run just 1 minute, 11 seconds into the game, then threw a 20-yard touchdown to David Hammond after the Patriots went three-and-out.

James Jordan scored on a 14-yard run, and Rowland followed the first of two Jon Arndt interceptions with a 1-yard touchdown that made it 28-0 with 1:14 left in the first quarter.

Puller scored on a 20-yard run on third-and-8 with 3:25 left in the half, and Rowland scored from 1 yard out with less than a minute left for the 42-0 halftime lead. Washington gained just 1 yard in the first quarter and minus-6 in the second.

In the third, Derek Walker caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Brett Rogers to make it 49-0. Freshman Tyrek Collier scored the first Patriots touchdown at their new field, as he took a Logan Johnson pass 74 yards with 6:45 left in the third quarter.

Jordan Carter ran in a 2-point conversion, but an unsuccessful onside kick set up Scotty Nicholson's 35-yard touchdown that capped the scoring.

Junior Bradley Jackson led the Patriots with 64 yards on 10 carries. Dylan Nick, Washington's most productive runner in its first two games, was held to minus-3 yards on nine carries.

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