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Bulldogs take a bite out of Mohigans

November 14, 2009|By BOB PARASILITI

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Suddenly, David Walker's bad news was good news.

"You got practice on Monday," the Martinsburg football coach yelled to his players in their post-game huddle. "Get some rest. You have a lot of football left to play."

It might have been the first time a full practice got a cheer. But for Martinsburg, it was still playing. The defense provided turnovers and field position after tightening up in the second half on Friday as the seventh-seeded Bulldogs scored a 19-13 victory over No. 10-seed Morgantown in the first round of the West Virginia Class AAA playoffs.

"Normally, that would be bad news," Walker said. "But I don't think they want to quit playing."

The Bulldogs won't, at least for another week. Martinsburg will face the winner of today's Lewis County-South Charleston game next week.

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The Bulldogs led 7-6 at the half and used two Andrew Dopson field goals and a 69-yard touchdown pass from Alex Schonhans to David Hammond to score just enough to win.

Martinsburg showed a little grit and desire to get this far, considering how Friday's game started.

Morgantown marched downfield on its opening drive, using a 71-yard march capped by a 6-yard score on a sweep by Mohigans quarterback Matthew Saab. Morgantown missed the extra point, but led 6-0 with 3:46 to go in the first quarter.

The Bulldogs defense started to right itself some but the offense struggled. They both woke up about the same time.

Martinsburg got its first break when Morgantown's Jeff Allen fumbled with 1:30 left in the half, and it was recovered by Martinsburg's Justin Arndt.

The Bulldogs started on their own 34 and got a 50-yard pass play on the first snap from scrimmage. Schonhans started it with a bounced lateral to receiver Brandon Ashenfelter near the sideline, who fired a 50-yard strike to Donell Ferguson down to Morgantown's 18.

"It was a trick play," Walker said. "We have done it with the JVs a bit and it looked good. We needed a spark. It worked good because we weren't moving the ball."

Martinsburg went down and scored on Kam Puller's 2-yard pass to Kendall Redman with 4.1 seconds remaining in the half. Dopson's extra point gave the Bulldogs a 7-6 halftime lead, despite struggling to control the Mohigans in the first half.

The second half was entirely a different story.

Martinsburg kicked off to start the last 24 minutes and kept Morgantown pinned deep for most of the third quarter.

A short punt led to Dopson's 22-yard field goal, and a Saab fumble recovered by Kirk Hairston -- his first of two for the game -- led to a 27-yard field goal by Dopson to move the Bulldogs to a 13-6 advantage with 2:01 remaining in the quarter.

"We didn't make any adjustments at the half," Walker said. "It was just a matter of what we practiced. We had to stop giving up big plays on third down."

The Bulldogs iced their scoring on their next possession as Schonhans hit Hammond on a 20-yard curl near midfield on the first play after a Morgantown punt to the Martinsburg 31. Hammond turned, found no one behind him and sprinted the last 50 yards for the score and a 19-6 lead.

Morgantown scored on a 44-yard run by Chris Glover with 8:51 remaining, but neither team could muster a consistent drive the rest of the way. Martinsburg choked off the clock while driving to the Morgantown 17 with 1:55 remaining.

The Mohigans took over but fumbled on their second play, giving Hairston his second recovery and the Bulldogs the ball to end the game.

Both teams ran 55 plays in the game, with Martinsburg holding a final yardage edge of 306-260.

And now, Martinsburg has another week of practice.

"The defense understood the situation of that last stand," Walker said. "All the teams out here now are battling for their lives."

Martinsburg 19, Morgantown 13

Mo -- Matthew Saab 6 run (kick failed)
Ma -- Kendall Redman 2 pass from Kam Puller (Andrew Dopson kick)
Ma -- FG 22 Dopson
Ma -- FG 27 Dopson
Ma -- David Hammond 69 pass from Alex Schonhans (kick failed)
Mo -- Chris Glover 44 run (Nick Romito kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING--Morgantown, Allen 9-59, Saab 10-52, Glover 4-37, Musick 9-28, Vecchio 10-26, Adams 1-(minus 2). Martinsburg, Gladden 12-47, Bishop 12-47, Puller 12-36, Team 2-(minus 2).
PASSING--Morgantown, Saab 4-12-0 60. Martinsburg, Schonhans 5-11-0 118, Ashenfelter 1-1-0 50, Puller 2-5-0 10.
RECEIVING--Morgantown, Glover 3-28, Vecchio 1-32. Martinsburg, Hammond 4-98; Walker 3-81, D. Ferguson 1-50, Redman 1-2.
Records: Morgantown 7-4, Martinsburg 10-2.

Morgantown6007--13Williamsport07120--19MorgMartFirst downs1412Rushes-yards43-20038-128Passing yards60178Comp-Att-Int4-12-08-17-0Total offense55-26055-306Punts-avg.4-43.53-43.0Penalties-yards5-242-10Fumbles-lost4-31-1
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