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WHEELING — When sophomore Murphy Clement, Martinsburg’s quarterback and leading rusher and scorer, went down with an ankle injury two weeks ago in the playoff quarterfinals, someone needed to take charge of the Bulldogs’ offense.

His older brother, senior Hudson Clement, was ready and willing for the challenge.

Was he ever.

Hudson Clement darted and dashed for a record eight touchdowns, four rushing and four receiving, steering Martinsburg to yet another Class AAA championship with a 62-21 victory against previously unbeaten Huntington Saturday at Wheeling Island Stadium.

The win gave the second-seeded Bulldogs (13-1) their ninth state title in 12 years and was the polar opposite of their 9-7 victory over the Highlanders in the 2013 final, which stands as one of the tightest defensive struggles in state title-game history.

“Eight touchdowns is a great feeling,” Hudson Clement said. “When you have a great offense like this, a great team that can execute, that’s what’s going to happen. It could have been anyone on the field. We had great execution as a team.”

The 41-point margin of victory was enough to trigger a running clock in the fourth quarter, but wasn’t a Class AAA title-game record. Martinsburg already owned that mark with a 49-7 win against Spring Valley in 2016.

Clement’s eight touchdowns, however, broke several marks, as the previous high in any Super Six game was five, set by a pair of Class A athletes — Gino Bianconi (Wheeling Central, 2011) and Ross Comis (Madonna, 2012).

Hudson Clement ended the game with 175 yards on eight catches, including scoring grabs of 32, 10, 21 and 40 yards from quarterback Ezra Bagent, and carried seven times for 41 yards, hitting the end zone on runs of 6, 3, 2 and 5 yards. He also turned in one of his team’s five interceptions and was selected as his team’s MVP in a media vote.

“I feel like he had a crazy game today, catching all them balls,” said Bagent, who had split time at quarterback this season with Murphy Clement. “He’s a beast. He can catch anything, play for any college team in the United States.”

Hudson Clement’s eight touchdowns also tied the state record for any playoff game that was established by Scott running back Jordan Roberts during a 54-20 victory against Berkeley Springs in a 2007 Class AA playoff game in Martinsburg.

Murphy Clement was by far the team’s top rusher before his season-ending injury, which forced a variety of other Bulldogs into the wildcat formation once their team got close to the end zone.

“I had to,” Hudson Clement said. “Once Murph went down, someone’s got to step up. It’s always been next man up the whole season with injuries. That’s just what we did.”

Before Hudson Clement turned the Super Six into his personal showcase, top-seeded Huntington (13-1) looked like it might be able to hang with the Bulldogs.

The game was tied at 7 after one quarter and the Highlanders appeared poised to tie it up again at 14-all, but were stonewalled on fourth and goal, giving Martinsburg the ball at its own 1 with a 14-7 lead and 4:49 remaining until halftime.

The Bulldogs marched 99 yards to go up by two scores for the first time, and just kept right on rolling. Their advantage swelled from 14-7 to 41-14 in the final 2:52 of the first half.

Huntington had two of its six turnovers in that stretch, a muff on a high kickoff attempt that was covered by Martinsburg, and an interception by Avion Blackwood. Highlanders quarterback Gavin Lochow, who had thrown just seven interceptions in his first 13 games, was picked off five times.

“We won the turnover battle all year long,” said Highlanders coach Billy Seals, “and we were probably minus-5 or minus-6 today. You can’t do that here. You can’t do that against Martinsburg.”

Huntington got the second-half kickoff and moved 69 yards to score on Lochow’s 1-yard run and shave its deficit to 41-21, but another pair of Hudson Clement touchdowns just 87 seconds apart bumped the lead back to 55-21 and the game was essentially over.

Bagent, the younger brother of former Martinsburg championship quarterback Tyson Bagent, completed 12 of 20 passes for 220 yards and five touchdowns without an interception and wasn’t sacked. Eric King ran 19 times for 165 yards.

The only other Bulldog to hit the end zone was Jacob Barrick, who caught a 29-yard scoring pass with 27 seconds left before halftime to make it 34-14.

Ezra Bagent said last season’s disappointment, when COVID-19 shut down Martinsburg’s season during the playoffs, served as an inspiration for his team to get back to the Super Six.

“Our motivation was last season, getting our season cut short,” he said, “and coming back this year and getting that ring for the [ninth time in 12 years].”

For Huntington, the Mountain State Athletic Conference champion, Lochow completed 10 of 24 passes for 192 yards and two scores, finding Noah Waynick and NaKyin Harrell with TD tosses. Lochow also ran 20 times for 93 yards and one score.

Harrell, with three catches for 62 yards, was selected as his team’s MVP.

Seals noted the strong turnout of Huntington fans in the stands and has high hopes for the future of his program.

“Thanks to our community for coming out and supporting us,” Seals said. “We’ll be back. We’ve just got to go back and fix things and work on them.”

Rick Ryan covers prep sports. He can be reached at 304-348-5175 or rickryan@hdmediallc.com. Follow him on Twitter @RickRyanWV.

Preps Sports Reporter