Unbeaten Martinsburg found all sorts of ways to score Saturday afternoon, rolling up a record-setting 84-0 victory over Preston in the first round of the Class AAA football playoffs.
The three-time defending champion Bulldogs (11-0) stretched their winning streak to 53 straight games, scoring all their points in the first half, including three blocked punts for touchdowns, two special teams scores, an interception for a TD and another tally on a fumble return. The previous record for points in a first-round game was 77.
The Bulldogs ran just 12 offensive plays for 244 total yards in the first half, and held No. 16 seed Preston to 37 plays for minus-2 yards. The Bulldogs opened a 21-0 lead without running a single play offensively.
Anthony Smith returned the opening kickoff for a 69-yard score, then Trenton Sherman blocked a punt and Malakai Brown recovered in the end zone for a TD and Brown’s block led to an Ayden Crider recovery and score.
Class AWheeling Central 13, Tolsia 12: Jacob Rine threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Creighton with nine seconds left and the Maroon Knights escaped with a thrilling win over the host Rebels (7-4).
That touchdown was the second score in the final minute, following a 90-yard scoring drive by the No. 7 seed Rebels, who took a 12-7 lead with 39 seconds left when Jesse Muncy found Tanner Copley for a 6-yard TD pass.
After a scoreless first half, Tolsia’s Gavin Meadows returned an interception 56 yards for the game’s first score as time expired in the thrid quarter to make it 6-0. Central (7-4) took its first lead when Rine found Creighton for a 17-yard score with just under nine minutes left in the game.
The win was the Maroon Knights’ first in four road games this season and they travel to Ritchie County next weekend to face the No. 2 Rebels in the quarterfinals.
Doddridge County 57, Madonna 7: No. 1 seed Doddridge (11-0) scored 43 unanswered points to pick up a first-round win. Reese Burnside rushed for 124 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries for the Bulldogs, while Hunter America chipped in with 101 yards on 13 touches.
Noah Bumgardner threw for two scores and 185 yards and added a rushing TD for the Bulldogs. Madonna (6-4-1) was held to 107 yards of offense.
Doddridge County advances to play host to East Hardy in the quarterfinals next weekend.
East Hardy 12, Midland Trail 7: Christian Dove made a touchdown-saving tackle and forced a fumble recovered by teammate Dawson Price in the end zone with less than two minutes left, preserving the win for the No. 8 Cougars (8-3).
Cody Harrell had broken off a 61-yard run for No. 9 Midland Trail (6-5), but was tracked down by Dove for the game-changing turnover.
Midland Trail held the Cougars to only 29 rushing yards on 21 carries and limited East Hardy’s Dove to 9 of 28 completions for 176 passing yards, but he threw two touchdowns.
Friday’s AA gameFairmont Senior 63, Winfield 34: No. 16 seed Winfield threw for 348 yards and hung tough for three quarters, but No. 1 seed and defending champion Fairmont Senior forced seven turnovers to pull away from the Generals in a wild first-round victory.
Frankie Smith led the Polar Bears (11-0), totaling three interceptions with a pair of receiving touchdowns, and running back Keishawn Cottingham racked up 183 rushing yards and three scores on 22 carries. Sophomore quarterback Dominick Stingo also threw for three TDs in the win.
Nick Vance threw three touchdown passes for the Generals, but was picked off six times by Fairmont’s defense. Hunter Morris hauled in eight catches for 182 yards and a score for Winfield (7-4). John Covert caught a 24-yard TD pass.
Winfield trailed just 28-20 at halftime against a Polar Bears team that had allowed only eight touchdowns in 10 regular-season games.