WHEELING, W.Va. — Martinsburg can begin the drive for five.

Bolstered by only the third safety in a Class AAA championship game since 1979, the No. 2-ranked Bulldogs won their record fourth straight Class AAA title by edging top-seeded Huntington 9-7 in a defensive battle at the West Virginia Super Six.

Ben Queen/MetroNews photo

Martinsburg’s 440-pound nose guard A.J. Petry wraps up a Huntington ballcarrier during Saturday’s Class AAA championship game at the West Virginia Super Six.

With the finalists combining for a mere 186 yards, Martinsburg (13-1) used its special teams to break through in the second quarter—senior Tyler Miller blocking a Huntington punt that bounced out of the back of the end zone for a safety.

“I knew that play would have a big impact, because it put us up two points,” Miller said. “I saw the hole open up and I just went all out to block it. This was my first blocked punt this year. I’ve been really close before. It felt amazing to finally get it on this stage.”

The play by Miller—who also made a team-high seven tackles—ultimately proved to be the difference as neither team generated much offense.

Video: Martinsburg coach Dave Walker

“We put that (punt block scheme) in this week and thought we may be able to do something with it,” said Martinsburg head coach Dave Walker. “Coach (Britt) Sherman, our special teams coordinator, came up with it, and it was huge.”

Martinsburg’s lone touchdown came with three minutes before half as quarterback Malique Watkins connected with Troy Walker for a 5-yard touchdown pass.

Earlier in the drive, Watkins found Tory Lee for a 25-yard gain that moved the ball into the red zone.

“That whole drive started with the long ball, prayer ball to Tory,” Watkins said. “It started with that ball that he caught, and then Troy and I connected in the end zone. We just did what we had to do.

“It feels so good. Four years in a row, that’s unheard of. They haven’t (done that) in Class AAA,” Watkins said. “It feels so good. We’ll see if they can get five next year. I’ll come back and watch.”

Martinsburg led 9-0 at the half, holding Huntington to just 25 yards on 20 plays.

Video: Martinsburg quarterback Malique Watkins

Things changed, though, after the break.

With Huntington’s defense holding the Bulldogs to minus-31 yards in the second half, the Highlanders (13-1) found momentum on the ground behind running backs Charles Crawford (61 yards on 16 carries) and Paden Christian (54 yards on 15 carries).

The Highlanders finally got on the board in the fourth period, using a 16-play, 80-yard drive that consumed 8:25 before Christian’s 2-yard run closed the gap to 9-7 with 5:51 to go.

“We’ve been down a couple of times this year at the half,” said Huntington coach Billy Seals. “Our kids believe in what we do. It was just an attitude thing, and I’m proud of my kids.”

The Highlanders caught a break with just under three minutes left when Martinsburg muffed a punt and Huntington recovered at Bulldogs’ 42. Martinsburg’s defense, however, sacked Clark Wilson on third down, setting up a fourth-and-25 with 1:29 left.

Wilson’s ensuing fourth-down pass fell to the turf as the Bulldogs sealed the win.

“We thought when we recovered that fumble on the punt there that we could get into field-goal range, but unfortunately we didn’t,” Seals said.

Martinsburg finished the game with 83 yards to Huntington’s 103. Bulldogs quarterback Malique Watkins, the game’s MVP, gained only 21 yards on 22 carries and was 3-of-8 passing for 39 yards and a touchdown.

The teams combined for 17 penalties as well (10 on Huntington, 7 on Martinsburg).

“We tried to give it away toward the end, but it was two great teams going at it and it came down to the wire,” Walker said. “I’m just very happy and very blessed that we were able to come out on top.”

Walker wasn’t interested in talking about the possibility of a fifth championship next season.

“I’m just going to enjoy this one for a while,” he said. “Maybe ride off into the sunset.”

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Comments

  • Isle90

    A great defensive football game. After a few years of high scores MHS and HHS were about as evenly matched as you could get for a championship game. I like to call it a heart attack game as it had me up and down and in and out of my house and computer room. HHS will be back, remember the Bulldog's lost their first 4 games in Wheeling none more famous than the MUD BOWL against Parkersburg South with the 'Dog's up 20-6 at the half when the then frozen turf turned to mud and the Dog's couldn't stop their running game and lost 26-20, but that game got the field changed to TURF which is great for the players and fans alike. 4 in a row is a record that will stand the test of time, but I am sure HHS will be back and so will the BULLDOGS!!!

  • Bob Redman

    CONGRADULATIONS to Martinsburg on their 4th straight WV AAA title....unprecedented!!!....but I have three points....the kids from both sides played their hearts out, but knowledge of the game is not an understanding of the game. (1) MHS played very conservative. (2) The passing game was off. MHS had plenty of receivers open, yet the ball was thrown into double and triple coverage....case in point the jumbo run set (the look of a definate run) and the subsequent toss to the tight end for a TD....excellent call, very innovative....not conservative!
    (3) Huntington is one dimensional, they cant throw the ball.....you really dont have much more to think of defensively....nuff said.
    And just an observation....Tyler Miller was a BEAST on defensive and he did account for a score on that blocked punt for the safety....which was the difference in the final score.....I say T. Miller was MHS most valuable player that day!.....but again CONGRATS Bulldogs on having what it takes to accomplish all you have!!!!

    • WVUFan

      Well said Bob!

      The whole Bulldog team had a heck of a year! Congratulations again to Martinsburg!

      I went to almost all of the Martinsburg home games and most of the away games too.

      From the 1st game of the year clear thru the playoff games and eventually the championship game I didn't think any WV high school football team could beat Martinsburg.

      Can Martinsburg win it all next year in 2014 who knows?

      All I can say is that I don't see any WV high school team win 4 AAA championship titles in a row as Martinsburg did. I believe this will take years for one high school team to dominate in order to tie or break Martinsburg record.

  • Dogs123

    Listen, Huntington completely shut us down. We had 83 yards when we average 400. Give Huntington a lot of respect because this one could have went either way. They flexed their muscles on defense all year and did against us too. That team was every bit as good as us. Glad we got 4 in a row though

    • EP Power

      No doubt if these two teams play 10 times, I would anticipate a 5-5 split. Saturday just happened to be MRB's day. The one thing I have learned over the years watching and attending the Super Six is that the teams that win are good in all three phases of the game AND they have athletes as well as dominant play at the LOS. The first few years MRB made the Super Six (and lost) they had athletes but were beaten handily at the LOS. HHS definitely had the best defense in the state this year. Actually, their defense reminded me of MRB's of two years ago when we beat GW in the title game. Big, fast, and always three or four people to the ball on every play. As for the trash talk, it goes both ways. EP folks don't think we get enough respect for what we have accomplished and folks in the southern part of the state think that no teams will ever be as good as the old Charleston, Capital, Parkersburg teams, etc. There is no reason why there can't be a little "respectful" trash talk. That's what makes it fun. Next year should be another great year. HHS and CM are building nice programs. Capital and SC have a lot returning, as does MRB. Merry Christmas and a safe Holiday to everyone!

    • wow

      good post, MHS was the better all around team, but I think the gap may be closing. If they do 5 in a row better give the coach a raise.

      • Fall fan

        I think the talent on both teams was equal, not position by position but team to team. Huntington has to realize that a great ground game sets up perfect play action. That being said, martinsburg was better. Hhs needs to be able to at least complete a couple of passed to keep teams at least thinking that they may pass. Totally disappointed that hhs did not try to change a little or at least try. We almost won, but the defending champs slammed the door when we had our chance.

    • D Cord.

      Well said Dogs123. I never thought I would here a Martinsburg fan speak the truth without boasting. Or Martinsburg team being held to -31 yards in the second half. Huntington truly had the best defense in the state this year, but didn't win all three phases of the game. Again hats off to Martinsburg and Dogs123.

  • #4peat

    When it comes down to it we won the battle on defense and SPECIAL TEAMS. Both teams pretty much tied on offense. The rest of the state can cry for another year now because of the 4peat!
    Can you smell I 5peat, I do..

  • Dan Barron

    Who cares if they play D-1 ball after high school , they play as a team and do not make many mistakes which comes from hard work and playing well together .... Repeat after me DuPont ... 4 time state champion and in a row .. The Best damn high School program this state has seen in AAA in years ..

    • Fall fan

      Hhs basketball three in a row. Nobody came close. Huntington St joe girls basketball, those are done good ones too.

    • KDWNY

      Best program in years I guess Parkersburg didn't win 4 in 7 years, I guess South Charleston wasn't going for a 3-peat givin the chance. I guess Morgantown didn't win 4 in 6-7years. I guess my East Bank didn't win 4 in 7 years. Capital could of been the first 4 peat, they won in 89, 90 they would of won if they didn't lose their quarterback, won in 91, would of won 92 if they did have meet up with Randy Moss and crew. Trust me that was elite competition. That said Martinsburg is a great program and what they did was great, can't take nothing from that, but let's put things in perspective.

      • sportfourteen

        There you go with that word "IF". Facts are facts! Martinsburg won four straight CHAMPIONSHIPS. Thats all the perspective you need. IT HAS NEVER BEEN DONE IN AAA IN THIS STATE.

        • D Cord.

          Well folks football season is over. Martinsburg congratulation on being the first AAA school to win four in a row. Enjoy your time on the top. You still have a few more trophies to win to be the best in history. Parkersbugh still has the most with 11. Then between Capital and the two schools the became Capital (Charleston high and Stonewall Jackson high) 10. Keep going go for 5 in a row, then you will have done something no school in the history of WV has every done.

          • bulldogs89

            D Cord your quote is about the past this is the future and the eastern panhandle is ruling!! And don't be surprised if Martinsburg don't reach that mark I know for a fact that Martinsburg has a" BUNCH" of studs coming through for the next 6 years so watch out!!

      • EP Power

        Cry me a river KDWNY......cry me a river!!

      • #4peat

        Shoulda coulda woulda DIDNT brace the 4peat

        • #4peat

          *embrace

      • Cooper

        Hey Kadie Whinie or KDWYN, man your dense. Randy Moss, Jason Williams and the other D-1 kid played on the AAA Basketball runner up team as well. Guess who and the tweenkies they lost to U inbred? THE DOGS OF MARTINSBURG. YES, with no NFL OR NBA STARS ON IT. Kids that played hard and didn't let their heads get in the way of the game! Time for U to log off Metro News cause you have been burnt! Shut it down just like the Dogs have the last 4 straight in Football, plus a basketball and baseball recently!

  • Dupont Panthers

    my Question is how many Martinsburgh players playing D1 or any college ball from these championship teams because I dont hear about any that does .............

    • Cooper

      You have just been served there DuPont Kitty...... Your school doesn't even exist anymore. Shut down, like much of the rest of the Kanawha Valley. We respect your history....problem is you don't like what's being written today about us and what the future holds for our program! Here kitty kitty.

      • KDWNY

        East Bank not shut down it's a middle school, so is DuPont. As for your future I coach young men in baseball, if your future is bright that's cool I'm all for that. I don't have a single thing against them young men from Martinsburg, but I do have a problem with people who live through these young men, just tastefully enjoy your community winning now and leave at that.
        End of story!

        • Cooper

          I agree with you! Your best words of the day.....End of Story! Take your own advise sir. My responses and others have been with regards to you doing exactly what your preaching about. Church let out at 11:30 today. Stop living through the Randy Moss's (criminal record) and others and let it alone as well. It was a game and a good one at that. See you next year on the M-News. Coach em up and best of luck!

    • John

      Hey Dupont Panthers, it's MartinsBURG not burgh. Please don't associate us with anything in that city, most would take that offensively. However, one thing that now comes to mind that we do have in common is that we have 4 or more championship wins.

    • #4peat

      Justin Arndt - WVU
      Darren Arndt- WVU
      Cedric Brown - Ohio U
      Eugene German - UNC Charlotte
      Jordan Robinson- Queens U
      Marcus Burrell- naval academy
      Many went D2 because we live in WV- Jared sartin, David gladden, Brandon Ashenfelter, Markus cook, nick Lopez, Logan Jenkins, Kyle Britner, dildeep dhatt, clement Powell, and the list goes on.

      • StarInWV

        Sorry, Marcus Burrell is neither salty nor rides at Canoe U. He attends West Point. You're correct everywhere else.

      • John

        Hey Dupont Panthers.....I believe #4peat just got the upper hand in that irrelevant comment you had earlier. Do you have any other stupid comments, questions or excuses for us here in the eastern panhandle?

        FYI.... We will be here all week to respond to the inquiries! We except payments in visa, MasterCard, and discover.

        Also to add to #4peat's response:
        Nate Sowers -Wvu (friends don't let friends go to Marshall)
        Jessie Keyser - coast guard
        Zach Newhouse - navy
        Dustin Peters - Wvu
        Brandon Barrett - Wvu

  • Dan Barron

    Apparently you didn't witness the 30-0 beat down Martinsburg put on Brooke ..defense did win the game today but it belonged to the Bulldogs . You can pass the league trophy over too MHS went undefeated against their conference as well

  • Woody Woodrum

    Good reporting Garrett, great pictures from a great game. Really enjoyed listening to Fred call the best HS defense I have ever seen in 45 years of being around the game in the Huntington-D.

    • Woody Woodrum

      Also very impressed with Martinsburg Defense, as no one else held Highlanders to only one touchdown. Would not mind seeing these teams play again next year in finals. Coach Walker has done as good of a job as any coach ever in this state, and four straight titles is impressive feat. Two unbelievable games for Tri-State area to lose to two great programs in Bridgeport and Martinsburg, and Wayne and Huntington will be back, along with Midland, Capital and Wheeling Park, I am sure. Very good year for football in West "By God".

      • bulldogs89

        I think no I know Martinsburgs defense was just a little better then Huntingtons! And we gave u that touchdown with 2 dum personal fouls or u don't see the endzone!

        • Hailey

          Can someone please provide an English translator, I am struggling with this one .

          • bulldogs89

            If u r talking about my post u must b from Huntington n plan words u lost get over it!!!!!

  • Josh

    Charles Crawford 961 yards on 16 carries. That's a heck of a yards per carry average lol

    • Brian

      Gotta be some kind of record haaa! How the heck did they only come away with 7 points and lose?

  • Cooper

    WOW, you are foul and clueless. This team got it done. Live with it. Enjoy your 2 pt. loss. Should have been more.

    • wow

      9-7 way to dominate for the best team in wv history.

      • dogs1981

        still got the W and haven't lost to a W.V team since 2009!!!

        • 1PROUDDOG

          Bill...Please come up to speed. This is 2013! When was the last time Parkersburg was in the state final game...let alone win the state football title? Talk about living in the past!

      • bulldogs89

        9-7 or 70-0 a win is a win we are the 4 time defending STATE CHAMPIONS! All Huntington did was talk all year about how great they was but they didn't impress me at all yea there defense was OK but we scored on them and missed on a wide open pass down the side line so I would say its time for everyone to shut up my be u!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Bill

          You won the game on a blocked punt and a lucky long pass on third and long that set up your only score.This was a good game that could have been won by either team.Nobody dominated either way.By the way the gap is closed on Martinsburg and the rest of the state.

          • WVUFan

            Hey Billy you say "Nobody dominated either way."

            9-7 sounds like a win to me and everyone else reading these posts.

            Hate to burst your bubble Billy, but Martinsburg DOMINATED the game otherwise they would have lost...

          • Bill

            You are going to have to win 12 more to catch up with me.Iam from Parkersburg and we own Martinsburg in title games

          • bulldogs89

            If your defense was so great then the pass wouldn't be completed. And the gap has closed did u slip n the snow snd hit your head? Like I said we gave u the touchdown and if your special teams was a great as they was saying the punt won't got blocked so u keep playing that weak schedule and we will play our power houses and see who is n wheeling next year! The drive for 5!!!

          • dogs1981

            HEY BILL still 4 in row beats your empty hand

  • Capital High School Fan

    Congratulations to the state champions from Martinsburg and the runners-up from Huntington who were the champions of the Mountain State Athletic conference.
    Both are great teams that apparently played a game for the ages in the Super Six in Wheeling Today.
    Championship footballball games should have scores like this one did.
    Offense wins games. Defense wins championships.
    What a way to go! Congratulations, again, and best of luck in the future to both teams!

  • Mtn man

    ...."Ride off into the sunset"????
    What did that mean? Way to go Dogs and congrats to HHS on a great season. Now it's off to the A game. Will it be another 1 or 2 pointer? I say Madonna rolls in this one.

  • Single A

    Greenbrier West is the state Single A champion of the public schools.

    Madonna and other private schools have the ability to recruit and therefore should not be allowed to play as Single A teams.

    • Brent

      Crime me a river

    • lulu

      Quit whining! Why don't you ask families with great student athletes to move into your area so they can go to your school as other public schools do. If you've got the players, you can beat the private schools.

    • DW

      I don't know what that has to do with the AAA championship, or why your making excuses before your team even takes the field, oh yea of little faith, but I do agree to a point. I am older now and don't follow the preps as much as I used to but the Catholic and private schools do seem to load up in the single A ranks in a few different sports. Not knocking Catholic schools, I went to Bishop Donahue in Marshall Co. and they have played in and one some titles in different sports and I can honestly say they were all local kids. A lot of them just wanted to avoid the politics of big school, big booster sports.

  • Wow

    Best team wv high school history only beats HHS 9-7. HHS must be 2nd best ever in wv history, or maybe MHS's football team is a good football team not football gods.

    • 1prouddog

      wow..
      HATER! Congrats DOGS! All we do is win win win win win!!!....Who let the DOGS out!!??

      • wow

        The MHS players are great, and they play the games, not you big mouth fans. 4 in a row in AAA may never be done again, but the players did it not you fans. you guys make it sound like because the football team is great, some how it makes you "fans" smarter football people than anyone else.

        • 1prouddog

          wow,
          12th man makes a difference in ball games. Some fans have kids on the team. Some fans played for Martinsburg in the past. Whats the problem? Maybe you never won anything nor played anything and that is why you post like you don't know anything!!! You really ought to learn more about sports before you post things that don't make sense! Teams DO appreciate their fans...especially SUCCESSFUL ones!!!

          • wow

            I don't care how good of a fan you are, that does not give you a right to be arrogant. Support the great team you by cheering for them, not talking down to other teams. By the way I did play D-1 Basketball at ECU, but that doesn't make me or my opinion better than others. again great year by MHS players.

    • WVIRGINIAN FOR LIFE

      Sour grapes......let us know when Huntington wins four straight state championships. It won't be in your lifetime. Find some class at the same time. Huntington has a great team. But they didn't prevail. End of the story.

    • WVUFan

      Hey wOw, 9-7........... We know how #1 is.......

      • wow

        yes, the football team, not you.

        • WVUFan

          Hey WoW, The 'we' I used is everyone reading this post.

    • DW

      WOW,
      Martinsburg goes everywhere to play anybody. Gods? No not in the sense of a USA Today top 25 prep. but still one hell of a team on one hell of a run. Win your first title then come back with a little backing to your theory.

      • wow

        I'm not from Huntington, not even a HHS fan. Before the game all the MHS people were talking about how no team in WV was even close. Well 9-7 seems close to me. Like I said MHS a really good team just not way better than every other team in WV. I used to cheer for MHS because of the valley teams fans mouths, but now it is the MHS fans mouths I can't stand to hear. Congrats to the MHS players for a history making run.

        • 1prouddog

          can't beat them join them!

  • DW

    2014 rematch? I have no dog in the fight (no pun intended) but The Berg going for a record 5 straight titles and HHS hungrier than ever makes a good story line.