MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Class AAA defending state champion and No. 2 Martinsburg on Friday night defeated No. 10 John Marshall 54-0 in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs.
It was the second straight postseason shutout for the Bulldogs after holding Morgantown to without a first down and negative total yards in the opening round.
Against John Marshall, Martinsburg surrendered just two yards of offense and two first downs (both on penalties).
“The last two games speak for themselves on the amount of work that those guys (defensively) put in on that side of the ball,” said Martinsburg quarterback Tyson Bagent. “Our guys have just been coming in ready to go over the last couple of weeks.”
Bagent, himself, was more than efficient, besting his overall season completion percentage of 70 percent with a 15 of 16 effort. The .938 completion percentage on Friday set an individual playoff record.
One of the front-runners for the Kennedy Award and MetroNews Player of the Year, Bagent finished the game with four passing touchdowns.
“Having a good defense helps offensively because usually I get the ball at either our side of the 50-yard line or very close to that,” Bagent said. “Hats off to our defense, they’ve been playing very well and I hope they continue to play well as the season comes to an end.”
Bagent’s early scores, along with a pair of first half touchdowns from running back Dewayne Grantham, helped set the tone.
“(The quick start) was definitely one of the most important keys to the game,” Bagent said. “It got our confidence up and gave us a boost on offense and defense – special teams brought it as well and that always helps. I’m just proud of the way that it happened and I can’t wait for next week.”
That game next week is a matchup with No. 6 Capital, which ousted No. 3 University on Friday night as well, 48-24.
“The guys always come ready to go,” Bagent said. “I feel very special to be a part of what’s going on in Martinsburg.”
Including last year’s championship run, Martinsburg has now put together five shutouts and surrendered just one touchdown in its last six playoff games.
– Photos courtesy Christopher C. Davis, Clark’s Artistic Photography