Class AAA Championship Preview

 

At the beginning of the season many people expected George Washington and Martinsburg to meet in the championship game. After all, the Patriots returned one of the most talented running backs in the state in Ryan Switzer and Martinsburg returned several players off a team that ran the table last season, winning the school’s first ever state title.

After 14 weeks those predictions have come true. Switzer has electrified fans, rushing for 2,601 yards and 39 touchdowns. Martinsburg held up its end of the bargain by dominating opponents, allowing just 76 points in 13 games.

 “I had a good feeling about it, I thought I had some good young men that had been working hard and had been pretty close [last season],” said George Washington head coach Steve Edwards, Jr. about his feelings on his team before the season began. “They had high expectations; the community had high expectations for them. I thought we could be pretty good, I thought we had a chance, but it’s worked out real well for them.”

Martinsburg head coach Dave Walker felt the same way about his team that returned a bunch of starters off last year’s state championship team. “This group has stayed pretty focused and worked very hard,” said Walker.

The Bulldogs are led by a defense that has forced more than 30 turnovers this season and recorded five shutouts. Linebacker Logan Jenkins became the school’s all-time leading tackler this season and safety Chris Perkins has had an all-state caliber season. The state’s best defense will face its toughest test of the season Saturday in trying to stop Switzer who has shredded defenses all season long, even when teams set out to stop him.

Offensively, Martinsburg is led by senior quarterback Brandon Ashenfelter who has a bevy of weapons to distribute the football to, including running backs Justin Arndt and Perkins along with receivers Cedric Brown, Darren Patterson and Derek Long.  

George Washington’s offense enters the game as one of the top scoring teams in Class AAA, putting up 38 points per games. The Patriots have scored more than 40 points six times this season.

“I think both teams are very deserving to be where they are,” said Edwards.

“This is the matchup everyone’s been wanting to see,” said Walkers. “It should be a great matchup, I think it’s going to be exciting and it should be great for high school football in West Virginia.”

Kickoff is set for noon Saturday at Wheeling Island Stadium. Coverage can be found on many Metronews affiliates across the state and here at wvmetronews.com





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