Eastern Panhandle high school football playoff report: Week 14

CLASS AAA

No. 4 Musselman (11-1) at No. 1 Martinsburg (12-0)

When: Friday at 1:30 p.m.

Last week: The Applemen were dominant in a 52-7 win over No. 5 Ripley. The Bulldogs raced past No. 9 Parkersburg for a 49-20 victory.

Why it’s important: Musselman gets another shot at the two-time defending state champions after these teams met in Week 10 and Martinsburg rolloed to a 70-0 victory. The Bulldogs have won a state record 40 consecutive games and another victory over the Applemen is all that’s standing between them and a chance at a third straight state championship.

Who to watch for Musselman: While the Applemen have allowed only 139 points in their 11 games outside of Martinsburg, the defense will have to show up in a big way to have any chance at an upset. For the defense to thrive, the Applemen will need to keep the Martinsburg offense off the field as much as possible, meaning Musselman quarterback Tre Beard and tailback Blake Hartman will need big performances. 

Who to watch for Martinsburg: The explosive offense is often keyed by quarterback Grant Harman and now has a healthy Dewayne Grantham in the backfield to add to the unit’s big-play ability. R.J. Barrett is a standout defender and is coming off a game in which he had 13 tackles, two sacks, one interception and a blocked punt. 





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