Justin “Cookie” Clinton threw for two touchdowns and ran for another Saturday to lead No. 2 Martinsburg to a 38-14 win over top-seeded Cabell Midland for the Bulldogs’ third straight Class AAA championship.
“They’re all in a special place,” said Martinsburg coach Dave Walker, “and obviously the first time is special, but they’re all great. This group of guys just really worked hard. They didn’t want to have any dropoff from where we’ve been.”
Clinton passed for 127 yards and threw for 93 more at Wheeling Island Stadium. Teammate Trey Boyd rushed for 193 yards and two touchdowns.
Boyd set a Class AAA championship game record for the longest run from scrimmage with an 83-yard scoring dash in the second quarter. Morgantown’s Thomas Porchia held the previous mark with an 80-yard run against Nitro in 1998.
Cedric Brown had TD catches of 7 and 30 yards for Martinsburg, which had 416 total yards of total offense.
The Bulldogs (13-1) led 28-7 at halftime and became the second team to win three straight Class AAA championships. Charleston High accomplished the feat from 1968-70. Martinsburg has won 41 of last 42 games over the past three seasons.
David Gaydosz rushed for 133 yards and two scores to lead Cabell Midland (13-1). Lowell Farley also topped the century mark for the Knights, rushing for 120 yards.
It was the first trip to the championship game ever for Cabell Midland. The Knights had made the semifinals in 2000, ‘03 and ‘05.
Clinton finished the year with 1,542 rushing yards and 24 TDs on the ground to go along with 1,726 passing yards and 18 scores through the air.
“It means a lot,” Clinton said, “especially to our community back in Martinsburg. We came here and we wanted to make a statement, and we wanted to make history. And you can see what we did today.”
Martinsburg’s defense, which yielded just three touchdowns in its first three playoff games, was stout again Saturday against a Cabell Midland offense averaging 36 points. Martinsburg’s Dean DeSana had a game-high 7.5 tackles, including a sack.
Gaydosz scored on a 1-yard run in the third quarter to cut Cabell Midland’s deficit to 35-14 and the Knights were driving again to start the fourth quarter following Martinsburg’s first punt. But Cabell Midland failed to convert on fourth-and-long on consecutive possessions.
“You’ve almost got to play close to perfect against these guys,” Cabell Midland coach Luke Salmons said. “That’s why they’re three-time state champs. We missed some opportunities, I felt like, and you can’t do that in big games.’’
“They’re the best team by far we’ve played this whole year,” Gaydosz said of Martinsburg.
Cabell Midland was a combined 5 for 19 on third and fourth downs.
Martinsburg’s Tyler DeHaven capped the scoring with a 48-yard field goal.
Wahama 43, Madonna 42 OT
WHEELING (AP) — Zach Wamsley scored on a 1-yard run in overtime and quarterback Trenton Gibbs converted the two-point conversion run to give Wahama a 43-42 overtime win over Madonna in the Class A championship game Saturday night.
It was the highest scoring championship game in Class A history, breaking the mark of 53 points in Sistersville’s 42-11 win over Fayetteville in 1984.
No. 3 seeded Wahama (14-0) earned its first state title.
Ross Comis had a record six touchdowns for No. 4 Madonna (12-2), including five on the ground. His touchdown pass tied the game with 47 seconds left in regulation and his 2-yard TD run in overtime, along with the extra-point kick, put the Blue Dons ahead 42-35.
Kane Roush finished with 170 rushing yards, Wamsley had 112 and both scored three times for Wahama.
It marked the first overtime title game in any division since Morgantown beat Nitro 27-24 in Class AAA in 2005, and the first in Class A since Wheeling Central defeated Moorefield 14-7 in 2002.