If you’re looking for a superstar on Martinsburg’s football team this year, head coach David Walker says to look elsewhere.

During a three-year stretch from 2002-2004, the Kennedy Award became quite comfortable in the Eastern Panhandle.

Wide receiver Brandon Barrett won the honor as the state’s top high school football player in 2002 and 2003. Then his quarterback Nate Sowers, who is currently West Virginia’s third-string QB and is also used as a receiver, earned the award two years ago in 2004.

That’s not the case anymore, even though senior tailback Josh Twyman was one of the preseason favorites to win the Kennedy Award this year.

“Josh gets some attention, but we don’t have the kind of kids like some who we’ve had in the past,” Walker said during a telephone interview Tuesday evening. “We’re not real flashy. Our kids work real hard.

“I think we’re just a blue-collar team trying to get better every day.”

What Walker has is an 11-1 football team seeded second and playing host to No. 6 seed West Fairmont (10-2) in the Class AAA state semifinals at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

While it’s something the Polar Bears haven’t done since 1992, this isn’t, however, unfamiliar territory for the Bulldogs.

With a win Saturday, Martinsburg will reach the Class AAA state championship game for the fourth time in the last six years — but still in search of that elusive first title.

“You always hope to have postseason success, but it’s not like we sit down before the season expecting to be at a certain level,” Walker said. “We always try to take it one game at a time, take care of the little things and try to make a long run in the postseason.”

Beginning with Twyman, the 5-10, 180-pound senior tailback is coming off a season-low performance in a 13-2 win over South Charleston.

Twyman was held to 76 yards on 24 carries while not reaching the end zone. It was the first time Twyman failed to eclipse 100 yards and score a touchdown, which he had done the previous 11 games.

On the season, Twyman has rushed for 1,787 yards on 271 carries — an average of 6.6 yards per carry — and scored 22 touchdowns.

“Consistency is the word I used with him quite a bit,” Walker said. “He always shows up ready to play. You know he’s going to run hard.”

While Twyman was held in check and garnered most of the attention from South Charleston, that allowed Martinsburg’s second running back to have a breakout game.

Marcus Scott, a 6-1, 190-pound senior, gained a game-high 125 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown run.

But Scott isn’t your typical reserve tailback. Not when you’re averaging 11.1 yards per carry like he is with 829 yards on just 75 rushes with 11 TDs.

“He complements Josh real well,” Walker said. “When we give him the ball, he makes the most of it. He’s also a talented football player. And obviously, he’s come up with big plays for us.”

Just when you think this is a run-dominant offense, junior quarterback Dustin Peters throws his wrinkle into the equation.

Peters, who started the first three games as a sophomore before an injured knee sidelined him for the season, has completed 98 of 218 passes for 1,423 yards, eight touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

“He knows how to run our offense,” Walker said. “He’s capable of throwing the ball, and he’s done a real nice job for a junior.”

As for the defense, Martinsburg has allowed just 124 points in 12 games, which is good enough for a stingy 10.3 points-per-game average.

Xavier Peters leads the secondary with 10 interceptions, while linebackers Derek Walker and Scott Stump as well as nose tackle Bryce Hobbs lead the team in tackles. Marcus Scott has a team-high 6.5 sacks.

“We tackle pretty well. We’re pretty physical. And we have a couple of guys who can run to the ball,” Walker said. “They play hard, and our team chemistry is great. That’s the best thing about it.”

No matter what the outcome is Saturday afternoon, Walker can’t be too disappointed with what Martinsburg has accomplished this year.

“You can’t anticipate your success at beginning of the year,” Walker said. “Regardless of what happens from here on out, we’ve had a good year. We feel good about where we’re at and where we’ve come to this point.”

Walker and the Bulldogs would feel even better to have another shot at earning the school’s first state football championship, though.

E-mail Andrew Manzo at dmanzo@timeswv.com.

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