Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 11, 2010

Martinsburg blanks Brooke in AAA title game


Associated Press

WHEELING — Martinsburg wasn’t fazed by a one-week delay in the Class AAA championship game.

Brandon Ashenfelter threw for 190 yards and two touchdowns Saturday night, leading Martinsburg to a 30-0 win over Brooke in the title game that had been pushed back by a legal challenge.

The second-seeded Bulldogs earned their first-ever championship after losing four times in the title game since 2001.

Martinsburg grabbed a 17-0 lead after the first quarter and never relinquished the momentum.

Martinsburg (14-0) outgained Brooke 243-125 and allowed the Bruins only six first downs.

Brooke (11-3) lost in the championship game for the second straight year. The Bruins have won three Class AAA titles.

The game was postponed from a week earlier due to a court challenge involving the eligibility of four players from South Charleston stemming from a fight in a quarterfinal win over Hurricane.

The state Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned a Kanawha County circuit judge’s order that had allowed the South Charleston players to compete. The high court’s ruling cleared the way for the Secondary School Activities Commission to forfeit South Charleston’s semifinal win over Brooke for using ineligible players.

Ashenfelter hooked up with Nick Lopez and Cedric Brown for touchdowns in the first quarter. Brown caught six of Ashenfelter’s 10 completed passes for 72 yards. Lopez had two catches for a game-high 92 yards.

Ashenfelter, who was named the game’s most valuable player, also ran for 40 yards to pace the Bulldogs on the ground.

Brooke’s Alec Buchmelter completed one pass for eight yards and also threw an interception. The Bruins had 14 penalties for 125 penalties, setting a AAA championship game record.

Brooke had averaged nearly 300 rushing yards in three playoff games entering the night, but the Bruins were limited to 117. Brooke’s Ryan Lazear, who had 1,331 rushing yards entering the night, ran for 86 but couldn’t find the end zone.

After stopping Brooke quickly to begin the game, Martinsburg drove 52 yards for the opening score largely on the arm of Ashenfelter. Following a 38-yard completion to Lopez, Ashenfelter connected with Brown for a 15-yard touchdown.

Brooke committed four penalties, including three personal fouls, on Martinsburg’s second drive that ended with Tyler DeHaven’s 25-yard field goal.

Brooke aided Martinsburg again moments later when Buchmelter was intercepted by Brown at the Bulldogs’ 45. Two plays later, Ashenfelter hit a wide-open Lopez on a 55-yard pass play to push the score to 17-0 in the final minute of the first quarter.

Ashenfelter scrambled 26 yards and threw a 29-yard fade to Lopez to move Martinsburg inside the Brooke 5 late in the third quarter. David Gladden finished the 60-yard drive with a 2-yard TD run.

Chris Perkins added a 20-yard TD run for Martinsburg in the fourth.

Martinsburg scored 30 points or more 10 times this season while allowing only 7.7 points per game.