Turnovers main culprit in Jefferson loss
Even though Jefferson scored first in its bid to beat Martinsburg for the first time in many years it was the Bulldogs who eventually moved out to a 23-point lead en route to a 37-20 win over the visiting Cougars.
Although both teams suffered turnovers, it was the pass interceptions the Bulldogs stole that outweighed the fumbles Jefferson took away from Martinsburg.
After Jefferson recovered a Bulldog fumble inside the Martinsburg 15, it scored and had a 7-0 lead, but a 23-point second quarter by the Bulldogs turned things in their direction.
All three Martinsburg touchdowns in the second quarter came on passes, the last an eight-yard catch by Tavis Lee. The other two points in the quarter came on a safety after a Martinsburg punt had been downed on the Jefferson one.
Already leading, 23-7, at the half, the Bulldogs went ahead, 30-7, with their fourth touchdown pass of the night.
Following another fumble recovery of a Bulldog bobble, the Cougars had a first down at the Martinsburg one. When the Cougars failed to score, their chances of reversing the recent flood of Martinsburg wins in the series were lessened considerably.
An Isaac Myers’ touchdown pass was the first score in the fourth period, but Martinsburg answered with still another TD throw of its own to boost its lead to 37-13.
More turnovers came midway through the final quarter, each side losing either an interception or a fumble.
Jeffrey Gaskins scored Jefferson’s last points on a touchdown pass from Myers.
Even as the game was nearly finished, the Bulldogs intercepted another pass.
Jefferson was stationed at No. 2 in the Class AAA ratings prior to the loss. Martinsburg, which had lost its first two games to Woodson (Washington, D.C.) and Sherando, was No. 9 after it had reeled off five straight wins before seeing the Cougars.
A short trip to Hagerstown’s Schools Stadium and a Friday date against talented South Hagerstown is Jefferson’s assignment this week. The Rebels had a 10-0 regular season record in 2014, but have lost three times (Mergenthaler, Linganore and Fort Hill) this year against a beefed up schedule. The Rebels still retain faint hope of again reaching the Maryland state playoffs.
Jefferson wins over both South Hagerstown and in the season finale against Washington would give the Cougars a home game in the first round of the West Virginia playoffs.
Now 6-2, Martinsburg has only one game remaining on its nine-game schedule and that’s this week’s assignment against county rival Musselman.