Wk 1 RNK 2021 Salem vs Martinsburg Game

Wk 1 RNK 2021 Salem vs Martinsburg Game 574 384 SWVA High School Sports

Martinsburg (WV) wins interstate battle 35-21 over Salem

Spartan Stadium, Willis White Field, Salem, Va. – What happens when you put together two traditional high school football teams from neighboring states for an opening season game…. you typically get a hardhitting, hard charging grid iron affair. Friday nights opening foray qualified with the visiting Martinsburg, WV team winning 35-21 over Salem. Spartan Coach Don Holter took the blame for the loss. “No excuses, we need to coach them (Spartans) better, bottomline… but I like my kids. The effort was absolutely there. We are young in spots. We will get better starting Monday.” Martinsburg is tough to get off the field on offense and can be stifling on the defensive side of the ball. Salem QB 10 Daron Wilson (3/11,65, TD passing) had little time to find receivers and was sacked six times on the night. But Bulldog WR/DB 3 Hudson Clements was the puzzle Salem couldn’t solve on the offensive side of the ball. The Senior had 9 catches for 162 yards and a TD. When Martinsburg needed a first down, they went to Clement.
Martinsburg head coach Britt Sherman called out his QB’s and Clement, “Both QB’s (13 Ezra Bagent and 2 Murphy Clement) did a really good job and Hudson Clement our receiver #3 is a great player… plays both ways, had a really good game.”

Salem Coach Don Holter prepares to take his Spartans on the field

First Quarter
A big crowd was present to see this one take place as the Salem faithful was glad to able to root their Spartans on in person following a shortened, spring season last year. Martinsburg’s fan base also travels well.

Spartan Stadium was jam packed for the season’s opener

Martinsburg took the opening kickoff and looked to have something going until DB 11 Chauncey Logan picked off Bulldog QB 13 Ezra Bagent at the Spartan thirty seven.

Salem DB 11 Chauncey Logan gets an early interception

The Bulldog defense would get it back three plays later though, as Salem looked to throw on a third and short. QB 10 Wilson was hit and fumbled and DB 1 Sirod Musgrove came up with it at the Spartan fourteen. It took the visitors just three plays for RB 22 Xavion Kendall to score from five yards with 7:13 left in the quarter. The Bulldogs led 7-0 with the point after.

Martinsburg RB 22 Xavion Kendall takes the handoff

Salem’s defense forced another turnover, a fumble after a catch by WR 26 Jacob Barrick at the Spartan thirty one. The Spartans won the turnover battle on the night 3-1. DB 5 Jamien Lingenfelter led the Spartan defense with 9 tackles, while DB 8 Chase Greer tallied 7 stops. LB 7 Noah Collins and DE Nate McClure both chipped in with 6 tackles, and both had a fumble recovery. Rounding out the top, DB 11 Chauncey Logan contributed with an interception and a fumble recovery.

Second Quarter
Salem made it’s third possesion of the night count, tying the game at 7 apiece at the 10:08 mark. The Spartans drove the ball 69 yards with Senior FB 28 Cam Leftwich (22/89, 2TDs) capping it off with a two yard blast up the middle. Sophomore RB 21 Jayveon Jones (13/96) ran hard on the night. He broke of runs of 12 and 33 yards to put Salem in position to tie the game.

Spartan Sophomore RB 21 Jayveon Jones pounds his way closer for the tying score

Martinsburg answered back on their next drive. The Bulldogs drove it 80 yards in five minutes, picking up three first downs on third down. The Spartans couldn’t get the visitors off the field. Holter noted the problem in the postgame, “they were able to convert on third downs.” Martinsburg QB 2 Clement 15/87, 3TDs rush; 6/10, 81 pass), their running QB, took it in from the three to make it 14-7 with 5:13 left in the half.

Martinsburg QB 2 Murphy Clement setting up his blocks

Salem looked like they’d tie it up before the break. Spartan QB 10 Wilson hit WR 11 Logan over the middle, 30 yards to the Bulldog seven. But the visitors were up to the challenge. Salem ran the ball three times with one incomplete pass on second down. FB 28 Leftwich was stopped just inches from the goal line on fourth down with :12 left in the half and that was a back breaker.

FB 28 Cam Leftwich gets lost in the crowd as the Bulldogs hold on 4th down

Coach Holter was disappointed in the outcome, “Fourth and goal from the two, we don’t see a backer blitzing the A-gap and you can’t move someone two yards. You don’t do that and you don’t deserve to win the game. We could have went into halftime 14-14 and then they’re kicking off to us (to start the third quarter).”

Third Quarter
Salem did get the ball to start the second half, but three runs produced only four yards and Salem had to punt. The Spartans defense got the ball back two plays later at their own eleven forcing QB 13 Ezra Bagent to cough it up. DE 38 Nate McClure collected the loose football for Salem. The Spartans drove the ball into Bulldog territory from there, but gave the ball back on downs at the thirty-three. Two pass incompletions on third and fourth down ended the drive. Martinsburg scored on a big play four plays later with QB 13 Bagent (13/16, 242, TD, INT) hitting WR 3 Clement down the middle of the seam for the score. Martinsburg increased their lead to 21-7 with two and half minutes left in the quarter.

Martinsburg WR 3 Hudson Clement had a big night with 9 catches for 162 yards and a TD

Fourth Quarter
The Bulldogs would stretch their lead at the start of the fourth on the legs of QB 2 Murphy Clement. The Sophomore took it in from a yard out and Martinsburg was up 28-7 a minute in.

QB 2 Murphy Clement scores early in the 4th quarter

Salem stormed back. Senior KR/DB 16 Jeff Phillips got the Spartan faithful to their feet with an 80-yard return to the Bulldog’s five.

Salem KR 16 Jeff Phillips ignited the crowd with an 85-yard kickoff return

After a five yard loss, QB 10 Wilson found Sophomore TE/LB 33 Jaelyn Allen in the back of the endzone for six points. K 20 Wes Cross finished it off with the extra point, 28-14 Martinsburg, with 10:46 left in the game.

Sophomore TE 33 Jaelyn Allen makes the leaping grab in the back of the end zone

Martinsburg answered again. This time it took ten plays and an successful fourth down pass to eventually stretch the lead back out to three scores. QB 13 Bagent found WR 11 Roman Pierson (4/57 rec) over the middle on a fourth down and six for 42 yards down to the Salem four yardline. QB 2 Clement finished off the drive with a 4 yard TD run. That made it 35-14. 

There is not quit in Salem. The Spartans recovered a fumble on a punt and then put six more points on the board to get us to the final margin, 35-21. FB 28 Leftwich took it in from three yards out with 2:36 left.

Salem RB 21 Jones draws a crowd

FB 28 Cam Leftwich scores his second TD up the middle behind the Salem Mules

Coach Holter tipped his hat to the Bulldogs, “I have a lot of respect for that program. Their coaches do an outstanding job. They are similar to us in their in their culture and passion for the game. They (Martinsburg) feel the same way. Their kids love playing here, love the atmosphere.” Coach Sherman returned the sentiment. “They (Salem) are just a great program, great school… it was a great game. I know they’re disappointed because we’ve gotten the best of them that last two times, but it’s a series I want to continue…two really good programs.”

Next Friday Salem (0-1) will entertain Franklin County (0-1) at Willis White Field. Martinsburg (1-0) will be at home to take on Musselman, WV (1-0).
– Cap’n Crunch

Coach Sherman and Salem Coach Holter shake hands after the fray

Rushing: Martinsburg– M. Clement 15/87,3TDs, Kendall 8/27,TD, Bagent 1/1, Shallis 1/2
Salem– Leftwich 22/89,2TDs, Jones 13/96, Wilson 6/(-29)

Passing: Martinsburg– Bagent 13/16,242,TD,INT, M. Clement 6/10, 81
Salem– Wilson 3/11,65,TD

Receiving: Martinsburg– H. Clement 9/162,TD, Pierson 4/57, Barrick 3/35 Kendall 1/13, Gedeon 1/0
Salem– Logan 2/42, Allen 1/10, TD

Kick ReturnsMartinsburg– H. Clement 1-13, Todd 1-3
Salem– Phillips 1-80, Ligenfelter 3-61

PuntingMartinsburg– n/a
Salem– Logan 3-31, Greer 1-(-1)

1st Quarter
7:13 M: Kendall 5-yard rushing TD, Terwillinger PAT
2nd Quarter
10:08 S: Leftwich 2-yard rushing TD, Cross PAT
5:13 M: Murphy Clement 3-yard rushing TD, Terwillinger PAT
3rd Quarter
2:36 M: Bagent 50-yard TD pass to Hudson Clement, Terwillinger PAT
4th Quarter
11:10 M: Murphy Clement 3-yard rushing TD, Terwillinger PAT
10:46 S: Wilson 10-yard TD pass to Allen, Cross PAT
5:45 M: Murphy Clement 4-yard rushing TD, Terwillinger PAT
2:36 S: Leftwich 3-yard rushing TD, Cross PAT

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