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Streak stoppers: Spring Valley edges Martinsburg 22-20 for Bulldogs’ first loss since 2015

Spring Valley’s Brody Brumfield (1) looks for running room against Martinsburg. Brumfield rushed for a touchdown and sealed the Timberwolves’ 22-20 win with a pass breakup. Photo by Greg Carey/WVMetroNews.com

 

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Spring Valley defensive back Brody Brumfield stepped in front of a pass from Martinsburg quarterback Peyton Curry on fourth-and-7, causing it to fall incomplete and sealing the Timberwolves’ 22-20 victory over the Bulldogs.

The defensive stand with inside of 1 minute remaining set off a frenzied celebration on the Timberwolves’ sideline at Cobourn Field and David M. Walker Stadium, as Spring Valley dealt Martinsburg its first loss since 2015 and stopped the Bulldogs’ 57-game win streak in the process.

“We showed so much guts,” SVHS coach Brad Dingess said. “We play in a tough conference (the MSAC), but this is a big dragon up here. It’s a monster and when I told our kids we were coming up here last Saturday, they were excited. 

“They had that look in their eye. We had a great week of practice.”

Although Spring Valley (2-0) never trailed in the thrilling win, it didn’t come easily. Leading 22-13 after a Cole Diamond 7-yard touchdown run with 4:54 remaining, the Timberwolves saw their lead cut to two points after Kevon Warren’s 4-yard TD run with 2:14 left.

Martinsburg (1-1) then recovered the ensuing onside kick, giving the Bulldogs the ball at the SV 49-yard line. Faced with a fourth-and-2 with 56 seconds remaining, a false start pushed MHS back 5 yards. Curry’s pass was then broken up by Brumfield, sealing the verdict.

“It was a really good high school football game,” said first-year Martinsburg coach Britt Sherman. “Coach Dingess and his staff do a great job and all the credit goes to them . They played really well and they were better than us tonight.

“They did a great job controlling the clock and controlling the flow of the game. Our guys fought hard, but we didn’t make enough plays.”

The Timberwolves held a 7-6 halftime lead, but the Bulldogs moved deep into SV territory to start the second half. However, Curry fumbled at the end of a 19-yard run and Diamond came up with the recovery along the sideline, giving the Timberwolves the ball back 2:11 into the second half.

SVHS then put together a 17 play, 92-yard drive that used up all of the remaining time in the third quarter, before Diamond reached the end zone from 1 yard on the first play of the fourth. 

Leading 13-6, Dingess elected to go for a two-point conversion and Diamond crossed the goal line on it to make the Bulldogs’ deficit nine.

“They’re always big and physical,” Sherman said. “I don’t know if it was any different tonight than what it’s been the last couple years, but they’re big and physical and they do a good job running the ball. We had trouble stopping them at times.”

However, just 20 seconds after falling behind by two possessions, the Bulldogs got a 10-yard TD run from Naieem Kearney, set up by Warren’s 54-yard scamper.

But the Timberwolves answered with what proved to be the winning drive, marching 57 yards and converting two fourth downs — includng Jack Roy’s 34-yard pass to Jace Caldwell on fourth-and-5 one play prior to Diamond’s TD run.

“We were getting a hat on a hat and the only way to stop that play was for them to bring the free safety in, so we kind of kept baiting him,” Dingess said. “We lined up, saw what we had, froze and called timeout to make sure that we had everything right. We just executed and we were patient the whole night.”

SVHS lost a fumble just outside the red zone on its opening series, but managed to take a 7-0 lead when Brumfield scored on a 9-yard run 45 seconds into the second quarter.

Kearney answered with a 26-yard TD run 9:02 before halftime, but the point-after try was blocked, keeping the Timberwolves in front.

Martinsburg defeated Spring Valley in three consecutive Class AAA state title games from 2016-2018.

“It’s been weighing on us. To make three straight state championships and go up against probably the greatest run in the history of the state was frustrating, because we had some good teams,” Dingess said. “But our kids never lost focus. They could have folded up and not believed in what we were doing, but they didn’t.”