CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Football, like life, seldom offers second chances. Three George Washington players, though, get such an opportunity in Saturday's North-South All-Star Football Classic.
And they hope it goes better than their first chance.
A trio of Patriots gets another shot at defending Martinsburg quarterback Justin "Cookie'' Clinton when their South squad takes the turf at 7 p.m. Saturday at Laidley Field.
You could say Clinton left his mark on bewildered GW defenders during last year's Class AAA playoff semifinal game in Martinsburg, running all over the Patriots for 217 yards and a triple-A preliminary round-record six touchdowns to spark the Bulldogs to a 63-14 romp.
The following week, Martinsburg made it three titles in a row, beating Cabell Midland during the Super Six finals in Wheeling. That allowed the Bulldogs to match Charleston High (1968-70) as the only school to capture three straight AAA crowns.
"He's mostly the one we're trying to contain,'' said GW linebacker Trevon Johnson, "because he's pretty elusive in there. He's the biggest threat on their team.''
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Clinton will doubtlessly impact the North's offense Saturday, in part because he's the only true quarterback on the team's roster. Clinton will be operating in a new offense under North coach Jodi Mote (St. Marys) and his staff, but his talents figure to emerge in any attack.
In his only season as a varsity quarterback at Martinsburg, Clinton threw for 1,571 yards and 18 TDs and ran for 1,333 yards and 18 scores. He completed 61 percent of his passes and threw just seven interceptions in 14 games.
Against GW in the playoffs, Clinton was only 4 of 9 passing for 87 yards with one picked off, but then again, he really didn't need to throw much as the Bulldogs gained 344 yards on the ground.
Clinton ran for touchdowns of 35, 5, 13, 5, 1 and 40 yards in that game.