MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - By the time Capital had figured it out, it had run out of time.
Deamonte Lindsay, the second option in the Martinsburg attack, ran for 114 yards and two touchdowns and also caught a scoring pass Saturday afternoon as the Bulldogs kept the beat going with a 35-21 victory in the Class AAA semifinals at chilly, blustery Cobourn Field.
The win sends the No. 2-seeded Bulldogs (12-1) into the title game at noon next Saturday at Wheeling Island Stadium, where they take aim at an unprecedented fourth straight AAA crown.
Saturday's verdict marked the 15th consecutive playoff win for Martinsburg, its 35th straight victory against a West Virginia team and its 43rd in a row at home.
But the No. 3 Cougars (11-2), appearing in the semifinals for the first time since 1999, certainly didn't go down easily, despite trailing 14-0 just two minutes, 16 seconds into the game.
Capital shaved its game-long deficit to 28-21 on a 6-yard scoring run by Kashuan Haley with 4:47 left - the third of four straight impressive drives to end the contest.
However, the Cougars - needing one more possession to perhaps force overtime - couldn't get that crucial stop when they needed it most, allowing Martinsburg to crank out three straight first downs after Haley's TD, the final one on Lindsay's spinning, tackle-breaking 35-yard TD run with 1:25 to go.
"It was too late getting it going there,'' said Capital coach Jon Carpenter. "We fought back and it's our first shot at the big time there. We messed around a little bit too much and dug ourselves in a hole, but we fought back and we'll be back.''
Capital nearly put it back to a one-possession game after Lindsay's last score, moving inside the red zone in the game's final minute. But it was there the Cougars ran out of both time and space, with quarterback Tyrhee Pratt twice blasting into the Martinsburg line from inside the 3, only to be held out each time.
Martinsburg coach Dave Walker, who takes his program to the Super Six for the eighth time since 2001, realized the momentum was squarely on Capital's side during much of the fourth quarter.
"We made a couple of key plays on defense,'' Walker said. "It was two great teams going at it. It definitely could have went either way, but I definitely feel fortunate that we were able to make some plays to secure the game.''
Martinsburg took one possession away from Capital as the fourth quarter began, halting a 12-play Cougars drive that began at their own 35.
On fourth-and-4 from the Bulldogs 16, Capital snapped the ball directly to Haley out of a Wildcat formation, but he was tackled for a 2-yard loss by Cody Jenkins and Tyler Miller to end the threat.
Had that play succeeded, Capital might have later tied the game at 28 on Haley's TD run with 4:47 left.
Martinsburg seemed to play it conservatively in the second half, not even attempting a pass after quarterback and Kennedy Award candidate Malique Watkins went 4 of 7 in the first half for 84 yards and a TD.
Watkins also went over the 100-yard mark on the ground, finishing with 102 yards on 25 carries, but the Bulldogs managed just 115 yards - all rushing - on 20 second-half plays, netting four first downs.