CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- When the football season started back in August, it was safe to say that questions lingered about Martinsburg's backfield.
After all, the Bulldogs had lost a pair of stellar athletes from the team that pummeled Cabell Midland 38-14 at Wheeling Island Stadium to capture their third straight Class AAA championship, matching the record streak of Charleston High (1968-70).
Quarterback Justin "Cookie'' Clinton, who accounted for 42 touchdowns, was a graduation loss and swift running back Trey Boyd returned with his family to Florida.
That left Martinsburg needing to replace perhaps the two most important positions on its offense as it took aim at another title.
Well, the transformation went swimmingly, to say the least.
The Bulldogs (12-1) are back in the Super Six finals on Saturday to face unbeaten and No. 1 seed Huntington (13-0), thanks in large part to the maturation of senior quarterback Malique Watkins and junior running back Deamonte Lindsay.
Watkins, one of the leading candidates for the Kennedy Award as the state's top player, is the central figure in the Martinsburg attack, rushing for a team-high 1,788 yards and 20 touchdowns and throwing for 933 yards and 15 more scores.
However, Lindsay has proven to be a very capable Robin to Watkins' Batman, as Capital found out in last week's 35-21 loss at Martinsburg in the playoff semifinals.
Against Capital last Saturday, Lindsay carried 19 times for 114 yards and two TDs, including a tackle-breaking 35-yarder to seal it with 1:25 left to play. Lindsay also caught a pair of passes for 57 yards, highlighted by a 38-yard scoring reception in the first quarter.
"It takes a lot of pressure off me having two explosive players in the backfield,'' Lindsay said. "It kind of switches it up for the defense. Whoever gets it - and I guess they don't know who's going to get it - whatever one of us that gets it can break it off.''
Lindsay has shaken off a midseason knee ailment to run for 1,120 yards and 14 TDs and has caught 10 passes for 161 yards and three TDs.
Both standouts came from humble beginnings on last year's squad.