Kasey Thomas and Cabell Midland stunned Martinsburg by scoring on a 79-yard run on the first play from scrimmage, but the Bulldogs collected themselves and darted away for a 54-28 victory in the Class AAA quarterfinals Saturday at Cobourn Field in Martinsburg.
It was the 14th playoff win in a row for the three-time defending state champions, and it set up a semifinal date with No. 3 Capital next weekend.
No. 2 Martinsburg (11-1) tied the game on the next series as Malique Watkins hit Dylan Brewer on a short out pattern that the wide receiver turned into a 50-yard touchdown. Martinsburg went ahead as Watkins hooked up with Deamonte Lindsay for an 18-yard touchdown.
The first of two Eric Mitchell interception returns for touchdowns pushed Martinsburg to a 20-7 lead, and the Knights answered when Thomas scored on a 1-yard run. But Mitchell caught a 23-yard TD pass from Watkins near the end of the second quarter.
Watkins 4-yard quarterback draw with 5:55 left in the third quarter made it 33-14 in favor of Martinsburg. Thomas caught a touchdown pass for Cabell Midland, but a 50-yard run by Lindsay and a 50-yard interception return by Mitchello put the game out of reach.
Watkins tacked on a 44-yard interception return and Teran Barntiz added a late rushing TD for the No. 7 Knights (9-3).
Thomas ran 15 times for 145 yards, while Watkins finished 9 of 11 for 170 yards. He added 95 yards rushing.
The Polar Bears, playing without starting quarterback Austin Norman and leading rusher Noah Harmon because of injuries, were forced to use a wildcat formation with Luke Hrapchak or their standard pro set with sophomore Dominic Smith under center.
Neither offense worked as Bridgeport's first-team defense limited Senior to 39 total yards and two first downs (one of which came on a penalty). For the game, the Polar Bears had 94 yards of total offense.
Bonamico finished with 212 yards on 28 carries and three touchdowns, bringing his season totals to 1,978 yards on 168 attempts (11.8 yards per carry) and 31 touchdowns.