That made their super-quick start all the more important.
Eric Mitchell's 65-yard return of the opening kickoff (following a fake reverse) put Martinsburg at the Capital 22 to start the game and Watkins capped the drive with a 5-yard TD run.
On the ensuing kickoff - a high, short, pooch-type boot in a swirling wind - two Capital players bumped into each other trying to field the ball at their own 38 and Carter Walburn covered the loose ball for Martinsburg, his first of two fumble recoveries on the day.
On the next play, Watkins rolled one way and threw back to Lindsay for a 38-yard touchdown to make it 14-0.
"Before we even touched the ball,'' Carpenter said. "That was obviously huge to come out that way, but we fought back from that, and I was proud of that. To beat them, you have to have things go your way, and they didn't go our way at first. We stuck together and finally got it figured out.''
Capital made it 14-7 to begin the second quarter on Pratt's 7-yard scoring pass to Bryce Goldsmith, but Martinsburg answered immediately with an 11-play possession that featured an 18-yard run and a 19-yard catch by Lindsay, again on cross-field action, to help set up a TD for a 21-7 advantage.
"I think it's whoever shows up good that day, we give them the ball,'' Lindsay said of his crucial contributions, "and keep giving it to them.''
Walker knew he needed both Watkins and Lindsay to be at the top of their games on Saturday.
"He's a good player,'' Walker said of Lindsay. "He's gotten better since midseason - he had a little bit of a knee injury that kind of hamstrung him a bit, but now he's back to 100 percent. He showed up big for us today.''
Pratt also shined in defeat for Capital with perhaps his best game of the season, carrying 25 times for 81 yards and hitting on 12 of 16 passes for 154 yards.
He accounted for 12 of the Cougars' 16 second-half first downs, seven rushing and five passing. He might have made it over the 100-yard rushing mark, too, but was sacked thrice for 13 yards of losses.
Haley had 70 yards rushing at halftime, but ended with 72 yards on 23 carries. He lost 17 yards on two second-half plays - a sack on an attempted option pass and an ill-fated decision to roll out on a fourth-and-16 punt from his own 24. He was tackled for a 9-yard loss.
Freshman Silas Nazario caught seven passes for 73 yards for Capital.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.