BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – Prolonged tradition will take on recent tradition. The single-wing will take on a spread offense. The defending champs will take on the defending champs. Bridgeport will take on Martinsburg.
No matter how you look at it, Friday night’s Class AAA quarterfinal playoff game between (5) Bridgeport and (4) Martinsburg is worth the build up.
Bridgeport is the second-winningest program in state history, while maybe no program has put together a stretch quite like the Bulldogs have put together over the last 20 years.
Martinsburg comes in as the four-time defending state champs in Triple-A, while Bridgeport comes in holding some hardware of their own as the defending Double-A state champs.
There are similarities between the two programs, but there are differences, too. And those differences could be what decides Friday night’s game.
“The other problem is they’re contrasting styles. So, obviously, our strength up front is going to be the key. If theirs is better, and we don’t do what we have to do, fundamentally, then we’re going to have trouble moving the football, and that’s not going to be good,” said head coach John Cole.
Bridgeport arrived at this stage with a 55-7 win over Washington in the first round of postseason play. Martinsburg also won in lopsided fashion last weekend, picking up a 62-0 victory over George Washington.
This will be just the fourth-ever meeting between the two schools. Bridgeport won the first meeting, but Martinsburg has gotten the better of the Indians in each of the last two meetings — both of which took place in the postseason. They last met in Martinsburg in the 2010 quarterfinals.
One thing to watch for prior to this game being played are the daily COVID-19 maps from the WV DHHR.
If Berkeley County, which is currently Orange, worsens to Red on Friday the game will be pushed back to Saturday.
At that point, Saturday morning’s map from the DHHR becomes crucial. If Berkeley County — which began the week as Gold according to the WV Department of Education — would improve back to Orange, at least, by Saturday morning, the game will be played at 4 p.m. that afternoon.
However, if Berkeley County would still appear Red on Saturday morning, and then couldn’t get back to Gold by the release of the weekly School Re-Entry map by the WV Department of Education Saturday night, the game would go down as a forfeit and Bridgeport would advance.
Bridgeport last made it to the Triple-A semi-finals in 2011, in the Indians’ last year in the class before moving to Double-A.