The senior and transfer from Winfield has rushed for 748 yards and five touchdowns in the postseason alone.
Salmons, who won the Hunt Award as a Ravenswood High School senior in 1998, said the Knights' first trip to a state championship game has been a product of his players' belief in hard work during the offseason. The largest school in the state, Midland was 0-3 in playoff semifinal games before last week.
"We've got good kids, and they've learned how to work," Salmons said. "They bought into what we were doing and they believed. Once we started winning it snowballed, and now that's their whole mindset: work hard and you win."
Martinsburg's line averages 6-1 and 241 pounds per player. Walker, who like Salmons is a former lineman, said it is the players who operate out of the spotlight who are typically the most precious commodity in building a successful program.
"You'll always have a few kids that are just stars. They're that good already. Then, you've got kids that aren't very good and they're not really ever going to be very good," Walker said. "The important ones, the ones you can coach and encourage to become better, the ones in the middle, those are the guys who make the biggest difference."
In the early 2000s, Martinsburg lost title games to Parkersburg (2001 and 2006), Parkersburg South (2003) and Morgantown (2004). Walker said the biggest difference among those Martinsburg clubs and his teams from the last three seasons has been an increased level of physicality.
"The teams that beat us were better than us. They were more physical, and they beat us, simple as that," he said. "The teams we've had in the last few years were stronger and more physical. That's a huge difference."
Kickoff is set for noon Saturday.