WHEELING, W.Va. -- It should come as no surprise that the three football teams that won state championships at the Super Six all ran the ball aggressively.
It is not a matter of how frequently Martinsburg, Wayne and Wahama called running plays in respective wins over Cabell Midland, Keyser and Madonna.
It is the style with which players from the winning teams ran with the ball in their hands.
Class AA champion Wayne (14-0) threw the ball with greater efficiency and for more yardage in 2012 than in most of Coach Tom Harmon's career at the school. Still, the Pioneers handled Keyser (12-2) with all the finesse of a junkyard dog in a 35-0 rout.
What stood out most about the way Wayne backs ran was the fact that both senior running back Brandon Spurlock and sophomore wingback Mason Hodge were nursing significant injuries that kept Hodge out of the team's offensive lineup and Spurlock out of the game entirely a week earlier in the semifinals.
Instead of accepting roles of the afflicted, they instead played as the inflictors.
"I think this team embodies a lot of things that a lot of our previous teams had, especially with heart," Harmon said. "We've had a lot of teams at Wayne whose kids have had the hearts the size of a lion. I think this team embodied that.
"We don't compare teams, but I know this is one you wouldn't mind going to battle with."
The win gave Wayne its third state championship since 2006, and marked the first time the school won consecutive titles. It was the first Class AA repeat since Poca won three in a row from 2001-2003.
Wayne ran the ball 48 times for 389 yards and 8.1 yards per carry against the Golden Tornado, one of the top-ranked defenses in the state. Spurlock led Wayne with 144 yards on 13 carries, while quarterback Grant Ferguson (61 yards), James Egnor (59), Nathan Spurlock (57) and Hodge (55) also made significant contributions.
Every one of them - including Ferguson - initiated contact in attempt to win more ground.
"Anything it is, winning a state championship will make it feel better," said Hodge, who played with his right ankle heavily taped.
"We come out every week and play as physical as we can."