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November 8, 2014


Frostburg, Maryland - Keyser needed the entire first quarter to get going on Friday night at Miners' Stadium in Frostburg, but Garrett Crites and Amonte Turner burned Mountain Ridge on the edge all night and the Golden Tornado bounced back from the tough "Mineral Bowl" loss to end the regular season with a 36-0 victory. 

Crites ran the ball for 140 yards and scored on runs from 3 and 35 yards, and Turner torched the Miners for another 125 yards on just 12 carries to help Keyser roll up 298 yards on the ground.

The win concluded Keyser's regular season campaign at 7-3 and still do have an outside shot at moving from the #9 in the AA ratings in WV to #8 which would entitle them to a first round home playoff game next weekend. They will have to wait until Sunday to find out however. 

Mountain Ridge got the night off to a quick start as QB Michael Strietbeck hit a streaking Matt Whetstone down the center of the field for a completion of 14 yards and a Miner first down. 

Ty Brooks carried the ball on both sides of a Tyler Redman run that gained nothing for a total of 9 yards. That set Mountain Ridge up for a critical 4th-and-1 at the Tornado 45. Unfortunately, they were penalized for a false start which forced a punt, a mistake that has been all to common for this team on the year.

It looked as if Keyser was going to drive the ball methodically down the field and get on the board, a drive that had lasted for 11 plays and 55 yards was quickly halted when Jalen Washington stepped in front of a Ryan Streets pass and came up with the pick for the Miner defense.

Mountain Ridge's offense did manage to get out of the shadow of their own goal post thanks in large part to another hookup between Strietbeck and Whetstone, this one covered 41 yards, but this drive also stalled around midfield where The Ridge turned it over on downs when they failed to convert a fourth-and-two.

Keyser got a big play on first down, a 24 yard run by Turner, and Crites but them on the board from 3 yards out with just :10 seconds left in the opening quarter. The kick was no good and it was 6-0 Keyser at the end of one. 

Both teams then combined to entertain the fans with an exchange of turnovers that started with TJ Watkins fumbling the ensuing kickoff in which Keyser recovered. 

Crites then made his only mistake on the evening as he fumbled just two plays later and the Mountain Ridge recovery gave them the ball right back. 

Turner then put an end to the madness with his biggest play on defense, a interception of Strietbeck, and it was once again Keyser's ball.

They did not waste anytime getting back on the board, a drive that was filled with runs from Crites, Turner, and Kasmier, ended with a 24-yard touchdown hookup between Streets and Vinnie Cuthbertson and the two pointer made it 14-0 Golden Tornado. 

Strietbeck was sacked on first down, and following an incomplete pass, Ty Brooks fumbles and Keyser had it's third turnover on the night.

Crites ran it on the edge for 28 yards on first down and Kasmier ran it the final 3 yards to put Keyser up 21-0 with just under five minutes to go in the first half. 

Mountain Ridge couldn't capitalize on a Keyser personal foul penalty on fourth down that extended their drive and was forced to punt the ball back to the Tornado just before the half time break. 

Everyone... and I mean everyone was surprised when Mountain Ridge opened the second half with an onside kick and apparently Keyser wasn't ready either as MR recovered it. 

The Miner offense couldn't do anything with it however and following a turnover on downs, Keyser found them selves back in the end zone as Turner carried the ball for 5 and then 25 yards, Crites then finished it off the final 35 to make it 29-0 Golden Tornado.

Keyser ended the scoring on the evening, following another three and out by Mountain Ridge's offense, Turner took it in from 4 yards out to cover the 32 yards needed on the drive and put the 35-point mercy rule in affect as it was now 36-0 following the extra point.

Mountain Ridge racked up 95 yards in penalties and four turnovers on the night. At one point they had more penalty yards than total yards in the second half. Not exactly the effort you expect from a team playing their 10th game of the season.

The Miners finish the season at 2-8, the third consecutive losing season for The Ridge.

I would like to say thank you to all the players, coaches and fans. A big thanks to the MRFPA for helping with the coverage of the team this season.  


 #32 Garrett Crites (Keyser)  


November 7, 2014


Baltimore, MD - We have played over 10 weeks of high school football and for the first time in several years the final week leaves not much in doubt when it comes to the playoff race in both the State of Maryland as well as West Virginia. 

We will first take a look at the picture here in the State of Maryland. Three out of the four positions in the 1A West playoffs have already been decided as we head into the last weekend of the year. 

The top spot was sewed up last week when Fort Hill defeated rival Mountain Ridge to extend their undefeated streak to a new city record 23 games. 

Cumberland's other city team, the Allegany Campers, are coming off an impressive win over Towson and have also clinched their spot in the post season. 

North Carroll is the third and final team to have the luxury of knowing they have already clinched their spot heading into the final game. 

The last spot is up for grabs between the Northern Garrett Huskies and Manchester Valley. 

Easy math tells us that if Manchester Valley upsets North Carroll on Friday they own that final spot. But if they lose and Northern does what most expect, win over Southern, along with a couple other likely outcomes happen you will find Northern in the playoffs. 

Meanwhile, down in the Mountain State, all local teams have already either clinched a spot in the playoffs or have eliminated their selves from contention heading into the final week. 

Hampshire is the lone team that is currently sitting outside of the playoffs and could find them selves in once the weekend's action plays out. The Trojans currently sit at 19 but do have to jump three other schools along with defeat the undefeated Frankfort Falcons at home Friday night if they wish to make the post season. While this would be VERY unlikely it is a possibility and we have to mention it. 

The only other thing up for grabs in the WV playoffs would be Frankfort attempting to get the top seed in the AA playoffs as well as Keyser attempting to get back into the top 8 so they can host a first round playoff game next week. 

Frankfort's chances of getting the top seed is not that good. They should defeat Hampshire Friday night but they would need a loss by Bridgeport to un-seed them at the top and that won't happen. 

Keyser on the other hand has a very decent shot to get back into the top 8 as they travel to Frostburg to face a down Mountain Ridge squad and the points from that win would most likely boost them into that position. 

With all that being said it should be a fun weekend of area football.

The final week's area action include: Mountain Ridge hosting Keyser, Southern and Northern playing in Oakland, Hampshire host Frankfort, Berkeley Springs travels to Hancock, and Jefferson playing host to Washington. The weekend raps up on Saturday afternoon as Allegany and Fort Hill square off in the annual Homecoming game for both squads. 

Last week there was not enough time in the week in order for me to get my picks in so I did have to skip one week. This week I am back in action and with one NFL and one college team on bye I have a few select games to pick from. 

Below are my picks and as I always say... good luck to all area players, coaches and fans as we close another great season of area high school football.


*Northern Garrett 35 Southern Garrett 6
*Keyser (WV) 34 Mountain Ridge 8
*Frankfort (WV) 34 Hampshire (WV) 21
Allegany 21 Fort Hill 35
*Berkeley Springs (WV) 14 Hancock 42
*Washington (WV) 6 Jefferson (WV) 42
*Moorefield (WV) 36 Tygarts Valley (WV) 6
West Virginia 35 Texas 20
Pittsburgh 27 New York Jets 14
Tennessee 6 Baltimore 20




Cumberland, MD - Fort Hill won its City record 23rd game in a row, overwhelming Mountain Ridge in the first half with seven touchdowns to enter next week's Homecoming Game undefeated with a 55-20 win over the Miners Friday at Greenway Avenue Stadium.

Maryland commit Ty Johnson carried the ball three times, gaining 125 yards and scoring three touchdowns on those carries, and also too in a 15-yard pass from quarterback Rashaan Shives for a touchdown to put his area-leading total at 28 for the season. 

The Sentinels (9-0), who totaled 405 yards, led 28-0 after the first quarter and 48-6 at the half. 

Fort Hill pushed the Miners from their 27 back to the five to start the game, thanks to a sack of quarterback Michael Strietbeck, forcing Mountain Ridge to punt. 

Taking over at the Miners 32, the Sentinels needed just four plays, with Barnes picking up eight and Raen Smith five before Johnson took it down the sideline for the touchdown from 19 yards out for the first touchdown in concluding the four-play, 32-yard scoring drive. Austin Farrell's kick made it 7-0 at 8:41 of the first quarter. 

After recovering a Mountain Ridge fumble at the Miners 37, the Sentinels needed just six plays to put the second score on the board, the big plays coming with Shrives finding Brayden Brown for 39 yards, and then York for the touchdown from nine yards out at 6:05. 

After another four-and-out by Mountain Ridge, Johnson made short work of the next drive, taking the ball at his 48, hitting the sideline, cutting back to the 40, picking up a block at the 35, then shooting through the secondary for the touchdown, with Mountain Ridge unable to get a clean shot on him. The TD run covered 52 yards, and at 4:55 of the first quarter, Farrell made it 21-0.

The Miners then turned the ball back to Fort Hill on a four-and-out, giving the Sentinels an opportunity to score in four plays, with Barnes closing the deal from 42 yards out at 1:21 of the first quarter, with Farrell's kick making it 28-0.

After a first down, the Miners punted again to set up a three-play scoring drive by the Sentinels, with Shrives hitting Brown on the first two plays. After a penalty on Mountain Ridge, Shives, just before he was hit by a Miners' pass rusher, then shot a pass across the middle to Johnson, who took it in to complete the three-play, 36-yard scoring drive at 10:10 of the second. 

After the fifth Mountain RIdge punt, the Sentinels took over at their 33, and after an incompletion and a pass interference call on the Miners, Johnson burst untouched for 52 yards for his fourth touchdown of the half at 7:47, with Farrell's kick making it 41-0.

The Miners then got the ball into Fort Hill territory, when Strietbeck scrambled and hooked up with Harry Moore for 33 yards to put the ball on the Fort Hill 37. Dalton Jeffries then picked up 15 to the 22. But the drive stalled when Strietbeck was sacked for a loss of 25, forcing the teams to exchange punts, with the 51-yarder of Fort Hill's Darron Warner pinning the Miners down to their own one yard-line. 

Mountain Ridge wasn't deterred, though, as it put together a seven-play, 99-yard scoring drive. After Jeffries picked up a first down on a pair of carries, Strietbeck took it out to his 19 before hitting Zach Hager for 29 yards. He then connected with Jalen Washington for 27, and after a facemask call the Miners had the ball at the Fort Hill 15.

On first down, Strietbeck rolled right and found Washington, who had broken away from coverage in the end zone, for the touchdown with 1:07 left in the half.

After the Mountain Ridge try for two was unsuccessful, Fort Hill took over at the Miners 41 after a fine kickoff return by Kris Jackson. The Sentinels then needed just six plays, as Smith took it across from five yards out with 11 seconds left, with Farrell's sixth conversion making it 48-6 at the half. 

Fort Hill picked up where it left off to open the second half, putting together a five-play, 63-yard scoring drive with the help of freshman Brayden Poling's 54-yard run to put the ball inside the Mountain Ridge 10. On fourth-and-goal from the one, quarterback Lennon Squires sneaked it in for the touchdown at 8:25 of the third. 

Mountain Ridge countered with an eight-play, 82-yard scoring drive, with Matt Whetstone capping it with a 15-yard TD reception from Strietbeck with 25 seconds left in the third quarter.

Following another beautiful Warner punt, this one covering 53 yards, that pinned Mountain Ridge to its four, the Miners responded the way they did the last time they were inside their five by putting together a long scoring drive. On the next-to-last play of the game on the running clock, Dalton Jeffries battled for an eight-yard touchdown run with 59 seconds left, and on the final play Strietbeck rolled into the end zone for the two-point conversion to put the final at 55-20. 

Strietbeck completed 5 of 11 passes for 142 touchdowns, while Jeffries rushed for 143 yards on 18 carries.



















Fort Hill remains undefeated, improves to 9-0 on the season and will play Allegany next Saturday Afternoon in their annual Homecoming meeting.

Mountain Ridge falls to 2-7 on the season and will play their final game of the season next Friday night at home against Keyser. It will also be Senior Night at Miners Stadium as well.







October 25, 2014


Oakland, MD - The Mountain Ridge Miners' used the tandem attack of Dalton Jeffries and Ty Brooks, who each rushed over 100 yards, to dominate the home-standing Southern Rams and end their five game losing streak, 53-12. 

Jeffries had 134 yards on just 8 attempts, 2 of which resulted in touchdowns, and also added a 31-yard fumble recovery for touchdown on defense. 

Brooks was the second of the Mountain Ridge tailbacks to go over 100 with his 9 rushes for 101 yards and two scores. 

Southern's very first possession of the game, which they got after winning the toss and electing to take the ball, was not the prettiest drive ever constructed one could argue. 

Brian Kelly started that drive off with a run that lost one yard, second down was an incomplete pass from Rams QB Travis Newton to Josh Adams, and third down was a missed connection between Newton and Kelly. Just like that it was three and out for the Rams on two passing plays. 

Mountain Ridge's offense got the ball in decent field position to start their first offensive drive, at their own 46, and didn't waste anytime needing only 4 plays to cover the 56 yards needed to get on the board. 

Jeffries and Tyler Redman traded rushing attempts that totaled 14 yards and then it was Jeffries who carried the ball straight up the middle the necessary 40 yards for a Miner touchdown and 6-0 lead with 9:48 to go in the opening quarter.

It looked like it may be yet another one of those high scoring Mountain Ridge football games in which neither team could stop one another as Southern took the ball on the ensuing drive and got two first downs in a row.

That thought was quickly torn down as Brooks sacked Newton on a big 3rd-and-11 play from the Miner 28 and the Mountain Ridge defense stopped Newton again on fourth down for just a gain of 3 and it was now Miner football on the turnover on downs.

Brooks, the hero on defense in the previous drive against Newton, cashed in on Mountain Ridge's next offensive possesion from 13 yards out and Michael Stritebeck hit Zach Hager for the two point conversion to make the score 14-0 the Ridge with 1:01 to go in the opening quarter.

It only took :17 for Mountain Ridge to get on the board next and put an end to their strong first quarter start as Newton fumbled the snap on the first play of the Rams next series and Jeffries added his lone defensive touchdown on the evening picking it up and running it back 31 yards to the end zone and also added the two point conversion to make it 22-0 Mountain Ridge.

The two teams then exchanged punts before Southern used a little bit of trickery to keep it's next series going.

They got one first down before their drive stalled just inside of Mountain Ridge's territory. Logan Cvetnick provided the trick play as he carries the ball for 23 yards on a fake punt to keep the Southern drive alive. Newton then hit Josh Adams for 26 yards on the very next play to put the ball at the Miner 6-yard line and set up a first-and-goal to go situation. Problem for Southern was that they then became predictable as Newton carried the ball on three of the next four plays and Mountain Ridge stuffed him on fourth-and-goal and the one yard line. 

Mountain Ridge did manage to take the ball out from the shadow of their own goal line to the 16 before time ran out on the first half and halftime ensued.

The second half got off to a quick start following a short Southern punt, Jeffries added his third and final touchdown of the game, this one was from 20 yards out and it put Mountain Ridge up 30-0 following the two point conversion by him as well.

One thing you can be sure of is that teams in that area don't quit no matter the situation, and for Southern it has been dim all year, they put together their first scoring drive of the game on the very next drive.

They used a mix of pass and run, a couple of Miner defensive penalties, and will to put together a nice 58-yard drive that was capped when Newton hit Adams from 10 yards out with 6:48 to go in the third quarter. The two point conversion was no good and it was not 30-6 Miners.

When you are in the situation that the Southern Rams are you tend to take some chances in hopes of catching the other team sleeping and maybe pull out a victory.

For the second time in the game the Rams caught Mountain Ridge napping as they successfully converted an onside kick and took over just inside Miner territory at the 49.

They did manage to get one first down on the drive but that was it as once again they became predictive and Newton was the ball handler on every single play of the drive.

Newton started and ended the drive with two straight in-completions and Mountain Ridge took over with great field position.

The Miners' offense needed only four plays for the second time on the night and Brooks added his second and final touchdown on the evening to put Mountain Ridge up 38-6 following the converted 2-pointer with 3:26 to go in the third.

Mountain Ridge recovered the ball on the kickoff in one of the strangest plays you will ever see in a high school football game. It looked like the Ram players didn't understand that the ball was live and didn't want to touch it. It was almost like the thought it was a punt instead of a kickoff.

The Miners took advantage of that opportunity very quickly, needing only three plays, Strietbeck and Jeffries ran the ball on back to back plays for 28 yards and then Jalen Washington got the mercy rule in play with his 9-yard TD reception to put the Miners up 46-6 with 2:15 to go in the third quarter.

As we stated earlier in this article, no team in this area gives up and neither were the Southern Rams on this night, they proceeded to take the ball 60 yards on the ensuing drive to put and end to the running clock. This drive was dominated by Kelly on the ground. He had 4 rushes and one reception on the drive and capped it off with a four yard run with just over eight minutes to go in the game to make the score 46-12 Mountain Ridge. 

Jeffries and Ryan Pratt put the running clock back in play on the last drive of the game for both teams. They combined for six of the seven plays on the next Miners possession, one that ended when Pratt ran it in from 11 yards out and the extra point made it 53-12 Mountain Ridge with just under four and a half minutes to go in the game.

Southern did get the ball back but only managed one more play before the running clock put and end to the game.

The victory put and end to the five game losing streak that Mountain Ridge was on and continued the season long losing streak that the depleted Southern Rams find their selves on.

Mountain Ridge improves to 2-6 on the season and will travel to Greenway Avenue Stadium next Friday night to face the Fort Hill Sentinels.

Southern fell to 0-7 on the season and will have two more shots to get a victory. That starts next week when they travel to Spring Mills to take on the Cardinals.



October 21, 2014


Baltimore, MD - I know that we say this every year once we hit the half way point but this season has gone by so fast that we are already down to the final three weeks of the regular season in both Maryland and West Virginia. 

With that being said, the playoff push is evident all around the area, and if you happen to pass by Greenway Avenue Stadium on Friday evening you might just hear what is sounds like too.

As we said last week, most teams in the area have already solidified their position in the post season, but important games still remain in both state playoff races.

Last week's action gave us two big games, one in each state, to help us make the some what blurry playoff race just a little bit clearer.

In Maryland, the defending state champion Fort Hill Sentinels defeated previously undefeated Class AA Kent Island, which kept the Sentinels undefeated and further bolstered their position atop the 1A West.

Meanwhile, down in the Mountain State, Keyser and Jefferson hooked up in the biggest game for the Cougars in a long time. They came into the game sitting in the #7 spot in WV AAA playoff ratings.

The Golden Tornado hung onto the lead and defeated the Cougars 28-20 in a classic game that will only help Keyser improve on their #10 ranking that they had coming into the weekend.

There were two other important games, again with one in each state, and Northern and East Hardy each helped their playoff hopes with wins over Mountain Ridge and Moorefield respectively.

Northern's win over the Miners' set up what could arguably be the biggest game of the week this Friday night in Cumberland.

That is when the Allegany Campers (4-2) will welcome the Huskies (4-3) with the fourth and final playoff spot in the 1a West on the mind of both. Should be an awesome game and it is great to see this game mean something for both schools once again.

Other games in Maryland include: Mountain Ridge (1-6) looking to end its 5 game losing streak when they travel to Southern (0-7), Fort Hill (7-0) hosting Capitol Christian Academy on Saturday, and Hancock attempting to hold onto their faint playoff hopes as they host Massanutten Military Academy of Virginia.

West Virginia games include: Jefferson (5-2) host Martinsburg (6-1) in a huge AAA game, Mussleman hosts Washington, Hedgesville travels to Hampshire, Moorefield faces off against Petersburg and Frankfort travels to Oak Glen.

It was a decent week for the guessing man, at least overall it was, I missed one game in each High School, College and the NFL. In all, it was an 11-3 week, which brings my total for the season to 73 of 90 for an 81.3 percent correction rate. Below are my guesses for this week.

As always, we want to wish all local coaches, players and fans a great week.


*Northern Garrett 14 Allegany 35
*Mountain Ridge 38 Southern Garrett 6
*Capitol Christian Academy 12 Fort Hill 40
*Massanutten Military Academy 0 Hancock 41
*Martinsburg 38 Jefferson 21
*Washington 7 Mussleman 21
*Hedgesville 6 Hampshire 22
*Frankfort 31 Oak Glen 21
*Petersburg 20 Moorefield 27
*Maryland 14 Wisconsin 31
West Virginia 21 Oklahoma State 24
Baltimore 17 Cincinnati 14
Indianapolis 27 Pittsburgh 14
Washington 21 Dallas 28


All players individual pictures were provided to us by G&G Studio. Located in Cumberland, Maryland, they have been in the community for over 30 years. If you would like the results like the ones shown above and below stop in or give them a call today.
I would like to take the time to thank them for providing the individual and team pictures to us since the start of this site several years ago. They have been a great partner and are class acts when it comes to taking care of people and their needs. Click on the picture at the top of this article to visit their facebook page and take a look at all the amazing work they do on a daily basis.
Check out every Mountain Ridge Miner football game on WFRB AM 560 in the Frostburg/Westernport Area or streaming live online at