DEKARI DARR JUST EEKS OUT THE MINERS' JOHNSON TO EARN THE "POW" AWARD
Frostburg, MD- Each week after the game we provide a poll on the site to allow you the fans the chance to pick who you believe to be the player of the game for that week's game.
This poll usually stays up until at least the Wednesday following the game, provides who I believe are the best choice for the award, and ALWAYS includes at least one opposing player.
With all of this being said, the award has been won by a Mountain Ridge Miner each of the past 30 games, which spans over the last three seasons.
For the first time in a long time a player other than a Mountain Ridge Miner won the vote and thus the "Player of the Week" award this past week.
Dekari Darr of the Fort Hill Sentinels has earned the award for his efforts in last Friday night's game against the Mountain Ridge Miners in Frostburg.
Darr had 97 yards rushing on just 10 carries and did manage to get in the end zone on three seperate occasions.
His numbers were held down due to the fact that his partner in crime, Ty Johnson, took some of his carries on the night as well as him sitting out most of the second half due to the score of the game.
Johnson had the better overall game for the Sentinels, he was all over the field on both defense and offense, but Darr got the Fort Hill offense started and made it look easy against a smaller Miner defense.
We would like to say congratulations to him and wish him luck as he enters the always tough season ending homecoming game versus city rival Allegany.
SENIOR JEREMY CULLER PROFILED
Frostburg, Maryland- I know that it is very hard to believe but we are entering the very last week in Maryland's high school football season.
We are all probably thinking the very same thing at this point in time, it seems like the season gets shorter and shorter each and every year, but the facts are that the season is the exact same legnth each season.
As we get ready to look ahead and preview the Keyser game, we take just a breif second to look back on the season so far.
One of the biggest improvements for the Miners in 2013 would have to be the offensive and defensive lines. Anyone who knows high school football knows that the fact it extends to both lines is no coinedence. The same players usually play the same type of positions on both offense and defense. So an offensive lineman will usually be a defensive lineman.
This isn't that big of a surprise since all five members of the Mountain Ridge line are either a junior or a senior. One of those Seniors on that line is left guard Jeremy Culler.
Over the past two seasons we have had the pleasure to profile over 20 Mountain Ridge players and given you the fans the chance to get to know these young men a little better.
This week we have decided to profile Jeremy. For those who are not familar with the feature, we ask each player about 10-12 questions and they give us their answers.
Below are the answers provided to us in response to those questions. We would like to thank Jeremy for taking the time to answer these questions and wish him good luck for this weeks game against Keyser. We also would like to thank him for his hard work over the past four seasons in the Mountain Ridge program.
What is your favorite color? Blue
What is your favorite food? Steak
Pick one: Facebook or Twitter? Facebook
Pick one: Coke or Pepsi? Coke
What is your favorite book? The Picture of Dorian Gray
What is your favorite movie of all time? Key Largo
What is the one tv series you can't miss an episode of? Jeopardy
What is your favorite artist/band? The Dropkick Murphy's
What is your favorite song? Animal I have become by Three Days Grace
Who is your favorite celebrity crush? None
Who is your favorite athlete? Bo Jackson and Walter Peyton
What is your favorite NFL team? Washington Redskins
Who is your favorite professional sports team? Baltimore Orioles
Pick one: College or Pro Football? College
What is the one sports moment you will never forget? David Tyree's catch in the Super Bowl against the Patriots
What has been your favorite personal sports moment? Sacking the QB on the very first play of my last game at the JV level. I broke my collarbone on that play but finished the game.
What has been the most challenging moment of your life? When I lost my grandfather a couple years back. He had cancer and suffered a lot in the end. It was very hard to watch.
Where do you draw your inspiration from? I draw my inpiration from heroes that I want to be like. To be as wise as Albert Enstein, as savy as Mark Twain, to be faithful like King David, and to be as bold as Teddy Roosevelt
YEAH, IT WAS THAT KIND OF NIGHT FOR MOUNTAIN RIDGE AGAINST RIVAL FORT HILL
Frostburg, MD- Fort Hill forced five turnovers on the evening, all of which lead to points for the Sentinels, and helped keep their undefeated season alive with a 51-12 drubbing of Mountain Ridge Friday evening at Miners' Stadium.
Mountain Ridge's defense and coaching staff knew all to well who they would have to stop in order to come out victorous Friday evening and just like every other team that has faced Fort Hill so far this season... they failed to do so.
The tandom running of Dekari Darr and Ty Johnson have proved to be an impossible force for opposing teams to stop in 2013. Both of these very talented runners are in the top five in the area in rushing and scoring.
Darr finished the night with just under 100 yards on ten carries but did manage to score three times against the Miner defense.
Johnson had 91 yards on 3 carries and got Fort Hill on the board early following a three and out from the Mountain Ridge offense which started the game.
Darr took the ball on the first two runs of the drive and got 22 yards followed by 5. Johnson finished it off by scampering up the middle and down the left side for 45 yards and the Sentinel touchdown. The extra point was good and Fort Hill lead 7-0 with 9:37 to go in the opening quarter.
It didn't take that long for the lead to grow, three plays in fact, that is when a Dalton Jeffries pass was intercepted by Fort Hill's Ryan Shrives who proceeded to zig and zag his way down the sideline for 33 yards and the Sentinel touchdown. It was now 14-0 FH with 8:35 to go in the first.
RaShawn Johnson handled the ball two of the three plays on the next Mountain Ridge drive but only managed 6 yards. Jeffries added three yards on first down but they came up one yard short of extending it on third down and they were forced to punt the ball.
Fort Hill's quarterback Hunter Squires, running backs Alex Barnes and Dekari Darr all were prominent in the next drive for the Senintels.
Squires threw incomplete on first down, Barnes and Darr rushed for 31 yards combined on the next two plays and a first down. It was then a repeat on the next three plays. An incomplete pass from Squires, followed by Barnes for 8 yards, and cleaned up by Darr who scored from 14 yards out straight up the middle. The score was now 22-0 Fort Hill with 4:31 to go in the opening quarter.
It was a heated battle on the night in Frostburg between these two local schools that sit just under 15 miles apart. Several extra stuff going on after the whistle and for some reason several running into the kicker penalties on Mountain Ridge. This is more than likely why Coach Appel decided to go for two on this occassion.
Mountain Ridge's offense managed to get a first down on their next drive and even drove it into Fort Hill territory for the first time on the evening. It was short lived however as RaShawn Johnson fumbled the ball on the carry that got the Miners into Fort Hill territory and the Sentinels recovered it to put an end to that drive.
Both teams then exchanged three and outs to end the first quarter but it was much worse of a situation for The Ridge as the snap on the punt was low and Cody Stephens picked it up but was tackled inside his own 10 to give Fort Hill excellant field position.
Darr needed only one play to cover the eight yards for his second score on the evening and the 29-0 Fort Hill lead, just 36 seconds into the second quarter.
The night got worse on the ensuing drive for Mountain Ridge as Jeffries was sacked on first down and then pitched the ball to Johnson who then threw the ball down field and got intercepted by Ty Johnson of Fort Hill. Johnson returned it all the way inside the MR 15 and was tackled by his facemask.
Several Fort Hill players took exception to the way that Johnson was tackled and some pushing and shoving ensued after the play which lead to a Mountain Ridge player being ejected.
Fort Hill's quarter back Squires took the ball on the next play and ran it off the left side for the two yard touchdown run. The extra point by Chris King made it 36-0 Sentinels.
RaShawn Johnson took it into his own feet on the next drive, handling six of the eight plays, he had 48 of the 64 yards on the drive, which ended with his 18-yard touchdown run. The two point conversion was stopped by the Fort Hill defense and the lead was now 36-6.
The first half ended with two drives that ended on downs for the Fort Hill offense which was sandwhiched inbetween a punt for Mountain Ridge.
The Big Red took the second half kickoff and marched down the field on 9 plays that covered 52 yards and ended with Darr's third touchdown of the night. This one was from 12 yards out and the extra point made it 43-6 and put the 35-point mercy rule into affect.
Jeffries threw his second interception of the evening on the next drive, both to Ty Johnson, and it was back in the hands of the Fort Hill offense.
Devin Shreve became the fourth Sentinel to see pave dirt on the evening just four plays later from 18 yards out. Coach Appel decided to run it in a bit and went for two and converted it to make it 51-6.
The most impressive drive was unfourtunely the last on the night for Mountain Ridge. A drive that covered 80 yards on 10 plays was capped off by Logan Jeffries gash up the middle of 9 yards and a Miner touchdown. Two pointer was no good and that made it the final of 51-12.
RaShawn Johnson was the star on the night for Mountain Ridge, he had 138 yards on 27 carries and one score. He also extended his area lead in rushing and scoring.
As we said earlier in the report, the win keeps Fort Hill undefeated in nine games so far this season, and sets them up nicely for the single a playoffs.
The loss ended the Mountain Ridge two game losing streak and drops them to 3-6 on the season. It was also the final home game of the season for the Miners.
Next week Fort Hill will host Allegany in the annual homecoming game on Saturday afternoon and Mountain Ridge will travel to rival Keyser on Friday night.
SCORE BY QUARTER
MOUNTAIN RIDGE, UNDEFEATED FORT HILL BATTLE ON SENIOR NIGHT 2013
Frostburg, Maryland- Mountain Ridge fans will have one final home game to cheer on their Miners this Friday evening, the sixth such occurance of 2013, when they welcome the Fort Hill Sentinels to Miner Stadium for the "Battle of Allegany County" part two.
The final home game for Mountain Ridge means that "Senior Night 2013" and all the festivities that go along with that will be taking place at the stadium as well.
Mountain Ridge have already won their battle with the two Garrett County teams, defeating the Southern Rams 36-17 last week, one week earlier they took care of Northern 26-14 for the two game sweep. This means that the Miners are on a winning streak for the first time since defeating those same two teams nearly two years ago.
Overall, Mountain Ridge has won three games and lost five on the season, but has showed marked improvement from one year ago and have already won the first game in the "Battle of Allegany County" by defeating Allegany 35-21 earlier this season.
They also kept alive one of the strangest streaks that a team can have in one season with their win over the past two weeks. They are currently undefeated against teams from the State of Maryland but winless against teams from outside the state. I know that I bring this stat up every week but it is a very unusual one and one they hope to keep alive this week.
Meanwhile, down in Cumberland, the Fort Hill Sentinels have played one of the toughest schedules in the region and have come up unscaved to this point.
Last week was definetly the most difficult game on the season so far, a 21-17 win over Chestnut Ridge on the road, to keep their undefeated season alive. They found them selves down on three seperate occasions during the game but faught back on each of those to take the lead back and get the eventual win.
It was the same three players for Fort Hill that shined and scored the three touchdowns needed in order to get the victory.Ty Johnson, Dekari Darr and Hunter Squirles have been the big play makers for the Sentinels this season and this night was no different.
Johnson had one touchdown run and one touchdown pass while Darr added the final touchdown on a 2-yard scamper that proved to be the game winner. Squirles had the one touchdown pass of 53-yards to Johnson to give Fort Hill their second score on the evening.
Most of the games have not been close thus far for Fort Hill and that goes to show you how strong this team is considering they aren't playing the worst schedule of the area teams.
They opened with a dominating 54-6 win over Silver Oak, followed that up with a hard faught 24-7 win over rival Keyser, and finished the first half of the season with 53-14, 42-12 and 47-3 wins over Central Tech (PA), Carrick (PA) and Walter Johnson respectively.
The first two games of the second half were no closer as they demolished Central (PA) 37-21 and then took care of Southern Garrett 42-6 the following week.
Some of these scores are very deceiving considering the fact that they had very big leads early in most games, took their first team out in the first half in some instances, and also worked on their passing game in each game as well.
In the past two wins for Mountain Ridge, the defense has showed that they can get a big stop, and the offense has showed that they can be more effective and be a threat. Both games have seen the Miners go over 300 total yards rushing and go over 450 total yards for the game.
The other thing that has been working in the past two weeks has been the passing game. This has been a struggle so far this season because they lost their starting quarterback (Michael Streitbeck) in the third game of the season and it has taken some time for Dalton Jeffries (New QB) to get in sync with the receiving core.
When you have faced what the Miners coaching staff has the past two seasons, numerous injuries, you will take any good news when it comes and not complain about it at all. The only good thing that came from Streitbeck getting injured is the fact they now know that they have two quarterbacks that can play next fall and that will be something they haven't had in a while.
Fort Hill won last year's meeting 41 to 6 at Greenway and are the only team that Mountain Ridge has never beaten (with playing 3+ games against) in seven all-time meetings.
Some may think that Mountain Ridge needs to play a mistake free game and have Fort Hill play a mistake prone game for the Miners to have a shot against the heavily favored Sentinels. But as most Cumberland football fans remember, it doesn't matter who is favored when it comes to these inner-county matchups.
The fact is the team that does the following the best will win this game: Run the ball, Stop the run, Force turnovers, Limit Turnovers, Better passing game, Limit the big plays
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Fort Hill: Ty Johnson, Alex Barnes, Dekari Darr, Hunter Squirles, Chris King, Fort Hill OL/DL
Mountain Ridge: Dalton Jeffries, Cody Stephens, Logan Jeffries, RaShawn Johnson, Austin Mckenzie, Matt Whetstone, Ian McCormick, Tim Buskirk
Every one should come out and support this team and these nine seniors in their final home game of the season. See everyone there at 7pm. Good luck to both team
FORT HILL'S TANDOM AT RUNNING BACK!!!
BUSKIRK ENDS THE STREAK FOR JOHNSON, SHUTS DOWN THE RAMS DEFENSE
Frostburg, Maryland- The Mountain Ridge Miners have won two games in a row against the Garrett County teams and a big reason why is the play of the defense.
To put it into perspective we must first look at what last year brought us, giving up nearly 47 points per game was not what we are used to for a Frostburg high school team, but that number has shrunk by 12 points to just 35 this season.
We must also look at the difference from year to year when it comes to individual teams. Last season, Mountain Ridge gave up 28 points to Northern, and followed that up one week later by giving up 42 to the Southern Rams.
Now let's take a look at the results for these same two games this year. Two weeks ago, Mountain Ridge cut the points given up to Northern in half, from 28 to 14 points. Last week versus the Southern Rams, the Mountain Ridge defense did even better, cutting it by more than half from 42 to 17 points.
One could argue that there is no way to go but up from last season but one must also remember that this is not the pro's or college football.
Mountain Ridge didn't have the luxary that an NFL team would have of getting rid of players and signing new ones. These kids worked their ass off all off season and this season and it has payed off.
Junior running back RaShawn Johnson has won every "PLAYER OF THE WEEK" award for a game in which he participated in so far this season. It looked like he was going to win it in every single game this season.
Well, as Mr. Lee Corso would say, " Not so fast my friend." While their is no doubt that Johnson is the heart and soul of the Miner offense, everyone knows that in team sports, there is no "I" in team.
We are proud to announce that Senior linebacker Tim "The Bus" Buskirk has won the "Player of the Week" award for the Southern game.
Buskirk lead the Mountain Ridge defense with 12 total tackles and 3 for a loss. This is the first award for him this year.
Congratulations to him for the honor and we wish him all the luck in the world this week as he takes on rival Fort Hill.
MOUNTAIN RIDGE CELEBRATES SENIOR NIGHT 2013
Frostburg, MD- There is one more home game left for the Mountain Ridge football team this fall, Senior Night 2013 awaits the nine member Senior Class and the rest of the team this Friday night.
This class has produced some very talented players no doubt.
Austin McKenzie, Cody Stephens, Logan Jeffries, Zach Beal, Tim Buskirk, Ian McCormick and Austin Crabtree are just a sample of the talented players that Mountain Ridge will lose this fall.
McKenzie and Beal are key memebers of the passing game that the Miners have really turned to over the past two seasons.
Buskirk and McCormick are two of the very important linebackers that has improved the Mountain Ridge defense by 12+ points per game this season.
Cody Stephens is a more potent weapon as a receiving threat. He was pushed into the quarterback position following the graduation of Dan Streitbeck in 2011. He did a wonderful job in the transition between Streitbeck brothers.
Crabtree and Jeffries have been an important part of the Mountain Ridge rushing attack.
There are many memories that these players will remember after their four years in the Mountain Ridge program, but few will compare to the ones they will have this Friday night when they are celebrated by the school.
One of the best pre-game ceramonies in HSFB is the one when the parents of these players walk their sons across the field. I have been a part of many and can honestly vouch for this.
Below is the team picture of these young players followed by the individual pictures of each. Please come out this Friday night and celebrate these young men for their contributions to the Mountain Ridge program.
The Mountain Ridge Football Parents Association would like to thank each one of these players families and extended families for everything they have given to the program.
2013 MOUNTAIN RIDGE SENIOR PLAYERS
Note: There is no individual picture for Chandler Sagal. He is #44 in the group photo above
SENIOR TIM "THE BUS" BUSKIRK PROFILED
Frostburg, MD- We are rapidly coming to the end of another Mountain Ridge Miner football season. I know that it is hard to believe but the Miners only have two regular season games left in the 2013 campaign.
It seemed like it was just yesterday that we all were excited, anticpated, and anxious to make the trip to the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia for the season opener against the Jefferson Cougars.
Our first game in the area this season saw an end to the losing streak and the start of the demise of the Allegany season.
And even though we had a rough stretch in the middle of the season this team showed what it has done for the past two seasons.... no give up!!!
One of the biggest improvements this season has been the play of the defense. This is especially the case for the linebacking core of Mountain Ridge.
The defense gave up a staggering 460 points last year, that is an average of 46.0 ppg for the season.
Offensively, they didn't fair much better, scoring just 62, for an average of 6.2 ppg. That meant they were outscored on average by a 46 to 6 score last year.
So far this season, the defense has lowered the total down to 35 ppg, but has only given up about 15 ppg in the last two outings.
The linebackers for Mountain Ridge are definetly their strength. Matt Whetstone, Ty Brooks and Tim Buskirk have averaged double digit tackles so far this season.
Mountain Ridge's offense has also increased their total per game by 17 to 23 ppg so far this season.
The center of those linebackers would have to be Tim "THE BUS" Buskirk.
How many times did you hear his name over the loud speaker this season for making a tackle or big play? COUNTLESS
Anytime your defense can improve by 10+ points per game from the previous season, you know the Seniors have stepped up.
Buskirk is no different, one of the most vocal leaders on the field this season, he has showed this young team what is needed to come up victorous.
He participated in the pre season poll like the rest of his team mates and this week is his chance to share his answers with you.
Below are the questions that we asked all players along with the answers that Tim provided for us. I would like to thank Tim for taking the time to answer these and participate. We would also like to wish him all the luck in the world for the last two weeks of the regular season.
What is your favorite color? Red
What is your favorite food? Buffalo Wings
Pick One: Facebook or Twitter? Twitter
Coke or Pepsi? Coke
What is your favorite book? None
What is your favorite movie of all-time? Friday Night Lights
What is the one TV Series that you can't miss an episode of? Friday Night Lights
Who is your favorite artist/band? Eminem
What is your favorite song? Your Hand in Mine by Explosions In The Sky
Who is your celebrity crush? None
Who is your favorite pro athlete? Ray Lewis
Favorite NFL Team? Seattle Seahawks
Pick One: College or Pro Football? College
What has been your favorite personal sports moment? Walking out under the lights for my first Varsity Football Game as a Sophomore
MINERS COMPLETE SWEEP OF THE GARRETT COUNTY TEAMS
Frostburg, MD- The Mountain Ridge Miners have now won two straight home games, this is the first such occurance of that since the 2011 season, with a convincing 36-17 win over the Southern Rams Friday evening at Miners' Stadium.
The win over Southern gave the Miners them a two game sweep of the Garrett County Schools. They defeated the Northern Huskies 26-14 last week at home.
There is no mystery for opposing coaches when they prepare a game plan to defeat the Miners. Stopping the running of RaShawn Johnson is the number one task on each coaches list. Many have failed so far, and Southern was no different on this night.
Johnson averaged 11 yards per carry and accounted for just under 68 percent of the Mountain Ridge offense on this night.
Offesnsive Cordinator Ryan Patterson has had many inventive, well executed play calls over the years.
Who could forget his famous hook and ladder pass for a touchdown against Fort Hill at Greenway several years back? They even executed this play earlier on this year against fellow Cumberland foe Allegany.
Even with that being the case, no one saw what he called for the first play from scrimmage Friday night coming, least of which the Southern Ram coaching staff.
Dalton Jeffries dropped back to pass on the first play from scrimmage Friday evening, hit Zach Beal about 10 yards down the field for what looked to be a decent sized gain, but that all changed when Beal hit a charging RaShawn Johnson for a 57 yard gain to the Ram 10.
Johnson did need the three downs alotted to him and Mountain Ridge to get in the end zone though. He ran it in from 4 yards out on that third and final play of a four play, 65 yard drive. The extra point was too low and no good, which made it 6-0 Mountain Ridge with 9:48 to go in the opening quarter.
Travis Newton and the Southern Ram offense didn't waste anytime at all getting back in the game however.
They took the ball over at their own 34-yard line following the kickoff, proceeded to drive the ball 66 yards on 10 plays, and took the 8-6 lead following the 6-yard touchdown run and two point conversion run by Seth Kisner.
Mountain Ridge got the first real big break of the game to end their next scoring drive.
On a first-and-10 play from the Ram 38, Logan Jeffries took the ball straight up the middle through a big hole, fumbled the ball forward, and following a couple of miss pickup attempts by Southern Ram defenders, Miners WR Zach Beal picked it up at the 4-yard line and ran it in the rest of the way for a Mountain Ridge touchdown.
Dalton Jeffries then hit his older brother, Logan, on a play action pass for the two point conversion and 14-8 Miners lead with 3:38 to go in the first quarter.
Southern narrowed the lead down to three points on the next drive. That is when the Rams Alex Meyer nailed a 29-yard field goal to close it to 14-11. The Rams drive stalled after 14 plays and 50 yards at the Mountain Ridge 13.
It looked like Mountain Ridge was going to extend their lead very quickly following a long kickoff return from Johnson. The Miners offense started at the SHS 20 but only went backwards 25 yards and were forced to punt the ball back to the Rams.
Mountain Ridge got a second chance at that following a Southern punt, and this time the Miners took full advantage, D. Jeffries ran it in from one yard out two plays after hitting Austin McKenzie for a big 48 yard pass completion.
The two point conversion was good when Jeffries hit a wide open Beal and Mountain Ridge then lead 22-11 with just over one minute to go in the half.
Both teams exchanged turnovers in the final minute of the half. Southern then was forced to give the ball back to Mountain Ridge when they failed to convert a fourth-and-6 from the MR 33. Mountain Ridge took a knee and the 11 point lead into the halftime break.
Southern started the second half with a 12 play, 57 yard drive that was aided with ten yards in penalties against the Miner defense.
Kisner had several big running plays on the drive and capped it off from three yards out but did not convert the two point conversion. The score by Southern made it a 22-17 game.
Johnson needed only two plays and 50 seconds to get the Miners back on the board. He took the ball for 14 yards on the first play of the drive and followed that up with a 32 yard scamper and a Mountain Ridge touchdown. The Miners didn't convert the two pointer and they now lead 28-17 with just over seven minutes to go in the third quarter.
The next drive for Southern ended rather quickly, three plays and out, and forced the Rams into a punt.
Jeffries gave them the ball back on what amounted to a punt when he attempted to hit McKenzie but was intercepted by Ritchie.
Most football games, at every level, have what we call turning points. It usually is one or a series of plays that turn the game in one teams direction.
This games turning point took place on the next Southern Ram drive. They started out at their own 36 yard line. Five plays later, QB Newton looked to be crossing the goal line to narrow the gap, he fumbled the ball however and Mountain Ridge recovered in the end zone for a touchback. If they get that score the Rams are looking at a five point deficit at worse.
Both teams then exchanged punts, which gave Mountain Ridge the ball at their own 31-yard line.
Johnson had a carry of nine yards on first down but came up just short of a first down. Jeffries kept it on the QB sneak the very next play but was stuffed and Mountain Ridge was saddled with a crucial third-and-one from the 40.
The Ram defense were all stacked at the line of scrimmage and when Johnson broke the first tackle there was no one between him and the end zone. He took it the 60 yards needed for the score on that play and gave the final margin of victory for Mountain Ridge, 36-17.
Southern was then forced into a passing offense and they didn't look good on their last two drives. Both went no where and forced them to punt the ball back to Mountain Ridge.
The Miners didn't manage much on either of those drives but did manage to run out the clock to give them their second victory in a row.
Mountain Ridge also had 300+ yards rushing for the second straight game as well. They holded the Rams to under 250 total yards on the evening as well.
They did however have over 100 yards in penalties on the evening, many of which came late in the game when they were trying to run the clock out.
Johnson finished the night with 261 yards for the second straight game and three touchdowns.
Dalton Jeffries had the other two scores on the evening for Mountain Ridge. He also completed four of his six passes on the evening for 64 yards.
The win improves Mountain Ridge to 3-5 on the season and will complete their home schedule next Friday night when they welcome the undefeated Fort Hill Sentinels to Miners' Stadium in Frostburg.
Southern is now 2-6 on the season and will host the Springs Mills Cardinals next week in Oakland.
Zach Beal picks up the loose ball and runs it in for the Miner touchdown in the first quarter against Southern.
MINERS/RAMS SQUARE OFF IN FROSTBURG
Frostburg, MD- The Mountain Ridge Miners (2-5) will play their third straight game in front of the home fans Friday evening, when they welcome the Southern Rams (2-5) to Miners' Stadium in Frostburg.
It is the second to last home game for Mountain Ridge in 2013. They conclude their home slate next week when they welcome the area's hands down number one team in Fort Hill to Frostburg for Senior Night.
Southern has had a bit of a wierd streak follow them along this season. The Rams started out the season on a three game losing streak. They followed that up with a breif two game winning streak. It looked it was going to extend into three games but they lost a squeaker two weeks ago and the loss this past week to Fort Hill extends that to two game.
They opened their season on a good note at home against the Allegany Campers. The Rams started the season with a long drive against the Camper defense that ended in a turnover on downs inside the 15. Alco gave them a second chance when they fumbled the ball on the first play from scrimmage and Southern recovered. Seth Kiner ran it into the end zone from nine yards out and the two point conversion gave the Rams the early 8-0 lead. That was the end of the good news on the night for the home team as Allegany scored the next 34 points en route to their 34-8 season opening win.
They then had the season opening loss become a streak when they lost two straight squeakers to Moorefield and Silver Oak the following two weeks.
It started with a nail-biting 20 to 12 loss to the Moorefield Yellow Jackets at home. While it was a loss for the Rams, the margin of loss was impressive considering where the Jackets sit currently. They are sitting fourth in the AA standings in West Virginia.
Southern followed that up the following week with a close 20-14 loss to Silver Oak Academy in Frederick. Both Reese Haskiell and Seth Kiner had 70+ yards rushing for the Rams in the loss.
Both of these games were close losses and if one or two plays go differently, we would be looking at a different Southern Rams team coming to Frostburg.
They got off the snide the following two weeks with 48-0 and 28-20 wins over Berkeley Springs and Tucker County respectively.
Haskiell had three touchdowns and Travis Newton, Logan Tichell and Seth Kiner all added scores of their own in the win over the Indians. Alex Meyer also had a 32-yard field goal on the night.
The win over Tucker County is very impressive considering they stopped the Mountain Lions on four straight plays from inside the one-yard line in the waining seconds to win this game. Kiner, Newton and Haskiell all had 75+ yards rushing in the game for the Rams. This is hands down their most impressive win on the season thus far.
Petersburg handed the Rams another close loss two weeks ago when they scored the game winning touchdown with under three minutes on the clock to come away with the 15-14 win. If you take out the two losses to the Cumberland schools (Alco and Fort Hill) their other three losses are by a combined 15 points. That is an average of less than a touchdown.
The most recent of games for the Rams was last Saturday afternoon at Greenway against the Fort Hill Sentinels. They were down 42-0 at the half, but did manage to get on the board in the second half to make the final 42-6.
Mountain Ridge is coming into this game off of their first home win in nearly two years, a 26-14 comfortable win over Ram rival Northern, last Friday night in Frostburg.
The win for the Miners was the first win at Miners' Stadium since their dominating victory over Southern in 2011, the last time the Rams played in Frostburg.
They have an interesting streak of their own going on for the 2013 season. The Miners are undefeated against teams from the State of Maryland (2-0) and winless against teams from any other State (0-5).
Last year in Oakland, the Rams got their first win in the short series history between the two schools, a dominating 42-8 victory for Southern.
Southern scored six touchdowns on the night, and every one was scored by a different player for the Rams.
Garrett Campbell, Jeffrey Eddington, Seth Kiner, Brandon Wotring, Brian Wildman and Joby Heckler had the touchdowns for the Rams.
The lead was 28-0 at the halftime break before Mountain Ridge scored their lone touchdown, a 64-yard touchdown pass from Streitbeck to Johnson, to make it 28-8. Southern scored the final 14 points to come up with the final of 42-8.
Mountain Ridge has dominated the series history, winning five of six, including two shutout wins over the Rams.
Check out the players to watch below and good luck to all area teams, especially these two as they battle tonight.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Southern: Seth Kiner, Travis Newton, Reese Haskiell, Logan Hitchell, Alex Meyer,
Mountain Ridge: Dalton Jeffries, Logan Jeffries, RaShawn Johnson, Cody Stephens, Austin McKenzie, Matt Whetstone, Tim Buskirk
PLAYOFF POSITIONING ON THE LINE IN THE FINAL THREE WEEKS OF THE FOOTBALL SEASON
Baltimore, MD- It is very hard to believe but the high school football season is quickly winding down and with that means fierce playoff positioning for local teams.
In Maryland, there are actually three weeks left, and that means that the playoff standings have a chance to change a lot between now and early November.
Now that we have local teams in two different regions, we get to keep an eye on more teams and games as we get ready for the playoffs.
Mountain Ridge, the only local team in Maryland's Class 2a, currently sits in the seventh spot in the West region of AA.
This means they have to win out if they want a chance to make the playoffs and get some help. But wins over Southern, Fort Hill and Keyser would go a long way in those hopes.
Catoctin sits in the final spot in the same region as the Miners, and Boonsboro is currently two spots behind them which is equal to 8 points less.
All other area teams are in the Class A West region of Maryland.
Fort Hill and North Carroll are sitting in the top two spots of the new look region. The difference between the Sentinels and Panthers is an amazing 14+ points considering both teams are undefeated. North Carroll will need at least one Fort Hill loss assuming they win out to even have a shot at the top spot and home field advantage.
The Hancock Panthers are benefiting from the rest of the region being down and are currently in the third spot, well ahead of fourth place Allegany.
The Campers are in a desperate battle to hold that last seed and will more than likely need to hold off Manchester Valley.
The Mavericks look to be the only team that has a legitimate shot at the Campers but do face a tough schedule for the rest of the season.
With that being said, the four teams that are sitting at 1 thru 4 right now will more than likely be there in week number ten. The positioning of these teams look to be the only thing up in the air right now.
Meanwhile, down in West Virginia, there is also three weeks left, and it is way more interesting when it comes to area teams playoff chances.
The only local team in Single A is Moorefield, and the Yellow Jackets are solidly in the field, sitting in the number four position. They are off this week and do have two home games left against teams lower then them in the rankings.
West Virginia's Double A only has two local area teams in it and both look to be well in when it comes to the post season.
Coming off of their first loss on the season, Frankfort is at #6 right now, but two of the last three games for the Falcons aren't easy wins(Keyser and Hampshire).
The other team would be the Keyser Golden Tornado. They are having a bit of a down year compared to their standards, but still are solidy in at number twelve. They only have two games left with the toughest of them being the "Battle of Mineral County" against Frankfort.
Look for both of those teams to get in, the result of the head to head battle will go a long way in figuring out where these two will play in the first week of the playoffs.
I hate to say it, but the most intriguing battle in the area right now, resides in the Class AAA playoff race in West Virginia.
Five area teams currently sit in positions 14 through 20 and the battle for the top 16 will no doubt be classic in the final three weeks.
Hampshire leads the pack of five, right now they are in the 14th position, just ahead of Washington, who are in the last and final playoff spot.
Musselman, Jefferson, and Hedgesville are all just on the outside looking in right now. They sit 17th, 18th, and 20th respectfully.
The one great thing about this race is that it will be decided between the teams in it, there is a total of six games between them in the final three weeks, and there is at least one game each week as well.
Some schools... no names... in Western Maryland should take note in attempting to fill their schedules in the upcoming years.
There is one thing for sure, the last three weeks in each state will show us once again why we love high school football so much. Good luck to all area teams.
JOHNSON SCORES THREE TIMES TO HELP MINERS' GET FIRST HOME WIN AGAINST RIVAL NORTHERN
Frostburg, MD- Mountain Ridge Junior running back RaShawn Johnson once again proved to be a pain in the opponents side, this time it was the rival Northern Huskies, this past Friday night at Miners' Stadium in Frostburg.
If you were walking down the halls of the high school, and you saw RaShawn, you would probably ask yourself... "This is the guy that no one can tackle?"
Now the above mentioned comment is not meant to come across as "disrespectful", it is meant to come across as the complete opposite, "respectful."
But if you look at the history of the NFL, especially the recent one, the most difficult players to tackle are the larger ones and not the smaller ones. I.E. Marshawn Lynch, Jerome Bettis, Trent Richardson, and Alfred Morris.
With that being said, there does seem to be a trend for the pro teams to go to a much smaller, quicker, but stronger back like Johnson. Examples of these are, Ray Rice, Frank Gore, Adrian Peterson, Jamal Charles, and Arian Foster.
Johnson has the skills that coaches can't teach: illusiveness, quickness, field vision and toughness. This is what makes him the special player that he is.
He managed to get 104 yards, and these came just on the three scoring runs that he had. He finished the evening with 261 yards.
The scoring runs of 6, 13, and 85 yards consecutively in the game gave the Miners the much needed boost they needed to come away victourous.
Johnson has now scored 13 of the 22 touchdowns for Mountain Ridge on the season.
For his efforts against the Northern Huskies, Johnson has earned his sixth "Player of the Week" honor on the season, and keeps his streak alive of winning the award every week in which he has played.
We would like to congratulate RaShawn for his award and wish him the best of luck in this Friday's game against the Southern Rams.
CONGRATULATIONS MR. JOHNSON!!!
MOUNTAIN RIDGE DEFEATS RIVAL HUSKIES TO SNAP LONG LOSING STREAK AT HOME, 26-14
Frostburg, MD- It was a completely different night in Frostburg on Friday evening at Miners' Stadium than it was just one week ago.
Last week's homecoming game against the Monessen Greyhounds was played in a steady rain all night long, the Miners couldn't keep up with the stout Greyhounds and eventually lost the game 52-12.
On this evening, the weather could not have been any better for a mid-October evening in the Mountain City, and the Miners treated their fans to a home victory over the rival Northern Huskies, 26-14.
The win for Mountain Ridge ends a nine game losing streak at their home field, which dates all the way back to October 21, 2011, nearly two years ago, when they defeated the Southern Rams.
Junior running back RaShawn Johnson once again shined in front of the home folks, this time going for 261 yards and three touchdown runs, and the defense stiffened when they needed to for Mountain Ridge.
Mountain Ridge outgained the Huskies by a total of 302 to 215 on the night, but did hold a 247 to 86 advantage on the ground, and also played a turnover free game for the first time in a long time.
It looked like this game was going to begin as so many have for Mountain Ridge in the last two seasons.
They got the ball to start their opening drive at their own 42-yard line, following a short kickoff that was planned to keep the ball out of Johnson's hands.
On the very first play from scrimmage, quarterback Dalton Jeffries' pass was tipped and looked like it was going to be intercepted, but wide receiver Cody Stephens stayed with the pass and hauled it in to avoid diaster and gain five yards.
Jeffries hit split end Matt Whetstone for 29 yards later on in the drive to set the Miners up with a first down at the Huskie 11-yard line.
Johnson had three carries on the 58 yard drive, the last of which was a 6-yard touchdown run that came on a third down play, and put the Miners up 7-0 with 9:09 left in the opening quarter.
The Huskies attempted to respond and were aided by a long kickoff return from Freshman Logan Yommer, that gave them the ball at the Miner 41.
Northern couldn't sustain the drive as they fumbled the first snap, committed a false start penalty, and were stopped by the Miner defense on a fourth-and-seven play to turn the ball over on downs at the MR 35.
Sophomore quarterback Jeffries lead Mountain Ridge on a nine play, sixty-five yard drive that ended in another Johnson touchdown run.
Johnson carried the ball five times on the scoring drive, opened with a 13-yard run, and closed with the 12-yard touchdown run that put Mountain Ridge up 14-0 with 3:36 to go in the first.
The next Northern drive was a little more successful then their first, they managed to get one first down, but were forced into a punt following a Trevon Jones one yard gain on fourth-and-seven.
Mountain Ridge also had the ensuing drive stalled following one first down, a dropped pass from a wide out, and a bad snap on a third-and-six play.
The bad snap was recovered by Johnson, who was then tackled for a six yard loss, and forced Mountain Ridge into a punting situation.
Northern got excellant field position following the exchange of punts, their own 45, and proceeded to get their passing game in gear to get on the board.
Mesach Metz completed two passes to tight end Jake Vernon on the drive, one that covered 9 yards, and another that covered 32 and got the Huskies on the board, which narrowed the Mountain Ridge lead to 14-7 with just under five minutes to go before the half.
Mountain Ridge drove the ball all the way down to the Northern 27, only to see the drive end when Jeffries failed to connect with Zach Beal in the end zone on a fourth-and-4 play.
The Huskies took over and did manage to run four plays and get a first down before the first half clock ran out.
Mountain Ridge had the overall lead in yardage at the break by just 61 yards and held the lead by just 7.
The second half started with a combined five straight drives that all ended in punts by Northern and Mountain Ridge.
Northern got the streak started, and began another streak of their own, a streak of four straight drives that started with either a penalty or a play that resulted in negative yardage.
This drive started with a false start penalty and ended with Metz getting sacked by Ty Brooks for a 14-yard loss and a Huskie punt.
Mountain Ridge got the ball inside their own 10, got one first down on a Johnson run, but were forced into a punt when he got only 4 yards on a third-and-6.
The Huskies next two drives ended on three and outs as did the Mountain Ridge drive that was sandwhiched in between.
Johnson carried the ball on three of the five plays on the next Mountain Ridge drive, including the 23 yarder that started it, and the 43 yarder that got the ball down to the Northern 1. Jeffries ran it in the yard needed for the score following a Miner timeout and put them back up by two touchdowns, 20-7 with 11:02 to go in the game.
Northern responded though, four plays and 65 yards later, aided by a Mountain Ridge personal foul penalty, Logan Yommer hit a wide open Nate Durst from 41 yards out and the extra point made it 20-14 with 9:31 to go in the fourth quarter.
The Mountain Ridge defense held Northern on three straight drives to keep them off the board, and stopped them on six of seven second half drives.
RaShawn Johnson rewarded them with another amazing highlight run, this time on the very first play of a drive with just over six mintues remaining, he scampered 85 yards to the end zone and gave Mountain Ridge the 26-14 final.
This is hands down one of the best played football games by a Mountain Ridge football team since the 2011 season.
Besides the earlier game this season against Allegany, you can't argue the fact that they played nearly a flawless game.
They started the game off fast in scoring touchdowns on the first two drives of the game, didn't committ a turnover for the entire game, and besides a small stretch late in the game, didn't commit those silly penalty's that have plauged them all seaon.
Now as there are with every game, the Miners do have some things that they need to work on and improve before next week's game.
Overall the offense played well, but the second and third quarters were scoreless ones for the Miners, they could have extended the two touchdown early lead and put the Huskies out early.
They also had a small stretch in the late third and early fourth quarter in which the penalty bug came back and attempted to bite them. They must be more discipline for the entire game if they want to continue to win.
The win does keep them undefeated this year against teams from the State of Maryland (2-0), but winless against all other states (0-5).
Mountain Ridge will have their third of four home games next week as they welcome the Southern Rams to Frostburg on Friday night. The Huskies will go back to Accident and prepare for a home contest against the Allegany Campers.
Game time for this Friday's game against Southern is 7pm. I hope to see all you Miner fans at the stadium to support your team.
SCORE BY QUARTER
HUSKIES COME TO FROSTBURG IN SEARCH FOR PLAYOFF HELPING WIN
Frostburg, MD- The Mountain Ridge Miners welcome the Northern Huskies to Frostburg in their second of four straight home games at Miners' Stadium.
Northern (2-3) is coming into this game just one game below the .500 mark and sit just over one point out of the fourth and final playoff spot in Maryland's 1a West Region.
The Huskies are coming off of what was suppost to be the week they played the Bishop Walsh Spartans. Unfourtently, the Spartans were forced to discontinue their football program just before the season started.
This left the Northern players and coaches an extra week of preperation for the Miners during their bye week.
The Huskies started their season off with a tough, hard faught victory over Smithsburg 7-6. Jake Vernon scored the game winning 4-yard touchdown run with just 1:23 remaining and Justin Derato's extra point was the winning margin for the Huskies. This marked the first time in recent memory that Northern started the season with a win over Smithsburg. Both teams have opened the season against each other for the last five or so seasons.
The Huskies saw the winning streak halted the very next week with a low scoring 7-0 loss to Tucker Co. (WV). The Mountain Lions Seth Underwood had the lone score on the evening, a 16-yard scamper that started the game off. This game was all about defense as 281 yards was the combined total yards for the game.
The following week Northern hosted local rival Keyser in Accident. Cody Eversole and Danny Fife combined for 260 yards and six touchdowns in the Tornado 47-7 blowout victory. Kody Osselburn had the lone score on the evening for the Huskies, a late 60-yard touchdown run. The loss dropped Northern to 1-2 on the season.
The undefeated Frankfort Falcons came to Accident the following week and while the game was a bit closer, the result was no different, a Northern Huskie loss, this time to the tune of 28-15. The Falcons opening drive was capped off by Brady Watson for 24 yards out to put them up 7-0. Noah Bible added a 31-yard touchdown reception before half to give the Falcons the 14-0 at the break. Watson added one more score, this time from 44 yards out, to make it 21-0 Frankfort. Huskie QB Meshach Metz hit Sean Llyod for a 19-yard touchdown pass to cut it to 21-7. Cole Smith finalized the scoring for the Falcons with a 56-yard touchdown run. Nate Durst had a 20-yard touchdown run late to make the final of 28-15 Frankfort.
Two weeks ago, which is the last time Northern played, they held on against a fiesty Blazers team for a 17-14 win. The win put the Huskies square in the playoff picture in what is a down year for the 1a West Region. Justin Derato was involved in the first two scoring plays of the game, a 8-yard touchdown reception, and a 25-yard field goal that put Northern up 10-0 with 2:30 to go in the first quarter. After a Damian Poet touchdown run for Clear Spring, Trevon Jones extended the Huskie lead back to 10 with a 74-yard touchdown run that made it 17-7 Northern. Brandon Blair returned a Huskie fumble 50 yards for the other touchdown for the home standing Blazers. This made Northern 2-3 on the season and still very much alive for a playoff spot heading into their bye week and game against the Miners.
Mountain Ridge is looking to keep a very unlikely streak alive, thus far this season, the Miners are undefeated against teams from the State of Maryland and winless against teams from another state.
They started their season with losses at the hands of Jefferson and Hedgesville. They then ended a long losing streak with a win over rival Allegany. That was followed up by a pair of losses to Frankfort and Hampshire, both from West Virginia. And last week the Miners lost to fill in Monessen from PA.
It is a very unusual streak and something that the coaching staff can't explain. This is especially the case considering Mountain Ridge's success against the teams from West Virginia in it's first five seasons.
Last week was homecoming in Frostburg, and it was not your typical "cake walk" opponent for the festivities either. Monessen came into the game sitting at 5-1 and had already ended the nations longest winning streak after defeating Clairton(PA) earlier in the season.
The Miners' committed four turnovers and the offense didn't get on track until the second half, which was way to late and they lost 52-12 to the Greyhounds.
Look for the offense to have a little better traction this week as they have one more week of practice together to get acclamated to each other.
Last year's meeting was won by the Huskies in Accident 28-8. It is just the second victory for the Huskies in the all-time series and first since their upset win over the Miners three seasons ago.
Tommy Durst had 156 yards on 17 carries and had one score on the evening. Jeremy Bender added 55 yards on 12 carries and had two touchdowns himself.
The game was pretty close all the way until the end of the half. The Huskies lead 19-0 at half on the back of a long touchdown run by Durst and a short touchdown pass from Aaron Broadwater to Craig Funk. Bender had another short touchdown run just before the halftime break as well. Logan Jeffries had the lone touchdown on the evening for the Miners', a 1-yarder that started the second half, Johnson added the two point conversion and things were looking up for Mountain Ridge. That was short lived however, a Mountain Ridge safety and Bender short touchdown run later, the Huskies were pulling away and never looked back.
Northern has had a hard time so far this season on offense and they must execute better if they hope to come out of Friday night with a win. The defense on the other side has played very well minus the Keyser game.
The one thing you have to say about the Huskies so far is that their schedule is very weak and there is no telling how good this team is right now. The only two tough games they have had so far this season have ended in blowout losses. Friday night's game against the Miners' will go a long way in telling the area what Northern is like.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Northern: Jake Vernon, Trevon Jones, Justin Derato, Kody Osselburn, Meshach Metz, Logan Yomer, Nate Durst
Mountian Ridge: Dalton Jeffries, Logan Jeffries, RaShawn Johnson, Matt Whetstone, Tyler Redman, Ty Brooks, Austin McKenzie, Cody Stephens
JOHNSON CLEANS UP AGAIN, EARNS HIS FIFTH PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD THIS YEAR
Frostburg, MD- If you are an opposing coach preparing for the Mountain Ridge Miner offense this season, you begin and end your preparation with one guy... Junior running back RaShawn Johnson.
Now I know, I know, one guy does not make or break a team in any sport that involves more than one player. And I know that opposing coaches look at more than just him, but the main focus for them is how to stop Johnson.
This became more and more the case a couple of weeks back when Mountain Ridge lost their starting quarterback, Michael Streitbeck, to a season ending knee injury.
Everyone should take a second and think about everything that you have read so far in this article.
* Coming into the season, Johnson was the Miners key player on offense
* After his first two games of the season, this became even more evident
* Mountain Ridge loses their starting QB to a season ending injury
* Most people know where the ball is going before the Miners even snap the ball
So you see, for Johnson to continue to put up the numbers that he does on a week to week basis is just simply amazing.
He has won the player of the week honors in every game that he has played so far this season.
The only game that he didn't win it was the game he was suspended for, the Frankfort game.
He has accounted for 10 of the Miner 18 touchdowns on the season.
Last week was no different for Johnson, returning from his one game suspension, he had over 250+ all purpose yards and had a long 75 yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
For his efforts, Johnson once again earns the player of the week honors for the Monessen game.
The honor is his fifth such honor in six weeks so far this season.
We congratulate him on the award and wish him good luck this week as the Miners welcome local rival Northern to Frostburg.
GREAT JOB RASHAWN!!!
All player photos provided by G&G Studio in Cumberland, Maryland.
I would like to thank them for providing the pictures of the players.
Visit their facebook page to see what they can do for you. Click on the logo to the left to be directed to their facebook page.
Check out every Mountain Ridge Miner football game on WFRB AM 560 in the Frostburg/Westernport Area or streaming live online at www.talkradio560.com.
MINERS' FOOTBALL 2013 - "UNDERGROUND BROTHERHOOD"