Sentinels topple Miners for 1A state title

Social media posts show continued support for
Mountain Ridge even as Fort Hill pulled away
White, Wertz lead Sentinels to cap undefeated season

For AlleganyPlayground.com

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — One way to watch the Maryland Class 1A state football championship between No. 1 Fort Hill and No. 2 Mountain Ridge would have been to go to Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis and sit in the stands.

Another way was to watch Miners fans as the game got away from their boys on the field.

To a person, fans stayed (mostly) civil and (fully) supportive of the efforts by Mountain Ridge to slow down Fort Hill’s rushing attack. It worked for nearly two quarters. As updates poured in on the Mountain Ridge Football Parents Association Facebook page, support for the players never wavered even as questions arose about the officiating.

Things were “intense” in Annapolis and online as Mountain Ridge led 19-10, then 19-17, in the second quarter. Then, well, the wheels came off. At halftime, Fort Hill had a two-touchdown lead (31-19).

This was a rematch from October. Then, Fort Hill won decisively, 37-7, at Greenway Avenue Stadium in Cumberland. Today, the Miners were in the game with a half remaining.

“We have a lot of ballgame left, folks,” the association posted. “Keep pounding, Ridge!!! No sad faces!!! We are still in this!! We didn’t come all this way to lay down the second half!”

Fans agreed.

“Let’s go Miners,” Sheena Marie cheered. “Fight back.”

Crystal Sue Judd agreed.

“Let’s go boys,” she wrote. “You got this!! Bring it home!!”

“We’re behind you all the way,” shared Regina Spiker.

“Keep your head in the game Miners! You got this,” wrote Rene Hott-Beal.

“Let’s go Miners,” cheered Keri Strubin Harvey. “Keep working boys.”

But Mountain Ridge could not stop the dual threat of Blake White and Tanner Wertz on the ground. White scored three times and the duo combined for nearly 300 rushing yards as Fort Hill capped an undefeated season with a 51-31 victory over Mountain Ridge.

The Sentinels finish the season with a perfect 12-0 record. The Miners had two losses — both to Fort Hill — in 13 games.

The state title is the eighth in the Fort Hill program’s history, following championship efforts in 1975, 1997, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018. Allegany High School’s football program also has eight state championships.

Mountain Ridge, meanwhile, was vying for its first state title since the school opened in 2007. Though it didn’t happen this year, team supporters have reason to be excited about next year.

Screenshots from the Mountain Ridge Football Facebook page show unwavering support for the Miners.

“We came to mine for gold but we’re leaving with silver,” the association posted after the loss. “THIS TEAM HAS NOTHING TO HANG THEIR HEADS ABOUT! Miner Nation is so proud (of) each and every one of you young men. First trip to states in school history but definitely not our last.”

The association thanked its nine senior leaders —Ashton Shimko, Nathaniel Washington, Collin Lowry, Bryce Snyder, Silas Pilcher, Tyler Ray, Lyle Baker, Camren Kifer, and Jacob Wildesen — and then focused on those returning for the 2022 season: “What an ending to your senior season. Everyone else, off-season work for next year starts tomorrow.”

Screenshots from the Mountain Ridge Football Facebook page show unwavering support for the Miners.

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Filed in: Allegany County, Featured News, Latest Headlines, Sports

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