Area Coaches Predict Tighter Fort Hill vs. Mountain Ridge Game | Local sports
CUMBERLAND, MD – When chatting with area coaches one thing was constant – they think Fort Hill-Mountain Ridge II is going to be a tighter football game.
The last time Mountain Ridge and Fort Hill fought, the Sentinels ran away with 37-7 at Greenway Avenue Stadium. Now the two meet for the 1A title at the Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis.
Here’s what some local football coaches think of the rematch:
Bryan Hansel Allegania
“These are the two best teams I’ve seen this year, athletic on both sides,” said Hansel. “For me, selfishly, I wish they had played Frostburg State. But I am glad that these children can discover Annapolis and all this for our city.
“If Blake White is healthy then Fort Hill is really good. I think he’s been the best player, the MVP all year. Offensively, Mountain Ridge will figure things out. They found things with some areas against us and they brought (Jaden) Rosales back to the offensive line.
“I think it’s a much closer game this time around. I just think Mountain Ridge has a game plan in place, a hunger in them. The Mountain Ridge that you saw against Fort Hill, with all the turnovers they did, was not the one that I know of.
Phil Carr North
“I think it’s pretty neat that we have the opportunity to have two teams from West Maryland playing,” Carr said. “I think these are definitely the two best teams. We know the state championship is returning to western Maryland. They took care of their opponents quite easily throughout the game. I think it’s going to be a really good football game, closer than before, if Mountain Ridge can avoid the turnovers.
“That’s what Mountain Ridge can do with their passing game. The first game we watched, Fort Hill was able to play man-to-man and put the pressure on (Bryce) Snyder. If Mountain Ridge can make any adjustments, give it time to pitch, it will be a different game. I think they’ll still have a hard time running football against Fort Hill.
Kevin Whiteman Frankfurt
“I think it’s good that two teams from the zone represent the state of Maryland in the championship game,” said Whiteman. “I’m happy for Mountain Ridge, it’s their first time in a state championship game. I know the coaches there worked hard to make it happen, and at Fort Hill too, they have a rich tradition.
“I hope it will be a good game and that both teams play hard. They both bring different elements. They have a powerful running game in Fort Hill and they can throw the ball too. Mountain Ridge spreads it out on attack and throws it. Different styles, I think it’s gonna be a good match. I think it’s going to be tighter than the last game.
Derek Stephen Keyser
“One of the best things Maryland has done was change the playoff system,” Stephen said. “In the past, you would have had Allegany, Fort Hill, Beall, Westmar and the Garrett County teams stuck in the area. It shows the talent we have in this area, especially in 1A and in Maryland.
“Fort Hill had the best of them earlier in the year, there was a lot of preparation for this game. Mountain Ridge made adjustments, and we saw that when we played them. They got better. throughout the year. I think it will be the shootout, one of those matches that makes history. “
Alex Rychwalski is a sports reporter for the Cumberland Times-News. Follow him on twitter @arychwal.