No. 2 Mountain Ridge visits Catoctin today

Sep. 7—THURMONT — No. 2 Mountain Ridge returns to action tonight on Catoctin's newly installed turf field.

Kick-off in Thurmont is slated for 6:30 p.m.

The Miners (1-0), back-to-back Class 1A runner-ups, opened their season with a routine 49-0 rout of Southern last Friday night. They scored seven first-half touchdowns.

Senior Will Patterson completed all five of his passes for 76 yards and three touchdowns — two with his arm and one on the ground. He rushed for a game-high 48 yards on three touches.

Andrew Ketterman found the end zone three times — a two-yard blocked punt return, a 17-yard punt return and a 25-yard touchdown reception via Patterson.

Austin Frost and Garrett Michaels had rushing scores, and David Miller snagged Patterson's other passing TD from 15 yards out.

Brody VanMeter and Parker Ferraro had fumble recoveries, and Tyler Cook was 7 for 7 on extra points.

The Mountain Ridge defense limited Southern to only 41 yards of offense.

Cactoctin took a 14-10 lead into the final five minutes but dropped a nailbiter to Boonsboro, 24-20, in its opener on Friday night.

Trailing by four points, Boonsboro used a long pass to set up its 5-foot-9, 216-pound back Danioun Dodson for a one-yard score. A failed fourth-down conversion attempt on Catoctin's ensuing possession was followed by another Dodson carry for six points and a 24-14 deficit.

Catoctin scored a late touchdown when quarterback Hayden Mathews connected with Hunter Bradshaw for a 39-yard touchdown in garbage time, but the deficit was insurmountable.

Mathews threw for 235 yards and two touchdowns, and Jake Bell racked up 99 yards, including a 31-yard run that went for a score.

Tonight's matchup with the Cougars — the 2019 Class 1A state champion — is the sixth meeting in Mountain Ridge school history.

The Miners, who have a 4-1 edge in the head-to-head, cruised to a 42-14 victory last year and 49-6 two seasons ago. Mountain Ridge also won in 2007 (33-6) and 2008 (42-16), the first two years after Mountain Ridge opened its doors. Catoctin won in 2019, 44-0.

Catoctin has struggled to find the success it once had under Hall of Fame coach Doug Williams, who coached the Cougars to two Class 1A titles but retired after his 2019 crown.

Fourth-year coach Mike Rich and company appear to be on an upward trajectory.

After a 1-3 COVID-shortened year and a 1-9 first full season, Rich guided Catoctin to a 2-8 finish in 2022 — with its final three losses all coming by a touchdown or less against quality opposition.

Catoctin lost to Class 2A Middletown (10-4), 14-13, and Class 1A state semifinalist Brunswick (9-4), 7-6, to close out the regular season. It fell again to the Railroaders, 21-14, to open the playoffs.

Brunswick would eventually be eliminated by Mountain Ridge, 49-20, in Frostburg.

Mountain Ridge is hoping to avoid a trap game, as it embarks on a brutal four-game stretch beginning with county rival Allegany, followed by state No. 23 Frederick, Frankfort and state No. 22 Fort Hill.

A victory tonight would give Mountain Ridge head coach Ryan Patterson his 44th career win to 27 losses. Roy DeVore holds the school record with 45 triumphs.