Oct. 28—FROSTBURG — Will Patterson threw a school record seven touchdowns, leading No. 2 Mountain Ridge to a 56-21 dominant win over Keyser on Friday.
"I'm really happy with the way the offense showed up," Mountain Ridge head coach Ryan Patterson said. "I think we have a really dangerous team. One of these days, when all three phases are clicking on all cylinders, I think we'll have a great team."
Patterson surpassed Leuma Pua'auli who threw six touchdowns in the state quarterfinal last year against Bohemia Manor.
Despite the final score, the Miners (8-1) weren't dominant from the start. The first quarter was a shootout with 35 combined points.
"We knew they could put up a lot of points," Keyser head coach Derek Stephen said. "We knew what we were capable of. We didn't anticipate it being that much of a shootout. We intended a little defense on both sides, but that's what kind of game it was."
It started on the opening play when Jack Stanislawczyk took the opening kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown. He was untouched for at least the final 80 yards to give the Golden Tornado (5-4) a 7-0 lead.
"It's awesome, it got the momentum going," Stephen said. "We had a couple miscues, fell behind the chains and slowed us down. Kinda busted that momentum, gave it to them and we never really recaptured it."
Mountain Ridge responded with five first downs and another by penalty. From the 12, a swing pass from Patterson to David Miller resulted in six points.
Three plays into Keyser's ensuing drive, Kyree Griffin caught a tipped pass for an interception and returned it to the Tornado 11.
Three plays later, a screen from Patterson to Andrew Ketterman gave the Miners a 14-7 lead.
"I was really happy to see some new faces with the ball in their hands," coach Patterson said. "Stepping up and making plays, that's one of the beauties of our offense. I love being able to mix it around, that way someone can't concentrate on one person."
Stanislawczyk returned the ensuing kickoff 83 yards to the Mountain Ridge 5. One play later, Jullian Pattison punched it in to tie the game at 14.
"That's something we practice all the time," Stephen said of the big returns. "We stress that we gotta win every phase. That's something we take pride in and try and be the best at that. When we get our chance, you can see what happens."
Ketterman took the ensuing kickoff 50 yards to the Tornado 45. Three plays later, Miller took a dump off 11 yards to retake the lead for the Miners.
From the Mountain Ridge 43, Keyser went for it on fourth down. The pass fell incomplete for a turnover on downs.
"Very important stop, I really feel that flipped the momentum," coach Patterson said. "I didn't know if it was gonna be 60-50 by the end of the game or what was gonna happen. That was a really big stop for us."
The Miners took over and drove inside the 20. Two plays into the second quarter, Miller caught another screen and took it 18 yards to the house.
Down 28-14, the Tornado picked up three first downs with another by penalty. At the 6, a high snap went over the quarterback's head and was recovered for a 21-yard loss. Pattison was sent on to punt and downed it at the 4.
"That really hurts us when you get inside the red zone and don't come away with anything," Stephen said. "It takes momentum on their side and they were able to run with it. We had a couple 14-point swings which is not a good thing."
On the Miners' ensuing drive, a pass went through the receiver's hands and into Pattison's hands for an interception.
Four plays into the ensuing drive, a fumbled handoff was recovered by Will Bannon.
Facing fourth-and-10 at the Keyser 38, Patterson lobbed it over the middle to Ketterman who went 38 yards for the score.
"Special teams killed us, we were trying not to kick to him (Stanislawczyk), but it happened anyways. We were a little bit worried, but you could see our kids. They were mad that it happened and the offense just went to work," coach Patterson said.
Mountain Ridge led 35-14 at halftime and quickly began to add to its lead in the second half. After picking up two first downs on the opening drive of the half, another screen to Miller went for a 26-yard touchdown, his fourth of the game.
"Last year, he kinda had this game circled I believe," coach Patterson said of Miller. "He got tackled at the one-yard line. He feels he was in last year. He made sure of things with four touchdowns tonight."
After a Tornado punt, the Miners scored in four plays. Patterson lobbed it down the right sideline for Eli Sibley who went 56 yards to make it 49-14. It was Patterson's seventh touchdown of the game.
"It means a lot, I didn't know I did that," Will Patterson said. "Just special."
Two plays into the ensuing drive, Noah Williams recovered a fumble for Mountain Ridge. Four plays later, Austin Frost scored from 12 yards out.
With a running clock in the fourth quarter, Keyser found some late offense. Of the first 13 plays, seven were runs by Pattison. From the 10, Grayson Lambka scored with about four minutes left.
"It was good to keep the momentum up," Stephen said. "Get that life back in them. To capitalize, to keep going and keep us going into next week."
Patterson finished 21 of 27 for 310 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed 12 times for 64 yards.
"He's Will, we're so used to it at this point," Ryan Patterson said. "There's nobody more humble than him. I'm sure you had to tell him he had seven touchdowns. He's a great competitor and a great athlete. It's a great combination so he's just a pleasure to coach."
Frost rushed 14 times for 71 yards and a touchdown.
Miller caught eight passes for 148 yards and four touchdowns. Ketterman caught five for 63 yards and two scores.
Pattison led the Tornado with 20 runs for 98 yards and a score.
"He did a great job," Stephen said. "He's been playing line for us, we moved him to running back last week. He played running back coming up all the way through, so he knows how to tote the rock. He's one of those hard nosed runners, he gets that hard yard if we need it."
Stanislawczyk returned four kickoffs for 221 yards and a touchdown.
Before the game, Mountain Ridge recognized its 16 seniors on Senior Night. This year's class has gone 34-4 overall with back-to-back state title game appearances.
"They played these guys in eighth grade for the championship," coach Patterson said. "Keyser won, so these guys have always had that in the back of their mind. I'm just really proud of that group and hopefully we have some more wins in the playoffs."
Keyser hosts No. 4 Frankfort (6-3) in the Mineral Bowl on Friday at 7 p.m.
"It's the Mineral Bowl so it doesn't take a lot for both sides to get up for it," Stephen said. "It's one of those games that's always circled and always highlighted."
The Miners will be the No. 2 seed in the Class 1A West Region and expects to host Hancock in the quarterfinals next week. It will be finalized by Sunday.
Jordan Kendall is a Sports Writer for the Cumberland Times-News. Email him with scores and story suggestions at email@example.com.