FROSTBURG — There is no time like the present and there is no time like Homecoming to gain your first win of the season, and since it is presently Homecoming at Mountain Ridge High School that is what the Miners aim to do tonight.
The Miners (0-4), riding a five-game losing streak dating back to last year’s playoff loss to Boonsboro, will have a difficult task at hand, however, as they will host undefeated Frankfort (4-0), who, conversely, is riding a five-game winning streak dating back to its win over Hampshire in the final regular-season game of the 2011 season.
Fort Hill (2-2), in the meantime, looks to go over .500 again when it returns home to Greenway Avenue Stadium to host Carrick (0-4) of Pittsburgh. Elsewhere, in a match-up of a pair of 3-1 teams, Keyser will host Hampshire, while undefeated Bishop Walsh (4-0), also on a five-game winning streak dating back to last year, will be in Clarksburg, W.Va., trying to open its season with a fifth consecutive win it plays Notre Dame (3-1).
Other action tonight features Clear Spring (2-2) at Northern (0-4), Southern (0-4) at Tucker County (5-0), Berkeley Springs (0-5) at Moorefield (2-3), Phillip Barbour (3-2) at Petersburg (3-1) and Pendleton (3-2) at East Hardy (4-0).
The high school football weekend wraps up tomorrow afternoon, 1:30, when the undefeated Allegany Campers (4-0) travel to Washington to play St. Albans (2-2).
• After its 34-9 victory over Northern, Frankfort finds itself tied for fourth in West Virginia Class AA. Damian Morgan rushed for 131 yards and scored three touchdowns against Northern, leading a ground game that gained 291 yards.
Mountain Ridge fell to Hampshire last Friday, 49-14, leading briefly when Ben Hadra scored on a 23-yard run to make it 6-0. Michael Strietbeck hit Matt Whetstone for the other Mountain Ridge touchdown.
Mountain Ridge defeated Frankfort last year, 35-7.
• Fort Hill fell behind right off the bat in its 54-16 loss at North Hagerstown, yielding an 85-yard return for a touchdown on the opening kickoff, then surrendering 27 third-quarter points. Fort Hill got on the board when Travis Bush took in a 16-yard pass from Hunter Squires. Zac Elbin scored from four yards out and Chris King kicked a field goal and an extra point.
This will mark the second time Fort Hill has played Carrick, the Sentinels winning last year at the stadium, 51-8.
• Keyser came up a bit short in what has been the area’s game of the year thus far, losing to undefeated Allegany, 14-12, at Greenway.
In a hard-hitting defensive game, the Golden Tornado’s Danny Fife rushed for 101 yards on 20 carries, bringing Keyser to within 14-12 on a 20-yard TD run with 3:05 to go. Keyser had been within 7-6 early when Cody Eversole found Garrett Crites for an eight-yard touchdown. The Tornado defense, led by Josh Coffman, held Alco to 2.9 yards per rushing attempt.
Hampshire continues to get big gains and big games from running back Denard Hartwell. The senior running back gained 198 yards and scored two touchdowns on nine carries in the Trojans’ 49-14 win over Mountain Ridge. Dalton Clower scored three touchdowns, one coming on an 81-yard kickoff return.
Keyser dipped to No. 9 in the West Virginia Class AA ratings, while Hampshire stands 12th in the Class AAA ratings. Keyser won last year’s meeting, 41-14, and leads the series, 32-16.
• The Bishop Walsh Spartans can do no wrong these days, moving to 4-0 last weekend with a 46-28 win over Baltimore Lutheran. Terrell McGraw returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown, then rushed for a touchdown and passed for a touchdown to lead the attack. Trenton Sawn rushed for 64 yards and three touchdowns, and Quincy Redmon returned from a knee injury to catch a 19-yard touchdown pass.
Notre Dame likes to run the football and is rated No. 11 in West Virginia Class A. The Fighting Irish opened with wins over Grafton, Cameron and Valley, before falling last week to Bishop Donahue, 59-21.
BW and ND did not meet last year.
Mike Burke is sports editor of the Cumberland Times-News. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org