First things first: All games this week will be played on Thursday because of Yom Kippur. I wouldn't want anyone showing up to a field Friday night all excited for football only to see some joggers and dogwalkers putting in their work.

Well, last week we said (or I said) that the “contenders would separate themselves,” and they sure did, as No. 3 River Hill and No. 8 Reservoir soundly beat a pair of solid teams in Wilde Lake and Mt. Hebron.

The Hawks (3-2) and Gators (2-3) won by a combined score of 80-0 to emphatically state that they are not giving up on the playoffs.

Perhaps the biggest statement of the week came from Glenelg, though, which upset defending county and region champ Hammond, 17-14, in a battle of unbeatens. Glenelg, now the last undefeated team in the league, will take on Long Reach, the highest-scoring offense in the league by more than four points a game, in the Game of the Week.

The second most intriguing matchup is Howard (4-1) at River Hill (3-2), which is fresh off of its drubbing of Wilde Lake and hoping to get back on track after a two-game skid.

Both of those games have important playoff implications, so click here to check the lay of the land. (Top four teams in each region advance to the postseason.)

Glenelg is tied for the lead with Patuxent in the 2A South while Long Reach sits in sixth, hoping to get back into the playoff picture with a win this week.

The 3A East is all Howard County, with Atholton, Hammond, Howard and River Hill in the top spots, and Stephen Decatur lurking in the fifth spot just a few points behind.

Onto the rankings!

(Last week’s ranking in parentheses)

1. (1.) Atholton (4-1, 159-27)

The Raiders have outscored their opponents by more than 26 points per game — more than twice as much as any other team — and they’ve played three top-five teams along with Reservoir, which is on its way up. So, come on, what else can you say? They're running on all cylinders.

Wins: Howard (28-7), River Hill (14-0), Reservoir (24-14), Marriotts Ridge (54-6); Losses: Glenelg (FF).
Last week: Beat Marriotts Ridge, 54-6. This week: home against Oakland Mills, Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

2. (4.) Glenelg (5-0, 120-75)

Glenelg has made more of an upward movement than any other team, jumping from No. 8 in the preseason rankings (whatever those were worth) to No. 2. The challenge will be staying there with the large target on its back and four competitive teams left on its schedule.

W: Atholton (FF), Centennial (34-0), Wilde Lake (28-8), Oakland Mills (41-14), Hammond (17-14). L: None.
Last week: Beat Hammond, 17-14. This week: at Long Reach, Thursday at 7 p.m.

3. (2.) Hammond (4-1, 112-58)