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2012 Howard County Football Power Rankings: Week 2

A look at all 12 Howard County football teams heading into the second week of the season

By Andrew Conrad, aconrad@patuxent.com

7:29 PM EDT, September 5, 2012

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So I had jotted down a note earlier this week to make some big joke about someone hacking into my account and screwing up the Power Rankings. But then I realized that while there were a few upsets (No. 4 Howard over No. 2 Glenelg, No. 9 Mt. Hebron over No. 8 Reservoir), for the most part everything held up OK. In short, I might want to save that joke about someone hacking into my account and screwing everything up for later in the season, when I've REALLY botched everything.

The best game of opening week was at Atholton, where the Raiders held off a reinvigorated Wilde Lake team in overtime. I wish I had seen that game.

This week's key match-ups look like Hammond at Glenelg and Mt. Hebron at Long Reach.

So while the NFL gets underway this week, and the Orioles are in a September pennant chase (!!!), there's nothing quite like a high school football game under the lights on a fall Friday night, is there?

(Last week's ranking in parentheses)

1. (1.) River Hill (1-0, 52 points scored-16 points allowed)

So far so good for the defending state champs, as the offense nearly matched its 2011 high-water mark for scoring (59 points).

Last week: beat Long Reach, 52-16. This week: at Oakland Mills (0-1).

2. (3.) Atholton (1-0, 14-12)

The Raiders survived a tough overtime test against a rejuvenated Wilde Lake squad last week. Mount St. Joseph transfer Luke Casey looks prepared to lead the team, passing for 111 yards and 2 TDs in the win.

Last week: beat Wilde Lake, 14-12 OT. This week: at No. 9 Reservoir (0-1).

3. (4.) Howard (1-0, 28-14)

Michael Anderson's 170-yard, 3 TD performance might have been the individual highlight of week one, and the Lions' young defense looked excellent, picking off two passes and aggressively pursuing Glenelg ballcarriers in the backfield.

Last week: beat Glenelg, 28-14. This week: at No. 10 Marriotts Ridge (0-1).

4. (2.) Glenelg (0-1, 14-28)

I have a hard time dropping the Gladiators very far because I still really like what I see. The loss was on the road, and Howard looks really good this year. But they'll need to rebound quickly against a dangerous Hammond team.

Last week: lost to Howard, 28-14. This week: home against No. 6 Hammond (1-0).

5. (6.) Wilde Lake (0-1, 12-14)

The old rule of thumb is that you don't reward a team for a close loss, but  I have it on good authority that Wilde Lake is looking like the Wilde Lake of old again. It's also hard to drop Hammond for winning a shut out, but it's the second week of the season and there is naturally going to be some reshuffling.

Last week: lost to Atholton, 14-12 OT. This week: home against Centennial (1-0).

6. (5.) Hammond (1-0, 29-0)

What does a 29-0 win over a team that hasn't won a game since 2008 tell you? Well, I'm not sure (especially since I haven't seen a box score…) I think it does say something about the defense, which held an improved Mustang offense scoreless. And I have heard good things about their team speed.

Last week: beat Marriotts Ridge, 29-0. This week: at No. 4 Glenelg (1-0).

7. (7.) Long Reach (0-1, 16-52)

Looking on the bright side, River Hill allowed more than 16 points only once last year: in a 21-20 overtime win over Glenelg. But the Lightning have to be upset about the 52 points allowed, even if it was to the defending state champ.

Last week: Lost to River Hill, 52-16. This week: home against No. 8 Mt. Hebron (1-0).

8. (9.) Mt. Hebron (1-0, 26-13)

Last year the Vikings beat Oakland Mills in week one, 26-0, but never scored that many points again, and gave up an average of 32 points every week after that. I think this year is different though.

Last week: beat Reservoir, 26-13. This week: at No. 7 Long Reach (0-1).

9. (8.) Reservoir (0-1, 13-26)

Time will tell whether their week one loss to Mt. Hebron was a product of the Gators being down this year, or the Vikings just being very good.

Last week: Lost to Mt. Hebron, 26-13. This week: home against No. 2 Atholton (1-0).

10. (10.) Marriotts Ridge (0-1, 0-29)

Giving up 29 points to Hammond isn't the worst thing in the world, considering that the Golden Bears averaged 25 points per game last season, but it would have been nice to see the Mustangs' capable offense at least get on the board.

Last week: lost to Hammond, 29-0. This week: home against No. 3 Howard (1-0).

On the bubble: Centennial (1-0, 20-6), Oakland Mills (0-1, 6-20).