It's a tough call for the No. 2 spot, which has been occupied by four different teams this season. The Lions lost to Reservoir back in mid-October, but have won their last four games, including a convincing 21-3 win over River Hill two weeks ago. River Hill's super close 14-13 win over Reservoir last week knocked the Gators out of the two-spot, opening it up for Howard. You could argue for Howard, Reservoir or River Hill in this spot, and you would not be wrong. That's how close these teams are.
Last week: beat Long Reach (1-9), 21-6. This week: Lost to Perry Hall (9-1) on Friday 28-14. (4A North regional semifinal)
W: WL (13-10), A (40-16), MR (35-10), MH (35-13), C (29-26), Ha (26-7), RH (21-3), LR (21-6). L: G (35-20), Re (13-6).
3. (4.) River Hill (8-2, 305-111)
After winning two straight titles, the Hawks have been inconsistent this year, allowing 47 points in a loss to Hammond and scoring only three in a setback to Howard. But they appear to be getting healthy at the right time, and with all of their guys on the field they are still one of the best teams in the county, if not the state.
Last week: beat Reservoir (7-3), 14-13. This week: at City College (8-2), Saturday at 1 p.m. (3A East regional semifinal)
W: G (7-3), MR (49-0), A (28-6), C (42-7), MH (42-8), WL (33-0), OM (49-6), Re (14-13). L: Ha (47-38), Ho (21-3).
4. (2.) Reservoir (7-3, 254-181)
It might seem harsh to drop Reservoir two spots after a one-point loss to the defending state champ. That game could easily have gone either way if the Gators didn't fumble a couple times in the first half or miss the extra point that would have sent the game to OT. But that's high school football. This team is capable of beating anyone as it showed by upsetting Glenelg to open the playoffs.
Last week: lost to River Hill (8-2), 14-13. This week: Beat Glenelg (9-1), Friday 34-13. (3A East regional semifinal).
W: MH (36-14), OM (49-21), Ha (24-21), Ho (13-6), LR (46-20), WL (27-7), A (33-26 OT). L: C (28-7), G (24-6), RH (14-13).
5. (5.) Centennial (7-3, 317-166)
That was quite a display by the Eagles last week, putting up 53 points against playoff-bound Hammond. While Centennial didn't qualify for the playoffs, it has still been a strong year for the Eagles, who scored a league-best 31.7 points per game.
Last week: beat Hammond (6-4), 53-19. This week: season complete.
W: Re (28-7), OM (59-20), MH (28-21), LR (34-7), A (31-0), MR (48-0), Ha (53-19). L: RH (42-7), Ho (29-26), G (21-3).
6. (6.) Hammond (6-4, 259-225)
The Golden Bears were slipping going into the playoffs, having lost two of their last three and allowing an average of 32.5 points per game over the last four. It didn't help matters that they had a tough draw, traveling 80 miles south to face undefeated Patuxent in the regional semifinals. But they had an opportunity to win a state championship, and that's all any team can ask for coming into the season.