Lots of movement in this week's power rankings. Five teams get a new spot -- three getting a much deserved boost after big wins, and two taken down a notch after losses.
The big upset of the week was Reservoir over Howard (though it's not that big of an upset when you think about it; it was more like two good football teams playing a close game...). That mixes up the whole middle of the rankings.
No worries for those who don't like change: River Hill and Glenelg are still at the top.
Read on to see how everything got sorted out. Spoliers: I think Hammond and Howard are pretty hard to separate.
Playoff update: Howard is in a little bit of trouble in the 4A North, especially with some tough games ahead on the schedule. River Hill, Glenelg and Centennial are looking really strong in the 3A East, but Reservoir has been surging to make a run at the fourth spot if City falters.
Hammond has the best chance for a spot in the 2A South playoffs, though the Golden Bears are looking at a No. 4 seed right now. Click here for the big picture.
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1. (1.) River Hill (6-0, 201 points scored-24 points allowed)
The Hawks haven't allowed more than a touchdown in any game this season, but they'll see some good offenses in the second half. Can any team end their winning streak, which is now at 30 games?
Last week: beat Wilde Lake (3-3), 33-0. This week: home against Hammond (4-2), Friday at 7 p.m.
Wins: G (7-3), MR (49-0), A (28-6), C (42-7), MH (42-8), WL (33-0). Losses: NA.
2. (2.) Glenelg (5-1, 160-50)
The Gladiators have outscored opponents by 110 points, which is impressive. If the Gladiators can take care of business down the stretch, the playoffs are a lock.
Last week: beat Oakland Mills (2-4), 49-8. This week: home against Marriotts Ridge (1-5), Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
W: WL (14-6), Re (24-6), Ha (35-3), Ho (35-20), OM (49-8). L: RH (7-3).
3. (4.) Centennial (5-1, 187-97)
The Eagles have proven themselves week after week, including beating their last two opponents by a combined 65-7. The last four games will be pretty tough, but a playoff berth is within reach. They've got all the pieces.
Last week: beat Atholton (0-6), 31-0. This week: at Howard (4-2), Friday at 7 p.m.
W: Re (28-7), OM (59-20), MH (28-21), LR (34-7), A (31-0). L: RH (42-7).
4. (6.) Reservoir (4-2, 135-114)
A big win last week in the mud for the Gators, who have scored 86 points in their last three games (all wins). They started the season 1-2, but the win over Howard shows that this team could make the playoffs for a second straight season. Workhorse running back Avian White has been a strong foundation for the offense.
Last week: beat Howard (4-2), 13-6). This week: at Long Reach (1-5), Friday at 7 p.m.
W: MH (36-14), OM (49-21), Ha (24-21), Ho (13-6). L: C (28-7), G (24-6).
5. (3.) Howard (4-2, 149-97)
Facing the field in the 4A playoffs is the least of the Lions' worries after losing two games in a row and with Centennial, Hammond and River Hill ahead on the schedule. A win Friday night would put the Lions back on the right track.
Last week: lost to Reservoir (4-2), 13-6. This week: home against Centennial (5-1), Friday at 7 p.m.
W: WL (13-10), A (40-16), MR (35-10), MH (35-13). L: G (35-20), Re (13-6).
6. (7.) Hammond (4-2, 166-95)
I probably went overboard in dropping Hammond three spots last week after a loss to Reservoir. There is logic to all these rankings, although I don't have a crystal ball, or an above average talent at prognosticating. The Golden Bears were dominant in their 44-14 homecoming win last week. They've got tough opponents down the stretch, though.
Last week: beat Marriotts Ridge (1-5), 44-14. This week: at River Hill (6-0), Friday at 7 p.m.
W: MH (27-0), LR (41-8), OM (30-14), MR (44-14). L: G (35-3), Re (24-21).
7. (5.) Wilde Lake (3-3, 96-86)
Wilde Lake didn't look as bad as the score in the Wildecats' 33-0 loss to River Hill. They can pass the ball with quarterback Spencer Ampofo and receivers Malik Jackson and DeVon Groves. Scoring in the red zone has been a problem, though, as the Wildecats have scored less than 100 points in six games and have outscored the opposition by only 10 points on the season.
Last week: lost to River Hill (6-0), 33-0 This week: at Mt. Hebron (1-5), Thursday at 7 p.m.
W: LR (29-7), MR (28-7), A (23-12). L: Ho (13-10), G (14-6), RH (33-0).
8. (8.) Mt. Hebron (1-5, 76-181)
The Vikings finally won last week against Long Reach. Will that jump-start their season? A return trip to the playoffs seems out of the question, but a .500 seaso is not. FULL DISCLOSURE: Mt. Hebron beat Wilde Lake on Thursday night, but that result will be reflected in next week's rankings...
Last week: beat Long Reach (1-5), 20-13. This week: home against Wilde Lake (3-3), Thursday at 7 p.m.
W: LR (20-13). L: Ha (27-0), Re (36-14), C (28-21), Ho (35-13), RH (42-8).
9. (9.) Oakland Mills (2-4, 159-214)
The Scorpions were held to a season-low eight points last week by a very good Glenelg defense. They still have a top-five offense, averaging almost four touchdowns a game.
Last week: lost to Glenelg (5-1), 49-8. This week: home against Atholton (1-5), Friday at 7 p.m.
W: LR (44-6), MR (52-21). L: C (59-20), Ha (30-14), Re (49-21), G (49-8).
10. (10.) Long Reach (1-5, 56-182)
The Lightning played Mt. Hebron tough last week, showing they're a solid team even with the least productive offense in the league. On the plus side, Rob Carter is making plays all over the field.
Last week: lost to Mt. Hebron (1-5), 20-13. This week: home against Reservoir (4-2), Friday at 7 p.m.
W: A (15-14). L: OM (44-6), Ha (41-8), WL (29-7), C (34-7), MH (20-13).
On the bubble: Atholton (0-6, 83-144); Marriotts Ridge (1-5, 59-243).
River Hill, 201
Oakland Mills, 159
Wilde Lake, 96
Mt. Hebron, 76
Marriotts Ridge, 59
Long Reach, 56
River Hill, 24
Wilde Lake, 86
Mt. Hebron, 181
Long Reach, 182
Oakland Mills, 214
Marriotts Ridge, 243
River Hill, +177
Wilde Lake, +10
Oakland Mills, -55
Mt. Hebron, -105
Long Reach, -126
Marriotts Ridge, -184