Five weeks are in the books for Carroll County football, and though one of last week's games gave a little more clarity to a bunched up race at the top of the county standings, there's still much to be decided.
After losing its first game of the year to South Carroll in the rain last Friday, Manchester Valley has another tough opponent this week in Century. If the Mavericks want to stay afloat in the county championship discussion, this one is a must win.
Both teams have improved from last year, though Manchester Valley's offense and defense are among the best in the county. Jake Gerber is still the league's top passer, despite having some trouble against the Cavaliers last week. James Walsh, Myers Smith and Chandler Breeden make up the best wide receivers corps in Carroll.
Century narrowly escaped a loss to Francis Scott Key last week thanks to Adam Lanni's late quarterback sneak for the winning score. The Knights got one close contest out of their system, and they too have a shot at the county title, though they can't afford to lose to the Mavs this week.
After that big win against the Mavericks, South Carroll is in the drivers seat to defend its county crown, and will travel to Winters Mill to keep its momentum going.
If Man Valley has the top pass-catchers in the county, the Cavaliers are close behind. As evidenced by his two receiving scores last week, Silas Kelly can put up numbers anywhere he plays. Jamar Williams continues to be a threat on both sides of the ball as well, and there's quarterback AJ Linn's ability on the ground. A 62-yard running score last week against MV proved he can make plays with his legs as well.
Winters Mill is still seeking its first victory since Week 1. After getting shutout last week, 35-0, against Liberty, the Falcons will try and rebound to pull off the upset.
North Carroll at Liberty could be one of the most competitive games of the week. On Monday, the Panthers took down Brunswick, and though the team only scored in the second quarter, 30 points in about five minutes of play was enough to earn the win. Tyler Pryzbylski had two scores and more than 140 yards on the ground, and the defense forced a few turnovers and a safety in the shutout win.
Liberty's Nick Bonomo had four touchdowns to put him in the lead for Carroll scoring. The senior may not have an excess of yards to his credit this season, but the Lions seem comfortable giving him the ball on a consistent basis. If North Carroll has finally gotten out of its funk, a good showing against Liberty will prove it.
Boonsboro travels to Francis Scott Key, and Westminster visits Edgewood to round out this week's out-of-county games. The Eagles were close to ending that losing streak against the Knights. Meanwhile, CJ Goon is quietly moving up the Carroll rushing leaderboard each week.
Westminster will be looking to get back on track against Edgewood after a tough loss last week against South Hagerstown. The Rams are 4-2 this season, a 49-0 win at Joppatowne. However, they're coming off a loss to North Harford, and the Owls will try make that back-to-back defeats.
Carroll County Daily Headlines
North Carroll at Liberty
Century at Manchester Valley
South Carroll at Winters Mill
Boonsboro at Francis Scott Key
Westminster at Edgewood
All games at 7 p.m.