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Howard County 2021 football power rankings | Third edition

The first two editions of the power rankings didn’t see much movement among the top teams. That changes this week, with a new team sitting atop the rankings and the top seven spots all being different than last week. The margin among the top teams is still thin, as the county has more parity than it’s had in past years. Here’s how the 12 Howard County football teams stack up against each other heading into Week 5.
(Matt Hazlett/Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Howard County 2021 football power rankings | Third edition

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Every Sunday of each week, reporter Jacob Meyer will rank the football teams in Howard County. You can tweet at him @jcalvinmeyer or email him at jameyer@baltsun.com with comments or questions about the rankings.
(Jacob Calvin Meyer)
Howard County 2021 football power rankings | Third edition
The first two editions of the power rankings didn’t see much movement among the top teams. That changes this week, with a new team sitting atop the rankings and the top seven spots all being different than last week. The margin among the top teams is still thin, as the county has more parity than it’s had in past years. Here’s how the 12 Howard County football teams stack up against each other heading into Week 5.
The first two editions of the power rankings didn’t see much movement among the top teams. That changes this week, with a new team sitting atop the rankings and the top seven spots all being different than last week. The margin among the top teams is still thin, as the county has more parity than it’s had in past years. Here’s how the 12 Howard County football teams stack up against each other heading into Week 5. (Matt Hazlett/Baltimore Sun Media Group)
12. Centennial (0-4)
At No. 12 again this week, the Eagles lost to Glenelg 46-7 on Friday. Centennial’s average margin of defeat is 33.5 points. Up next: at Wilde Lake, Oct. 1.
At No. 12 again this week, the Eagles lost to Glenelg 46-7 on Friday. Centennial’s average margin of defeat is 33.5 points. Up next: at Wilde Lake, Oct. 1. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Mercy)
11. Marriotts Ridge (0-3)
The Mustangs remain at No. 11 after not playing their game against Reservoir this week. In its previous three games, Marriotts Ridge lost to Howard, Mt. Hebron and River Hill by 20-plus points. Up next: at Long Reach, Oct. 1.
The Mustangs remain at No. 11 after not playing their game against Reservoir this week. In its previous three games, Marriotts Ridge lost to Howard, Mt. Hebron and River Hill by 20-plus points. Up next: at Long Reach, Oct. 1. (Brian Krista/Baltimore Sun Media)
10. Reservoir (0-3)
At No. 10 again, the Gators didn’t play their Week 4 game versus Marriotts Ridge. Reservoir lost its first three games, but the team’s losses to Mt. Hebron and Howard were each by only one point. Up next: vs. River Hill, Oct. 1.
At No. 10 again, the Gators didn’t play their Week 4 game versus Marriotts Ridge. Reservoir lost its first three games, but the team’s losses to Mt. Hebron and Howard were each by only one point. Up next: vs. River Hill, Oct. 1. (Brian Krista / Baltimore Sun Media Group)
9. Hammond (1-3)
The Golden Bears stay at No. 9 after their 28-0 loss to Wilde Lake on Friday. Hammond’s other two losses were to Glenelg (35-14) and Oakland Mills (42-20), while its win was a 26-7 victory over Centennial. Up next: at Atholton, Sept. 30.
The Golden Bears stay at No. 9 after their 28-0 loss to Wilde Lake on Friday. Hammond’s other two losses were to Glenelg (35-14) and Oakland Mills (42-20), while its win was a 26-7 victory over Centennial. Up next: at Atholton, Sept. 30. (Photo courtesy of Daniel Lamb)
8. Wilde Lake (1-3)
The Wildecats don’t move up in this edition of the power rankings, but their win was impressive nevertheless. Behind three touchdowns from quarterback Kofi Boampong, Wilde Lake beat Hammond 28-0 on Friday for its first win of the season. Up next: vs. Centennial, Oct. 1.
The Wildecats don’t move up in this edition of the power rankings, but their win was impressive nevertheless. Behind three touchdowns from quarterback Kofi Boampong, Wilde Lake beat Hammond 28-0 on Friday for its first win of the season. Up next: vs. Centennial, Oct. 1. (Brian Krista/Baltimore Sun Media)
7. Howard (2-2)
Dropping down a spot from No. 6 last week, the Lions lost to undefeated Long Reach in Week 4. Howard was up 17-7 against its rival, but the Lightning came back to win the contest. Howard’s other loss was a 16-0 setback against River Hill, while the Lions’ wins were over Marriotts Ridge (23-0) and Reservoir (13-12) in overtime. Up next: at Mt. Hebron, Oct. 1.
Dropping down a spot from No. 6 last week, the Lions lost to undefeated Long Reach in Week 4. Howard was up 17-7 against its rival, but the Lightning came back to win the contest. Howard’s other loss was a 16-0 setback against River Hill, while the Lions’ wins were over Marriotts Ridge (23-0) and Reservoir (13-12) in overtime. Up next: at Mt. Hebron, Oct. 1. (Jeffrey F. Bill/Baltimore Sun Media)
6. Mt. Hebron (2-2)
Through three editions of the power rankings, no team has moved up as much as the Vikings. Mt. Hebron was at No. 9 in the first edition and No. 7 last week. One of the worst teams in the county for the last two decades, the Vikings have moved up in the rankings despite losing two straight games to Long Reach (18-6) and River Hill (14-6). Hebron was tied with the Lightning at halftime, and then the Vikes had the ball in the red zone with a chance to tie the game in the final minute of their loss to the Hawks. Up next: vs. Howard, Oct. 1.
Through three editions of the power rankings, no team has moved up as much as the Vikings. Mt. Hebron was at No. 9 in the first edition and No. 7 last week. One of the worst teams in the county for the last two decades, the Vikings have moved up in the rankings despite losing two straight games to Long Reach (18-6) and River Hill (14-6). Hebron was tied with the Lightning at halftime, and then the Vikes had the ball in the red zone with a chance to tie the game in the final minute of their loss to the Hawks. Up next: vs. Howard, Oct. 1. (Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun)
5. Atholton (3-1)
Down from No. 2 last week, the Raiders lost a close contest to Oakland Mills 26-20 on Friday. The margin between the top five teams in the rankings is thin, and if Atholton had beaten the Scorpions, the Raiders would likely be at No. 1 this week. Atholton opened its season with a 7-6 win over Wilde Lake, upset Glenelg 26-24 behind some big plays and multiple mistakes from the Gladiators in Week 2 and blew out Centennial 57-12 last week. Up next: vs. Hammond, Sept. 30.
Down from No. 2 last week, the Raiders lost a close contest to Oakland Mills 26-20 on Friday. The margin between the top five teams in the rankings is thin, and if Atholton had beaten the Scorpions, the Raiders would likely be at No. 1 this week. Atholton opened its season with a 7-6 win over Wilde Lake, upset Glenelg 26-24 behind some big plays and multiple mistakes from the Gladiators in Week 2 and blew out Centennial 57-12 last week. Up next: vs. Hammond, Sept. 30. (Daniel Kucin Jr.)
4. Oakland Mills (4-0)
The Scorpions move up one spot in this week’s rankings after their impressive 26-20 win over Atholton on Friday. The 4-0 start is the first for Oakland Mills since 2015. The Scorpions’ other wins were over Centennial (36-7), Wilde Lake (21-20) and Hammond (42-20). Coach Tom Browne’s run-heavy offense is one of the best in the county, as the Scorps are second in the league with 31.3 points per game. Up next: at Glenelg, Oct. 1.
The Scorpions move up one spot in this week’s rankings after their impressive 26-20 win over Atholton on Friday. The 4-0 start is the first for Oakland Mills since 2015. The Scorpions’ other wins were over Centennial (36-7), Wilde Lake (21-20) and Hammond (42-20). Coach Tom Browne’s run-heavy offense is one of the best in the county, as the Scorps are second in the league with 31.3 points per game. Up next: at Glenelg, Oct. 1. (Daniel Kucin Jr. / Baltimore Sun Media Group)
3. River Hill (3-1)
The Hawks were at No. 1 in the first two editions of the rankings, even though they lost in Week 1 to Long Reach (14-7). But River Hill is down to No. 3 this week after eking out a 14-6 win over Mt. Hebron on Friday. The Hawks needed an interception in the end zone with 11 seconds remaining to win the contest. River Hill also has wins over Howard (16-0) and Marriotts Ridge (27-7). Up next: at Reservoir, Oct. 1.
The Hawks were at No. 1 in the first two editions of the rankings, even though they lost in Week 1 to Long Reach (14-7). But River Hill is down to No. 3 this week after eking out a 14-6 win over Mt. Hebron on Friday. The Hawks needed an interception in the end zone with 11 seconds remaining to win the contest. River Hill also has wins over Howard (16-0) and Marriotts Ridge (27-7). Up next: at Reservoir, Oct. 1. (Jeffrey F. Bill/Baltimore Sun Media)
2. Glenelg (3-1)
The Gladiators lost to Atholton 26-24 in Week 2, and they have since responded by dominating their opposition. After a 47-7 win over Wilde Lake in Week 3, Glenelg’s high-scoring attack didn’t slow down on Friday with a 47-6 win over Centennial. Quarterback Bisi Owens has accounted for five touchdowns in the team’s last two wins, and Glenelg boasts the county’s highest-scoring offense at 38.3 points per game. Up next: vs. Oakland Mills, Oct. 1.
The Gladiators lost to Atholton 26-24 in Week 2, and they have since responded by dominating their opposition. After a 47-7 win over Wilde Lake in Week 3, Glenelg’s high-scoring attack didn’t slow down on Friday with a 47-6 win over Centennial. Quarterback Bisi Owens has accounted for five touchdowns in the team’s last two wins, and Glenelg boasts the county’s highest-scoring offense at 38.3 points per game. Up next: vs. Oakland Mills, Oct. 1. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Mercy)
1. Long Reach (4-0)
Despite their great start to the season, the Lightning were at No. 4 in the first two editions of the power rankings. Their best win over River Hill wasn’t in a repeatable fashion, and in Week 3 Long Reach was tied with Mt. Hebron at halftime. But after Long Reach’s 21-17 win over Howard on Friday, in which the Lightning came back from down 17-7 in the second half, the days of doubting Jamie Willis’ squad are over. The Lightning are one of only two undefeated teams remaining in Howard County, and they’re one of the most balanced teams in the county with the second-best scoring defense (7.5 points allowed per game) and the fourth best scoring offense (25.3 points scored per game).
Despite their great start to the season, the Lightning were at No. 4 in the first two editions of the power rankings. Their best win over River Hill wasn’t in a repeatable fashion, and in Week 3 Long Reach was tied with Mt. Hebron at halftime. But after Long Reach’s 21-17 win over Howard on Friday, in which the Lightning came back from down 17-7 in the second half, the days of doubting Jamie Willis’ squad are over. The Lightning are one of only two undefeated teams remaining in Howard County, and they’re one of the most balanced teams in the county with the second-best scoring defense (7.5 points allowed per game) and the fourth best scoring offense (25.3 points scored per game). (Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun)
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