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Howard County 2021 football power rankings | Second edition

Through three weeks of the football season, three Howard County teams are still undefeated, and they’re not the usual suspects. But the 2021 season is still young, and it’s not clear if there’s a changing of the guard or if more time is needed for the standings to sort out. Either way, here’s where the 12 Howard County football teams stack up against each other heading into Week 4.
(Doug Kapustin / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Howard County 2021 football power rankings | Second 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 | Second edition
Through three weeks of the football season, three Howard County teams are still undefeated, and they’re not the usual suspects. But the 2021 season is still young, and it’s not clear if there’s a changing of the guard or if more time is needed for the standings to sort out. Either way, here’s where the 12 Howard County football teams stack up against each other heading into Week 4.
Through three weeks of the football season, three Howard County teams are still undefeated, and they’re not the usual suspects. But the 2021 season is still young, and it’s not clear if there’s a changing of the guard or if more time is needed for the standings to sort out. Either way, here’s where the 12 Howard County football teams stack up against each other heading into Week 4. (Doug Kapustin / Baltimore Sun Media Group)
12. Centennial (0-3)
Down from No. 11 last week, the Eagles have been outscored 119-26 through three games. Up next: at Glenelg, Sept. 24.
Down from No. 11 last week, the Eagles have been outscored 119-26 through three games. Up next: at Glenelg, Sept. 24. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Kelly)
11. Marriotts Ridge (0-3)
Down from No. 10 last week, the Mustangs lost its third straight game by 20 or more points on Friday. After being one of the top programs in the county the last few seasons, the young Mustangs have opened this fall with losses to Howard (23-0), Mt. Hebron (42-21) and River Hill (27-7). Up next: vs. Reservoir, Sept. 24.
Down from No. 10 last week, the Mustangs lost its third straight game by 20 or more points on Friday. After being one of the top programs in the county the last few seasons, the young Mustangs have opened this fall with losses to Howard (23-0), Mt. Hebron (42-21) and River Hill (27-7). Up next: vs. Reservoir, Sept. 24. (Photo courtesy of Ashley Pung)
10. Reservoir (0-3)
Up from No. 12 last week, the Gators may be the hardest team to judge in the county. Reservoir opened its season with a 7-6 loss to Mt. Hebron but then lost to Long Reach 48-0 — the biggest blowout of any county team this fall. But the Gators bounced back this past week with a 13-12 overtime loss to Howard, with the difference in the game being an extra point. Up next: at Marriotts Ridge, Sept. 24.
Up from No. 12 last week, the Gators may be the hardest team to judge in the county. Reservoir opened its season with a 7-6 loss to Mt. Hebron but then lost to Long Reach 48-0 — the biggest blowout of any county team this fall. But the Gators bounced back this past week with a 13-12 overtime loss to Howard, with the difference in the game being an extra point. Up next: at Marriotts Ridge, Sept. 24. (Photo courtesy of Ava Garrett)
9. Hammond (1-2)
Down from No. 8 last week, the Golden Bears lost to Oakland Mills by three scores on Friday. Hammond’s other loss was to Glenelg (35-14), while its win was over Centennial (26-7). Up next: at Wilde Lake, Sept. 24.
Down from No. 8 last week, the Golden Bears lost to Oakland Mills by three scores on Friday. Hammond’s other loss was to Glenelg (35-14), while its win was over Centennial (26-7). Up next: at Wilde Lake, Sept. 24. (Photo courtesy of Daniel Lamb)
8. Wilde Lake (0-3)
Down from No. 7 last week, the Wildecats lost by 40 points to Glenelg in Week 3. Prior to the blowout loss, though, Wilde Lake’s first two losses were by one point to Atholton (7-6) and Oakland Mills (21-20) — both of which are undefeated. Up next: vs. Hammond, Sept. 24.
Down from No. 7 last week, the Wildecats lost by 40 points to Glenelg in Week 3. Prior to the blowout loss, though, Wilde Lake’s first two losses were by one point to Atholton (7-6) and Oakland Mills (21-20) — both of which are undefeated. Up next: vs. Hammond, Sept. 24. (Brian Krista/Baltimore Sun Media)
7. Mt. Hebron (2-1)
Up from No. 9 last week, the Vikings played close with Long Reach through three quarters on Friday before losing 18-6 in the Ravens RISE Showdown. Mt. Hebron entered the contest 2-0 with wins over Reservoir (7-6) and Marriotts Ridge (42-21) — the first 2-0 start for the Vikes since the 2012 season. Up next: at River Hill, Sept. 24.
Up from No. 9 last week, the Vikings played close with Long Reach through three quarters on Friday before losing 18-6 in the Ravens RISE Showdown. Mt. Hebron entered the contest 2-0 with wins over Reservoir (7-6) and Marriotts Ridge (42-21) — the first 2-0 start for the Vikes since the 2012 season. Up next: at River Hill, Sept. 24. (Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun)
6. Howard (2-1)
Down from No. 5 last week, the Lions eked out a 13-12 win in overtime over Reservoir on Friday. The young Lions opened their season with a 23-0 victory over Marriotts Ridge and then lost 16-0 to River Hill in Week 2. Up next: vs. Long Reach, Sept. 24.
Down from No. 5 last week, the Lions eked out a 13-12 win in overtime over Reservoir on Friday. The young Lions opened their season with a 23-0 victory over Marriotts Ridge and then lost 16-0 to River Hill in Week 2. Up next: vs. Long Reach, Sept. 24. (Jeffrey F. Bill/Baltimore Sun Media)
5. Oakland Mills (3-0)
Up from No. 6 last week, the Scorpions continued their impressive start to the season with a 42-20 win over Hammond on Friday. Oakland Mills’ run-heavy offense has scored the second most points in the county this season (99) and has the third-highest point differential (plus-52). But the Scorps have yet to beat a team in the top seven of this week’s power rankings. The 3-0 start is the first for Oakland Mills since 2015. Up next: vs. Atholton, Sept. 24.
Up from No. 6 last week, the Scorpions continued their impressive start to the season with a 42-20 win over Hammond on Friday. Oakland Mills’ run-heavy offense has scored the second most points in the county this season (99) and has the third-highest point differential (plus-52). But the Scorps have yet to beat a team in the top seven of this week’s power rankings. The 3-0 start is the first for Oakland Mills since 2015. Up next: vs. Atholton, Sept. 24. (Photo courtesy of Daniel Lamb)
4. Long Reach (3-0)
The Lightning remain at No. 4 after their 18-6 win over Mt. Hebron in the Ravens RISE game on Friday. Long Reach was tied at halftime with the Vikings before pulling away in the second half. The gap between the top four teams is still thin, but the wins the top three teams had in Week 3 were more impressive than Long Reach's win over Hebron. However, the Lightning's 14-7 upset win over River Hill, despite the unusual aspects of the contest, and 48-0 triumph over Reservoir are two of the most impressive victories in the county this fall. A win this week over Howard would very likely move the Lightning up in the power rankings. Up next: at Howard, Sept. 24.
The Lightning remain at No. 4 after their 18-6 win over Mt. Hebron in the Ravens RISE game on Friday. Long Reach was tied at halftime with the Vikings before pulling away in the second half. The gap between the top four teams is still thin, but the wins the top three teams had in Week 3 were more impressive than Long Reach's win over Hebron. However, the Lightning's 14-7 upset win over River Hill, despite the unusual aspects of the contest, and 48-0 triumph over Reservoir are two of the most impressive victories in the county this fall. A win this week over Howard would very likely move the Lightning up in the power rankings. Up next: at Howard, Sept. 24. (Karl Merton Ferron/The Baltimore Sun)
3. Glenelg (2-1)
The Gladiators bounced back from their Week 2 loss to Atholton (26-24) with a 47-7 win over Wilde Lake this past Friday. Glenelg’s other win was a 35-14 victory over Hammond in Week 1. The Gladiators have finished outside the top three in the official standings just once since 2012. Up next: vs. Centennial, Sept. 24.
The Gladiators bounced back from their Week 2 loss to Atholton (26-24) with a 47-7 win over Wilde Lake this past Friday. Glenelg’s other win was a 35-14 victory over Hammond in Week 1. The Gladiators have finished outside the top three in the official standings just once since 2012. Up next: vs. Centennial, Sept. 24. (Photo courtesy of Jung Pak)
2. Atholton (3-0)
The Raiders were up 21-12 at halftime against Centennial this past Friday and then outscored the Eagles 36-0 in the second half. Atholton opened its season with a 7-6 win over Wilde Lake and then upset Glenelg 26-24 in Week 2. The Raiders have a big test this week against undefeated Oakland Mills. The 3-0 start is the first for Atholton since 2012. Up next: at Oakland Mills, Sept. 24.
The Raiders were up 21-12 at halftime against Centennial this past Friday and then outscored the Eagles 36-0 in the second half. Atholton opened its season with a 7-6 win over Wilde Lake and then upset Glenelg 26-24 in Week 2. The Raiders have a big test this week against undefeated Oakland Mills. The 3-0 start is the first for Atholton since 2012. Up next: at Oakland Mills, Sept. 24. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Kelly)
1. River Hill (2-1)
The Hawks won their second straight game in convincing fashion on Friday with a 27-7 victory over Marriotts Ridge. In Week 2, following their upset loss to Long Reach (14-7) in Week 1, the Hawks earned a shutout win over Howard (16-0). River Hill has outgained its opponents 945-430 in three games this season. It could be argued the Hawks deserve to be at No. 4 just as much as they should be at No. 1, but their history as a program — eight times atop the county standings in the last 14 years — is part of the calculation here. However, that won’t continue to be the case as more games are played this season. Up next: vs. Mt. Hebron, Sept. 24.
The Hawks won their second straight game in convincing fashion on Friday with a 27-7 victory over Marriotts Ridge. In Week 2, following their upset loss to Long Reach (14-7) in Week 1, the Hawks earned a shutout win over Howard (16-0). River Hill has outgained its opponents 945-430 in three games this season. It could be argued the Hawks deserve to be at No. 4 just as much as they should be at No. 1, but their history as a program — eight times atop the county standings in the last 14 years — is part of the calculation here. However, that won’t continue to be the case as more games are played this season. Up next: vs. Mt. Hebron, Sept. 24. (Jeffrey F. Bill/Baltimore Sun Media)
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