The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association released the football playoff brackets on Nov. 3, with eight Howard County teams making the postseason.
The top-seeded team from the county is No. 1 River Hill in Class 3A East. Glenelg, meanwhile, is the No. 2 seed in 2A West.
The state playoff format this season is different than in previous years. The new format shortens the regular season from 10 to nine games, doubles the amount of playoff teams and introduces re-seeding midway through the playoffs.
The playoff brackets are seeded Nos. 1-8, and after the second round, instead of playing region championship games, the eight teams remaining with be re-seeded. The potential is now there for two teams from the same county to play in a state final.
3A East: 1. River Hill; 2. Westminster; 3. Marriotts Ridge; 4. Manchester Valley; 5. Hammond; 6. Atholton; 7. Long Reach; 8. Wilde Lake.
In 2A West, No. 2 Glenelg (6-3) will host No. 7 Century (6-3) in the first round, while No. 6 Oakland Mills (6-3) will play at No. 3 Liberty (6-3). The winner of both games will play in the second round. Glenelg defeated Oakland Mills, 28-14, on Oct. 11. The only Howard County team that played Liberty was Marriotts Ridge. The Mustangs, who the Scorpions didn’t play during the regular season, lost to Liberty, 38-14.
In 3A East, six of the eight teams are from Howard County. Top-seeded River Hill (8-1) hosts No. 8 Wilde Lake (2-7); No. 7 Long Reach (3-6) plays at No. 2 Westminster (7-2); No. 3 Marriotts Ridge (7-2) hosts Atholton (4-5); and No. 5 Hammond (5-4) travels to No. 4 Manchester Valley (5-4).
With the new format, two Howard County teams from the 3A East region could play each other in the state semifinals or final after the re-seeding process, which will occur before the state quarterfinal round.