All it took was a couple of surprise results to alter the bottom half of this week's Media Top 25 state poll.
Huntingtown, Urbana, Joppatowne and Clarksburg join the Top 25 this week at the expense of Eastern Tech, Damascus, Hereford and Patterson.
Huntingtown edged former No. 7 Westlake 14-13 in a battle of unbeatens to earn its ranking. Urbana rolled Lackey 35-6 to put the Hawks in the Top 25 for the first time since Joe Conner took over as head coach. That move means every head coach at Urbana has guided the program into the state rankings. Joppatowne and Clarksburg both improved to 4-0 and are figured to be region title contenders, thus earning them places among the state's elite.
As for those dropping out this week, Damascus, Eastern Tech and Patterson all suffered defeats to unranked teams. Hereford, meanwhile, needed overtime to dispatch a 1-3 Milford Mill squad, but the Bulls are victim to the trickle-down effect. Hereford's only loss this season is to Eastern Tech, and given Eastern just lost to undefeated Chesapeake-BC it would not be fair to rank Hereford above either Eastern or Chesapeake, based on results.
The Top 10 saw little change, and it appears the pollsters are taking a BCS-like approach to the elite squads. As one Top 10 team falls, everyone behind inches up one space. Such was the case last week and again this week with Quince Orchard taking Westlake's vacated No. 7 spot, followed by River Hill, Gilman and Sherwood to complete the Top 10.
Although there's plenty of regular-season football remaining, No. 5 Wise has survived two-thirds of the brutal Prince George's County 4A run by knocking off Suitland to start the year and Eleanor Roosevelt this past week. The only state-ranked team Wise will see until playoff time is Flowers. Meanwhile, those other three P.G. schools – Eleanor Roosevelt, Flowers and Suitland -- all have yet to play each other.
Looking ahead, No. 3 Good Counsel figures to get a test this weekend from Bishop McNamara, which is among the other teams receiving votes. All three Maryland schools in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (Bishop McNamara, DeMatha and Good Counsel) are 4-0.
TUESDAY, SEPT. 29 -- Week 4 Poll
Compiled by Sheldon Shealer.
The poll is based on a state-wide voting of sports reporters. The 2009 season marks the 20th year of the official media state poll in Maryland.
Schools are ranked by points received. The number in parenthesis reflects first-place votes. LW is last week's ranking.
OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES:
Chesapeake-BC (4-0, 15), Eastern Tech (3-1, 15), Bishop McNamara (4-0, 13), Hereford (2-1, 13), City College (4-0, 12), Douglass-PG (4-0, 12), South Carroll (4-0, 11), Churchill (4-0, 8), Seneca Valley (2-2, 7), Damascus (2-2, 6), Poly (4-0, 5), Allegany (3-1, 1), Archbishop Spalding (4-0, 1).