Outlook: A pair of mild surprises in the Howard County race will collide. Reservoir dropped its first game last week to defending county River Hill, 41-19, but the Gators showed their explosiveness, getting an 80-yard touchdown pass from quarterback E.J. Montgomery to Kyle Mitchell and Jimmy Thomas had a 90-yard kickoff return.

Montgomery (776 yards, 7 TDs) and Mitchell (503 yards, 3 TDs) are one of the area’s top pass-catch combinations. The Gators have already equaled last season’s win total.

Howard rallied from a 28-19 fourth quarter deficit to upend Atholton, 32-28, last Friday.The Lions didn’t have coach Bruce Strunk, who was recovering from emergency gall bladder last Wednesday, on the sidelines. He’s expected to be back on the sidelines. 

Brady Curley scored the game-winner late in regulation for Howard, and Joey Bonavitacola had a 1-yard scoring run in the fourth. Junior quarterback Ryan Wade tossed scoring passes to Ryan Caruso and Kevin Sasso. With 152 points scored in four games, Howard is on pace to surpass its 2009 output (215).

Last season, Howard posted a 26-13 decision over the Gators as Calvin Ford scored two touchdowns and AJ Bonavitacola (Shepherd University) rushed for 211 yards. Howard has won last three meetings with Reservoir.