No. 1 North Augusta (70)

The Yellow Jackets (3-0) remain the pollsters’ unanimous pick for the top spot after another blowout win – 45-0 over Greenbrier – did nothing but enhance their standing as the area’s top team through three games.

Up Next: vs. Grovetown

No. 2 Strom Thurmond (63)

The Rebels (2-0) faced a daunting challenge on the road at Saluda, but rode what might be the area’s top running game to a 28-17 victory. They might have to wait until their Week Five showdown at North Augusta to have the chance to climb to the top spot they owned all of last season.

Up Next: vs. Batesburg-Leesville

No. 3 Silver Bluff (56)

The Bulldogs (2-1) racked up their second-consecutive blowout win – a 34-0 shutout of Southside Christian. Although they have one of the thinnest rosters among area teams, the Bulldogs get more contributions from top to bottom than just about anybody else.

Up Next: vs. South Aiken

No. 4 Fox Creek (36)

No team has climbed further in this poll than the Predators (2-1), who were ranked 10th in the inaugural tally this season. Back-to-back blow out wins – including Friday’s 41-7 stomping of Branchville – have supplied the fuel for the ascension.

Up Next: Bye

No. 5 Wagener-Salley (35)

The War Eagles (2-1) were upset, suffering their first loss of the season when Pelion closed Friday’s 30-27 win with 17 unanswered points, including a last-minute field goal for the win. The War Eagles haven’t looked crisp and have some serious questions to answer if they’re going to live up to the lofty expectations placed on them at the start of this season.

Up Next: at Whitmire

No. 6 Ridge Spring-Monetta (34)

The Trojans (2-1) bounced back from a late collapse against Saluda with a resounding 24-0 win over Dixie. The best sign for the Trojans in the win was the emergence of an improved running game, taking pressure off QB Reggie Preston and the defense.

Up Next: at McCormick

No. 7 Midland Valley (33)

The Mustangs (1-1) got their first win of the season in the best game of the week, a wild 38-32 victory over Allendale-Fairfax. In spite of too many turnovers, the offense got on track and helped the Mustangs recover from a disheartening loss to North Augusta and avenge last year’s loss to Allendale-Fairfax.

Up Next: vs. Aiken

No. 8 Williston-Elko (27)

The Blue Devils (1-2) aren’t accustomed to being this low in this poll and won’t stay here for long if they replicate the performance that earned them their first win of the season – Friday’s 30-9 whipping of county rival Barnwell. QB Dalton Mundy had his best game of the season and the defense made big stops to go with the strong running game and put the Blue Devils back on track.

Up Next: at Denmark-Olar

No. 9 South Aiken (24)

The Thoroughbreds (1-2) were dominated in every way imaginable in a 65-7 rout at the hands of Northwestern – possibly the best team in South Carolina. There’s no time to hang their heads or lick their wounds as the T-Breds schedule is among the most difficult in the Palmetto State. The offense isn’t too far off, but just needs to avoid penalties and finish drives to allow the T-Breds the chance to quickly climb the standings.

Up Next: at Silver Bluff

No. 10 Aiken (7)

In spite of a vastly improved performance, especially by the defense, the Hornets (0-2) are stuck in the cellar after their 21-0 loss to Beaufort. While the offense must find a way to improve and get points on the board, the main focus should be remaining united and following the game plan put forth by first-year head coach Brian Neal.

Up Next: at Midland Valley

What do the rankings mean?

The Aiken Standard power rankings is a system designed by our sports staff to rank the strength of the 10 area high school football teams. Seven voters – Noah Feit (sports editor), Jeremy Timmerman (sports writer), Eric Russell (sports writer), Kyle Dawson (sports intern), Scott Rodgers (North Augusta Star editor), Ed Girardeau (ASTV play-by-play voice) and Ken Brace (ASTV analyst) – ranked each team 1-10, based on the teams’ strength within their class. Ranking Wagener-Salley ahead of Aiken, for example, isn’t a prediction that the War Eagles would win the head-to-head battle between those two clubs, but instead an indication of the voters’ belief that Wagener-Salley is a bigger force within Class A than Aiken is within Class AAAA. A team received 10 points for a first-place vote, nine for a second-place vote, eight for a third place vote, etc. The votes were then tallied, and the teams were put in order based on their point totals. A new poll will be released every Monday throughout the season.