The New Albany Eagles come into Friday projected to finish the season 7-3 at 9th in Region 3. They host the Groveport-Madison Cruisers, who are currently expected to make the playoffs at 4th in Region 3. New Albany have the edge on paper, entering the game as a 7-point favorite. However, the battle for a postseason bid can only be decided on the field. The Eagles rank 70th in the state while the Cruisers rank 105th in the state and 31st in Division 1. This looks to be a close and exciting game, which will be fun at least for the team that comes out on top. There is a certain degree of familiarity between the two teams after they faced off last season. Last year, the Eagles got the better of the Cruisers, winning by a score of 24-10.
Looking to build upon their 4-game winning streak, Groveport-Madison comes into the week at 8-1. After their 49-0 win against the Big Walnut Eagles, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. The Cruisers have boasted one of Division 1's best offenses all season, averaging 38.7 points per game, which ranks 3rd. In their last 2 games, they've been even better, scoring 49 points per game. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 6.9 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 1st in their division. Over the last 2 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 0 points per game.
New Albany is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 3-game winning streak, including last week's 34-7 win against the Franklin Heights Falcons. That brings their record to 6-3 as they look to add another notch to the win column. The Eagles offense is the 14th-ranked offense in Division 1, scoring an average of 33.4 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 2 games, however, they haven't been quite as explosive as they've averaged 30 points per game. Their defense ranks 42nd in their division giving up an average of 23.2 points per game, but they've been improving with each game - over the last 3 weeks, they've allowed an average of 9 points.
Prediction: New Albany to win (88.85% chance of victory)