Friday's matchup between the Bluffton Pirates and the Columbus Grove Bulldogs takes place between two teams that, as of now, most likely will not earn postseason bids. Currently, the Pirates and the Bulldogs are projected to finish 21st and 11th in their respective regional playoff standings. Columbus Grove enters the week as a 9-point favorite and will look to expand their playoff chances with a victory on Friday. Columbus Grove ranks 23rd in Division 6 as opposed to Bluffton, who rank 60th in Division 6. Bluffton hopes to mount an effort on Friday that will prove that they are, indeed, the better of the two. One of the more familiar matchups of week 10, both teams know what to expect. Columbus Grove will hope to continue the recent trend, in which they've won 3 of the last 5 matchups. In last year's installment, the Bulldogs came out on top by a score of 42-13.
Last week, Bluffton dropped a game 35-0 against the Spencerville Bearcats. They'll look to get in the win column this week as they hope to finish out the season on a positive note. The Pirates offense hasn't been particularly great this season in terms of point production, a trend which continues into recent weeks. Over their last 4 games, they've scored an average of 14.5 points - this season they've averaged 26.1, which ranks 48th in Division 6. On defense, they'll also be looking for improvement, which they have shown signs of in recent weeks. Over their last 2 games, they've allowed an average of 24.5 points, an improvement over their 79th-ranked season average of 30.
Columbus Grove is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 5-game winning streak, including last week's 63-0 win against the Jefferson Wildcats. That brings their record to 6-3 as they look to add another notch to the win column. The Bulldogs offense is one of the most high-powered in their division, particularly in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 21st in Division 6 with 36.2 points per game. Over the last 3 weeks, they've scored an average of 36.2. While their offense is solid, the defense deserves equal credit for the season's successes. Their 17.7 points allowed per game ranks 25th in the division and continues to get better week by week - in their last 2 games, they've given up just 11.5 points per game.
Prediction: Columbus Grove to win (99.11% chance of victory)