The Centerville Elks come into Friday projected to finish the season 2-8 at 15th in Region 3. They host the Northmont Thunderbolts, who are currently expected to make the playoffs at 4th in Region 3. Northmont have the edge on paper, entering the game as a 1-point favorite. However, the battle for a postseason bid can only be decided on the field. The better team on paper, the Thunderbolts come into the game ranked 62nd in the state and 22nd in Division 1. The Elks come in ranked 182nd in the state and 45th in Division 1. As slight road favorites, the Thunderbolts come in hoping to edge out the Elks on their home field. The teams have played each other in each of the last five years so neither is likely to surprise the other. Over their last 5 matchups, the Elks have won 3, a trend they hope to continue. In the most recent season's matchup, the Thunderbolts proved superior, winning 21 - 14.
Northmont is currently on a 2-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Friday. Coming off of a 25 - 7 win against the Springfield Wildcats, they are 6-1 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. The Thunderbolts offense is the 10th-ranked offense in Division 1, scoring an average of 36 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 3 games, however, they've cooled off, averaging 31.33 points per game. Their defense ranks 31st in their division giving up an average of 18.1 points per game, but they've been improving with each game - over the last 2 weeks, they've allowed an average of 7 points.
Centerville will come into the week looking to put an end to their current 7-game losing streak after a 20 - 12 loss against the Lebanon Warriors brought their record down to 0-7. While the Elks offense has not been particularly great, ranked 68th in Division 1 with 11.6 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 16.5 points over their last 2 contests. Defensively, they'll look to show more signs of improvement after giving up 27.5 points on average in their last 2 games, improved from a 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 27.5 points, an improvement over their 63rd-ranked 31.1 points allowed per game on the year.
Prediction: Northmont to win (59.59% chance of victory)