Week 8 is a chance for the Buckeye Bucks to expand their already-solid playoff chances. They come into Friday projected to finish 5th in Region 10. They host the Normandy Invaders, currently projected to finish 25th in Region 6. Buckeye has the edge on paper, entering the game as a 37-point favorite. However, the battle for a postseason bid can only be decided on the field. The Invaders will have a chance to move up in the rankings this week - coming into the game ranked 106th in Division 2, they take on one of Division 3's best as the Bucks come in ranked 25th in that division. The Bucks will look to prove their superiority as they aim for a dominant showing on Friday. The teams did not appear on each other's schedules last season, which presents a degree of unpredictability. Stylistically and schematically, past matchups are often used as a guiding tool. This week, however, each team will likely take time to adjust to an unfamiliar opponent, which should make for some added excitement.
Normandy comes into the game on a 7-game losing streak, which they hope to put to an end on Friday. Their 63-0 loss against the Bay Rockets last week brings their record to 0-7. Particularly in recent weeks, the Invaders offense has struggled to put points on the board. In their last 2 games, they've put up an average of 3 points per game. Throughout the course of the season, they've averaged 4.6, which ranks 106th in Division 2. They rank similarly on defense, coming in at 106th in their division, allowing 51.3 points per game. That number has generally gone up in recent weeks as they've given up an average of 48.33 points in their last 3 games.
Looking to rebound from a 28-19 loss against the Holy Name Green Wave last week, Buckeye will try to establish momentum early and sustain it throughout. The Bucks offense will look to continue to improve as they've scored an average of 34.75 points per game over their last 4 games, up from their season average of 30.7, which ranks 34th in Division 3. Defensively, giving up 17.9 points per game, they rank 35th in the division.
Prediction: Buckeye to win (99.99% chance of victory)