As the end of the season draws near, playoffs are the only thing on any team's mind that still stands a reasonable chance. On Friday, two of these teams meet - the Northmont Thunderbolts and the Miamisburg Vikings. The Thunderbolts come into the game projected to enter the playoffs as Region 3's 4th best team at 8-2. The Vikings come into the game projected to finish 8-2 as Region 3's 6th best team. Miamisburg will enter the game as a 6-point favorite, projected to win the game 36-30. Friday's matchup will feature two of the state's top 100 teams. The Thunderbolts come into the game ranked 53rd in the state while the Vikings come in ranked 86th. This looks to be a close and exciting game, which will be fun at least for the team that comes out on top. A rematch from their game last season, this matchup will be a good gauge on how each team has improved or regressed. In 2017, the Thunderbolts defeated the Vikings by a score of 49-28.
Northmont comes into the game on a 4-game winning streak. After last week's 38-21 win against the Springboro Panthers, they are 8-1 and look to continue the positive momentum. The Thunderbolts rank 8th in Division 1 on offense, scoring an average of 36.1. However, over the last 3 weeks, their average is down to 32.67 points per game. Their defense gives up an average of 18.7 points per game, which ranks 38th in their division - in their last 4 games, they've improved, giving up an average of 13.75 points.
Miamisburg tallied up a 42-7 win against the Beavercreek Beavers last week, bringing their record to 7-2 - they'll look to add to the win column once again on Friday. The Vikings offense is the 18th-ranked offense in Division 1, scoring an average of 31.3 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 4 games, however, they haven't been quite as explosive as they've averaged 24.75 points per game. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 12.7 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 6th in their division. Over the last 3 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 9 points per game.
Prediction: Miamisburg to win (64.51% chance of victory)