Week 10 brings about a big game for both the Martins Ferry Purple Riders and the Bellaire Big Reds as it could ultimately decide the postseason fate of either one. The Big Reds can currently expect to finish the season 4th at 7-3. For the Purple Riders, postseason chances aren't quite as high as they are projected to finish 10th in Region 17. The Purple Riders are the favorites on Saturday, projected to win the game by a score of 25-21. Martins Ferry comes in expecting to come away with the road victory. However, it looks to be one of the more hotly contested matchups of the week and Bellaire will be looking to defend their home field and finish the game on top. 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 Purple Riders have won 4, a trend they hope to continue. Saturday's a chance for both teams to settle the score after splitting the series in 2018. In their regular season matchup, the Purple Riders came away with the victory by a score of 34-0. However, in the game that mattered most, the Big Reds came out on top 14-7.
Martins Ferry comes into the game on a 2-game winning streak. After last week's 39-7 win against the Beaver Local Beavers, they are 5-4 and look to continue the positive momentum. While the Purple Riders offense has not been particularly great, ranked 51st in Division 5 with 26.9 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 33 points over their last 2 contests. While the defense hasn't been much better, they have improved lately - while they average 17.3 points allowed per game, which ranks 24th in their division, they've taken that average down to 10 points over the last 2 weeks.
For Bellaire, Saturday is a chance to expand on a 2-game winning streak after their 44-14 win against the Union Local Jets brought their record to 7-2. The Big Reds offense hasn't been particularly great this season in terms of point production, a trend which continues into recent weeks. Over their last 3 games, they've scored an average of 20.67 points - this season they've averaged 24.6, which ranks 59th in Division 5. On defense, they're not much better statistically. They rank 10th in their division, allowing 12.6 points per game. However, they have improved as the season's gone on, giving up an average of 10 points over their last 2.
Prediction: Martins Ferry to win (88.56% chance of victory)