Friday's matchup between the Johnstown-Monroe Johnies and the Heath Bulldogs takes place between two teams that, as of now, most likely will not earn postseason bids. Currently, the Johnies and the Bulldogs are projected to finish 9th and 11th in their respective regional playoff standings. Johnstown-Monroe enters the week as a 7-point favorite and will look to expand their playoff chances with a victory on Friday. The Johnies, one of the better teams statewide, come into the game ranked 69th. On the other hand, the Bulldogs come in ranked 249th in the state and 33rd in Division 4. With two teams coming in expecting the win, we won't know for sure who's the better team until they take the field on Friday. 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 Johnies have won 4, a trend they hope to continue. In last year's installment, the Johnies came out on top by a score of 46-0.
Johnstown-Monroe comes into the game on a 2-game winning streak. After last week's 28-14 win against the Licking Heights Hornets, they are 5-4 and look to continue the positive momentum. While the Johnies offense has not been particularly great, ranked 58th in Division 5 with 25.2 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 42 points over their last 2 contests. They rank similarly on defense, coming in at 27th in their division, allowing 18.7 points per game. That number has generally gone up in recent weeks as they've given up an average of 14 points in their last 5 games.
Coming off of a 41-16 loss against the Newark Catholic Green Wave, Heath, hopes to build some momentum and rebound strongly with a win. Scoring an average of 33.3 points per game on offense, the Bulldogs rank 20th in Division 4. They've been even more dominant in recent weeks, scoring an average of 39.8 over their last 5 games. While their defense has given up more points than usual in recent weeks, they deserve every bit as much of the credit for this season's successes as the offense. Over the course of the season, they've given up an average of 15.4 points per game, which ranks 16th in their division.
Prediction: Johnstown-Monroe to win (92.93% chance of victory)