As the playoff picture begins to take shape for the Northmont Thunderbolts and the Wayne Warriors, they come up on an important matchup against one another in week 10. The Thunderbolts are confident that how they finish the season will be enough to bring them to the playoffs - they come into the game projected to finish 7th in the Region 2 playoff standings. For the Warriors, chances aren't looking quite as good as they're projected to finish 10th in Region 2. The Warriors will come in as the favorites, projected to win the game 39-16. Wayne, the 62nd-ranked team in the state, host a fellow top-100 team this week as Northmont comes into the game ranked 88th. The Warriors come into the week expecting the home victory, which is the most probable outcome. However, the upset-minded Thunderbolts will come in looking to prove preconceived notions wrong. 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 Warriors have won 5, a trend they hope to continue. In the most recent season's matchup, the Warriors proved superior, winning 49-20.
Northmont is currently on a 3-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Friday. Coming off of a 34-20 win against the Centerville Elks, they are 5-4 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. While the Thunderbolts offense has not been particularly great, ranked 29th in Division 1 with 27.6 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 41.33 points over their last 3 contests. They aren't a top defense in terms of points allowed either, but they have given up less points in recent weeks. While they rank 28th in their division on the season with 19.6 points allowed per game, they've given up an improved average of 13.5 points over their last 2 games.
Wayne looks to rebound after a 38-13 loss against the Springfield Wildcats last week, which brought their record to 3-6. The Warriors offense hasn't been particularly great this season in terms of point production, a trend which continues into recent weeks. Over their last 2 games, they've scored an average of 13 points - this season they've averaged 25.4, which ranks 35th in Division 1. They've played at a simiar level on defense, ranking 49th in their division, giving up 26.9 points per game. Over their last 3 games, however, they have made progress, giving up an average of 21.67 points per game.
Prediction: Wayne to win (84.99% chance of victory)