The Upper Arlington Golden Bears come into Friday projected to finish the season 6-4 at 11th in Region 3. They host the Dublin Coffman Shamrocks, who are currently expected to make the playoffs at 2nd in Region 2. Dublin Coffman have the edge on paper, entering the game as a 7-point favorite. However, the battle for a postseason bid can only be decided on the field. The Shamrocks, one of the better teams statewide, come into the game ranked 14th. On the other hand, the Golden Bears come in ranked 125th in the state and 36th in Division 1. 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 are no strangers to one another, playing against each other in each of the last five years. Over their last 5 matchups, the Shamrocks have been superior, coming out on top in 5 of them. However, the past won't matter come kickoff. In the most recent season's matchup, the Shamrocks proved superior, winning 17-0.
Dublin Coffman is 7-2 after their 44-12 win against the Westland Cougars last week. This week, they look to build on that victory on the way to what they hope will be a strong finish to the season. The Shamrocks offense is the 16th-ranked offense in Division 1, scoring an average of 32.6 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 2 games, however, they've cooled off, averaging 29 points per game. While their offense is solid, the defense deserves equal credit for the season's successes. Their 14.3 points allowed per game ranks 15th in the division and continues to get better week by week - in their last 4 games, they've given up just 10.75 points per game.
For Upper Arlington, Friday is a chance to expand on a 5-game winning streak after their 35-14 win against the Central Crossing Comets brought their record to 6-3. The Golden Bears have struggled on offense, scoring only 18.33 points per game over their last 3 games. On the year, they rank 38th in Division 1, scoring an average of 23.7 points per game over the course of the season. Their defense hasn't been much better throughout the course of the season, ranking 19th with an average of 17.6 points allowed per game. In recent weeks, they have improved, giving up an average of 9 points over their last 3 games.
Prediction: Dublin Coffman to win (95.70% chance of victory)