Week 10 is a chance for the Wheelersburg Pirates to expand their already-solid playoff chances. They come into Friday projected to finish 3rd in Region 19. They host the Portsmouth West Senators, currently projected to finish 18th in Region 19. Wheelersburg has the edge on paper, entering the game as a 27-point favorite. However, the battle for a postseason bid can only be decided on the field. The Pirates rank 35th in the state while the Senators rank 426th in the state and 61st in Division 5. The Senators will come into the game looking for the upset while the Pirates look to meet expectations by controlling the game from start to finish. 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 Pirates have been superior, coming out on top in 5 of them. However, the past won't matter come kickoff. A rubber match in the rivalry series, this is a chance for each team to settle the score after the Pirates won the 2018 regular season matchup 28-7 before their postseason got cut short when they lost 52-7 in the rematch.
Portsmouth West comes into the game on a 6-game losing streak, which they hope to put to an end on Friday. Their 32-7 loss against the Oak Hill Oaks last week brings their record to 2-7. The Senators have struggled on offense, scoring only 11.17 points per game over their last 6 games. On the year, they rank 85th in Division 5, scoring an average of 17.4 points per game over the course of the season. 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 81st in their division on the season with 31.8 points allowed per game, they've given up an improved average of 26 points over their last 2 games.
Wheelersburg will look to continue the momentum of their 4-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 42-0 win against the Valley Indians last week, bringing their record to 6-3. While the Pirates offense has not been particularly great, ranked 45th in Division 5 with 28.8 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 46.33 points over their last 3 contests. They've played at a simiar level on defense, ranking 42nd in their division, giving up 21.9 points per game. Over their last 3 games, however, they have made progress, giving up an average of 9.33 points per game.
Prediction: Wheelersburg to win (99.99% chance of victory)