The London Red Raiders come into Friday projected to finish the season 8-2 at 9th in Region 11. They host the Jonathan Alder Pioneers, who are currently expected to make the playoffs at 1st in Region 11. Jonathan Alder have the edge on paper, entering the game as a 16-point favorite. However, the battle for a postseason bid can only be decided on the field. The Pioneers rank 19th in Division 3 while the Red Raiders rank 34th in Division 3. Jonathan Alder, who should be able to quiet the home crowd and control the game, will have to prove they can do so on Friday. The teams did not appear on each other's schedules last season, which presents a degree of unpredictability. Stylistically and schematically, past matchups are often used as a guiding tool. This week, however, each team will likely take time to adjust to an unfamiliar opponent, which should make for some added excitement.
Jonathan Alder is currently on a 9-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Friday. Coming off of a 56-34 win against the Shawnee Braves, they are 9-0 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. Scoring an average of 38.8 points per game on offense, the Pioneers rank 8th in Division 3. They've been even more explosive in recent weeks, scoring an average of 45.5 over their last 2 games. Their defense gives up an average of 17.4 points per game, ranking 37th in their division.
After a 43-3 win against the Bellefontaine Chieftains brought their record to 8-1, London will be looking to carry that momentum over and earn another victory. The Red Raiders have been extremely impressive on offense all season, scoring 45.3 points per game, which ranks 16th in the state. In recent weeks, they've cooled off a little, scoring 32.5 points per game in their last 2 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 10.7 points per game, which ranks 10th in their division.
Prediction: Jonathan Alder to win (61.20% chance of victory)