Staff writer Tony Bleill says Central
For the first time since 2006, there are no playoff implications in the Battle of Champaign. Both teams have been eliminated from the postseason race, which might bring motivation into play. But you have to believe that both sides value the bragging rights associated with the matchup. Centennial leads the all-time series 19-18-1, having won eight of the last 10 meetings. But I'd give the Maroons the edge heading into Friday's game. It's no secret that the Chargers' offense has struggled much of the fall, the primary reason they've slipped to a 1-7 record, assuring it will be the team's fewest wins since 1993, when they won once. But they've been competitive in most games, including throwing a scare into a good Normal Community team. Central, however, is more explosive, particularly when running back Brad Wright is healthy. Even when he's not, Central can rely on quarterback Mitchell Baker, who somewhat quietly has enjoyed a very solid senior season. And, in a close game, the Maroons have a weapon in reliable kicker Cameron Miller. I'd expect a close, fairly low-scoring game. Let's call it Central 17, Centennial 10. And here's hoping that next fall the Battle of Champaign returns to a place of prominence in regards to the postseason picture.