Both of the teams need a win for different reasons. A by North will lock up a share of the Southern Oregon Conference (officially known as Special District 1) title for the Black Tornado. A win for South means the Panthers still have a shot at a first round bye.
North Medford's win over Sheldon High School in the second week of conference play has put the Black Tornado in a position to a least claim a share of the title with a win, and could win it outright when they play Roseburg next week. Roseburg led the conference until they lost their last two games. The fact that North is even in this position is somewhat surprising, since they only won two games last. In addition to having a losing season the Black Tornado only have eight seniors on the team.
Meanwhile, South needs to win just to avoid playing in the play-in round. A win Friday night would give the Panthers three conference wins with only Crater left to play. Crater currently has only one win in conference play. A loss, however, especially if Grants Pass were to defeat Roseburg Friday, would just about assure that the Panthers would be in the play-in round. There is no doubt South Medford will be rooting for Grants Pass, a team they lost to in overtime last week, to defeat Roseburg. If South were to win and Roseburg lose, then South would have the tiebreaker over Roseburg by virtue of their win earlier this season over Roseburg.
The bottom line is simple, even if it does sound complicated. Both North and South Medford to win Friday, which should make this rivalry game even more electric than it is with less riding on the line.