7 p.m. today
The Coaches: Northwest's Carl Majer (34-20, 5th year); Montrose's Russ Canevari (1-8, 1st year)
Last Meeting: Northwest 30-8 in 2011
All-Time Series: Northwest leads 2-1
Quick Fact: Northwest has won the past two games by a combined score of 71-24.
Scouting Northwest: Northwest is out of the D2-A playoff picture, and now its chances at an Eastern Conference berth are in jeopardy because Bucktail has jumped ahead of the Rangers in the E.C. Central Division.
Northwest fell behind 47-7 late in the third quarter against Wyoming Area last Friday. The Rangers tacked on some late points to make the final, 55-37, look a little more respectable. Northwest threw a season-high 23 times and that's not its mantra. The Rangers are at their best with RB Tony Politz and FB Austin Mazonkey doing the heavy lifting.
Scouting Montrose: Considering how bad the program was entering the season, the Meteors have to look at 2012 as a success story. First, they defeated Holy Cross to snap a 35-game losing streak. Secondly, they played solid games against Tunkhannock, Susquehanna and in last Friday's 28-7 loss to playoff-bound Lackawanna Trail.
Montrose is at its best when it avoids passing. Expect the Meteors to give 235-pound RB John Lawson plenty of touches.
What To Expect: Northwest usually has little trouble with teams like Montrose, but a long road trip and an improving Meteors team could make things more interesting than thought.
-- John Erzar