Even a down year for Worthington's two high school football teams hasn't taken the luster off this matchup.

Even a down year for Worthington's two high school football teams hasn't taken the luster off this matchup.

Worthington Kilbourne, 3-6 overall and 2-4 in the OCC-Central Division, looks to extend its winning streak over Thomas Worthington to three games when the two teams meet Friday at Dow Nelson Field.

"It's kind of like our Ohio State-Michigan game," Kilbourne coach Vince Trombetti said. "Anytime you're playing a rival, you throw out the records and you know you're going to get your opponent's best shot."

After posting their first non-losing season since 1999 last year, Thomas has struggled with injuries and is 3-6 and 1-5. The Cardinals hope to gain some momentum heading into the offseason.

"Winning that last game of the year changes the dynamic," Thomas coach Scott Gordon said. "It keeps the team excited and adds that feeling of accomplishment that players can build on going forward."

Gordon said quarterback John Chadwell will play Friday. The senior is recovering from a sprained ankle suffered in a 34-27 win over Westland two weeks ago.

The Thomas offense has had more success with the return of running back Eric Monfort, who missed the first six games with a broken collarbone. The Cardinals are averaging 15 more points per game and are 2-1 when he starts, including a 38-13 victory over Central Crossing last Friday.

"They're a totally different team with him in there," Trombetti said. "He's very explosive and can hurt you if you let him out in space."

Trombetti compared Thomas' wildcat formation to Dublin Coffman's offense. Kilbourne lost to the Shamrocks 38-14 last Friday.

The Wolves' option offense could be without fullback Sheldon Tillman. He was held out of the Coffman game with a shin injury and is still dealing with stiffness.

Quarterbacks Brian Miller and Brandon Randolph have led Kilbourne to 118 points in three wins, but just 72 in six losses.

"Whenever you go up against the option you have to stick to assignment football," Gordon said. "We've got to be selective in the schemes we're running and make sure we apply pressure in their backfield."

Kilbourne won the series' only two meetings - 28-13 last year and 48-3 in 2008.

"There will be a lot of emotion, no question," Gordon said. "A lot of these seniors played against each other or together in the Worthington Youth Booster League and they're looking forward to facing each other one last time."