It’s a matchup that seems more fitting for the semifinals than the first round of the playoffs. Nevertheless, McPherson High School and Buhler will face off Friday night with one team’s season coming to an end.

The last time these two rivals played, Sept. 1 at Buhler, the Bullpups raced out to a big lead and held on for a 33-21 win. Two months and eight games later gives both teams a chance to improve.

“We are much improved from Week 1 upfront on offense; our guys have been working hard to get better every week and they have,” McPherson head coach Jace Pavlovich said. “We expect Buhler is much improved too. We have seen them on film through the course of the season. This will be a highly physical game Friday night.”

Since defeating Buhler in Week 1, the Bullpups have won seven of eight, including the last six by a combined score of 281-19. Buhler (7-2) has also won seven of eight since opening week, with its lone loss coming to undefeated Andale, 17-6. After allowing 33 points to McPherson, Buhler has not allowed more than 21 points the rest of the season.

Neither team will need any motivation to get fired up for this one, which should result in a highly competitive game and atmosphere.

“We are confident in our guys up front on both sides,” Pavlovich said. “This will be a Friday night that people will not forget about for a long time to come.”

Game time at McPherson Stadium is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Contact Gallagher Martin by email at gmartin@mcphersonsentinel.com and follow him on Twitter @GMartinSentinel