In its last two games Archbishop Wood, with a steadily improving bunch, has frolicked to victory in mercy-rule fashion.

But it's a safe bet that the last hurdle in the team's bid to repeat as state champion won't be anywhere near as easy to clear.

Erie Cathedral Prep has a pair of players who have committed to Michigan State; averages 48.4 points per game with a spread attack; and has a 4-3 defense that allows only 9.9 points per outing.

The Vikings will battle the undefeated Ramblers, of District 10, for the PIAA Class AAA crown at 7 p.m. Friday at Hersheypark Stadium.

Here is a closer look at the title game:

TV: Live on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.

Projected starters: Go to philly.com/ozone

Records: Cathedral Prep, which has outscored foes by a combined score of 677-138, is 14-0; Wood, owner of an eight-game winning streak, is 12-2.

Coaches: In his second stint with the Ramblers, Mike Mischler, who also coached at Class A Iroquois in Erie, has an overall record of 121-52. Steve Devlin is 71-13 in six years in Warminster.

Balanced: Cathedral Prep, with 329 attempts, has passed for 240 yards per game; on 349 attempts, it has rushed for an average of 160 yards.

Go-to guy: The Vikings' Andrew Guckin, a senior tailback, has carried 189 times for 1,801 yards and 29 touchdowns.

Big threat: The Ramblers' Damion Terry, a 6-foot-4, 210-pounder who is headed to Michigan State, has thrown for 3,282 yards and 48 TDs, with eight interceptions. He has carried 111 times for 640 yards and 11 TDs.

Rookie QB: Wood freshman Tom Garlick, who took over in Week 3, has passed for 980 yards and nine scores.

Versatile: Delton Williams, a 6-2, 208-pounder who will join Terry at Michigan State, has carried 80 times for 663 yards and 13 TDs. He has 56 catches for 785 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Chipping in: Guckin gets support from fullback Josh Messina and tailback Jarrett McClenton. Garlick's primary targets are Messina and wideouts Chris Rahill and Anthony Roakes.

Options: Also at Terry's disposal are wideouts Alex Greenwalt (41 catches for 633 yards, 10 TDs) and Jake DeHart (31 for 399, 5). Brendan Klemensic (36 for 819, 11) went down last week with a broken wrist.

Up front: The Vikings' stout offensive line features center Fran Walsh, tackle George Griffin, and guard Chris O'Connor; Nick Arcidiacono and Shane Neher rotate at tight end.

Solid group: Cathedral Prep's defense is led by ends Erik Swanson (81/2 sacks) and Joe Hampy, linebackers Michael Parker (11 sacks) and Jake Plonski (101 tackles), and, at safety, Williams.

Analysis: On paper, Cathedral Prep is the favorite. But we have a gut feeling that the Vikings, aided by a few turnovers, will find a way to win.

Pick: Wood, 28-24.

Contact Rick O'Brien

at robrien@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter @ozoneinq.

Read his blog, "The O'Zone,"