For the Hubbard Eagles, week 4 brings a matchup that will likely come down to the wire against the Struthers Wildcats. Coming into the game as a slight 7-point favorite, the Eagles will look to prove they are the better team beyond any statistical comparisons. Struthers enters the game as the 18th-ranked team in Division 4, which makes this a key matchup in the division as Hubbard comes in ranked 4th. With two teams coming in expecting the win, we won't know for sure who's the better team until they take the field on Friday. The teams are no strangers to one another, playing against each other in each of the last five years. Over their last 5 matchups, the Wildcats have been superior, coming out on top in 3 of them. However, the past won't matter come kickoff. In 2018's matchup, the Eagles came away with a 41-0 victory.
Still early in the season, Hubbard comes into the week with a 0.01% chance of making the playoffs, where they'll look to expand upon last season's run, which ended in the Regional Finals with a loss to the Girard Indians by a score of 43-18. Projected to finish out the season at 9-1, they can expect to get another shot at chasing a state title in 2019. On defense, the strength of the team, they rank 14th in Division 4, giving up 11 points per game. Offensively, scoring 18.7 points per game, they rank 64th.
Struthers comes off a 32-12 win against the West Branch Warriors, which brings their record to 2-1. They are projected to make the postseason on a record of 5th, which should put them on the upper end of the playoff bubble. Neither side of the ball has been particularly strong for the Wildcats. Their offense scores an average of 25.3 points per game and their defense allows an average of 20.3 points per game, ranking 42nd and 48th in Division 4 respectively.
Prediction: Hubbard to win (77.60% chance of victory)