Friday's matchup between the Tallmadge Blue Devils and the Highland Hornets takes place between two teams that, as of now, most likely will not earn postseason bids. Currently, the Blue Devils and the Hornets are projected to finish 24th and 15th in their respective regional playoff standings. Highland enters the week as a 20-point favorite and will look to expand their playoff chances with a victory on Friday. The Blue Devils will come into the game looking for the upset while the Hornets look to meet expectations by controlling the game from start to finish. 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 Hornets have been superior, coming out on top in 5 of them. However, the past won't matter come kickoff. In 2018's matchup, the Hornets came away with a 49-12 victory.
Tallmadge looks to get back on track this week as they come in on a 7-game losing streak. They are currently 1-8 after a 37-0 loss against the Barberton Magics last week. The Blue Devils offense hasn't been particularly great this season in terms of point production, a trend which continues into recent weeks. Over their last 2 games, they've scored an average of 3.5 points - this season they've averaged 13.3, which ranks 96th in Division 3. Defensively, giving up 30.3 points per game, they rank 87th in the division.
After a 41-7 win against the Copley Indians brought their record to 3-6, Highland will be looking to carry that momentum over and earn another victory. While the Hornets offense has not been particularly great, ranked 63rd in Division 2 with 20.9 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 26.33 points over their last 3 contests. Their defense, while not a top defense in Division 2, has shown signs of improvement. They currently rank 76th in the division with 30.1 points allowed per game, but have allowed an improved average of 19 points over their last 2 games.
Prediction: Highland to win (99.38% chance of victory)