Central Catholic @ La Salle
Sunday, November 24, 2019
By HighSchoolBall.com Staff

The state semifinal matchup between the La Salle Lancers and the Central Catholic Fighting Irish should be one of the more exciting matchups of the week. The Lancers come into the week projected to win by a score of 26-17. The playoffs are the best time of the year but also come with a great deal of drama as many powerhouses will even see their seasons cut short. Each week, it's do or die and, after this week is complete, half of the current playoff teams will be eliminated. The Fighting Irish, one of the top teams in Division 2, come into the game ranked 4th. The Lancers come in ranked 5th. A new game on the schedule for both teams, it should shape out as an unpredictable affair. Usually, matchups from the previous year are used in developing a strategy for upcoming games. For these two, no such opportunity will be afforded.

Central Catholic is currently on a 13-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Saturday. Coming off of a 35-14 win against the Olentangy Braves, they are 13-0 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. The Fighting Irish offense is the 15th-ranked offense in Division 2, scoring an average of 36.4 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 3 games, however, they've cooled off, averaging 27.67 points per game. On defense, their last few weeks haven't even done justice to how good they've been all season. They've given up 12.75 points per game over their last 4, down from their average of 9.4, which ranks 4th in their division on the season.

For La Salle, Saturday is a chance to expand on a 4-game winning streak after their 45-8 win against the Harrison Wildcats brought their record to 11-2. The Lancers are undeniably one of Division 2's best offenses, averaging 32.7 points per game, which ranks 20th. In their last 3 games, they've been even better, scoring 40.67 points per game. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 12.2 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 8th in their division. Over the last 3 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 5 points per game.

Prediction: La Salle to win (83.28% chance of victory) 

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