La Salle @ Massillon
Sunday, December 1, 2019
By Staff

The biggest game of the entire year for 2 is finally here. The Massillon Tigers take on the La Salle Lancers in what will likely be a heated battle as the Lancers come into the game projected to pull out the close win by a score of 28-21. The playoffs are an interesting time of year as 7 teams fulfill their most ambitious goal in winning a state championship while the other 217 playoff teams will end their season with a loss. This matchup is no different as the winner will continue their playoff run while the loser will end its 2019 season with a loss. La Salle comes in as Division 2's 5th-ranked team. Massillon comes in ranked 2nd. A new matchup on the schedule for each team, Friday's game is a chance for each to test its skills and strategies against an unfamiliar opponent. Usually, matchups from the previous year are used in developing a strategy for upcoming games. For these two, no such opportunity will be afforded.

La Salle is currently on a 5-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Friday. Coming off of a 35-21 win against the Central Catholic Fighting Irish, they are 12-2 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. The Lancers offense has been one of the best in the division, especially in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 20th in Division 2 with 32.9 points per game. Over the last 2 weeks, they've scored an average of 32.9. While their offense is solid, the defense deserves equal credit for the season's successes. Their 12.8 points allowed per game ranks 9th in the division and continues to get better week by week - in their last 4 games, they've given up just 9 points per game.

Massillon will look to continue the momentum of their 14-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 35-10 win against the Avon Eagles last week, bringing their record to 14-0. On offense, the Tigers have been one of the best in the state this season, ranking 17th with 42 points per game. Recent weeks haven't been quite as explosive as they've averaged 26 points per game but they remain one of the most explosive offenses statewide. While their offense gets a lot of credit for their success, the defense has played at an elite level as well. Giving up just 10.2 points per game on average, their defense ranks 18th in the state.

Prediction: La Salle to win (99.39% chance of victory) 

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