The first two rounds are often the part of the playoffs where we find out who truly deserves to be there, chasing after a state title. This week, the London Red Raiders will have to prove they belong here, coming in as 33-point underdogs against the Clinton-Massie Falcons. 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 Red Raiders rank 25th in the division while the Falcons rank 2nd. The teams did not appear on each other's schedules last season, which presents a degree of unpredictability. Stylistically and schematically, past matchups are often used as a guiding tool. This week, however, each team will likely take time to adjust to an unfamiliar opponent, which should make for some added excitement.
London is 10-1 after their 37-21 win against the Taft Senators last week. This week, they look to build on that victory on the way to what they hope will be a strong finish to the season. The Red Raiders have been excellent on offense all season, scoring 48.8 points per game, which ranks 3rd in the state. In recent weeks, they've cooled off a little, scoring 26 points per game in their last 2 games. While their defense has given up more points than usual in recent weeks, they deserve every bit as much of the credit for this season's successes as the offense. Over the course of the season, they've given up an average of 11.8 points per game, which ranks 8th in their division.
Clinton-Massie is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 9-game winning streak, including last week's 46-0 win against the Shawnee Braves. That brings their record to 10-1 as they look to add another notch to the win column. The Falcons offense is one of the most high-powered in their division, particularly in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 9th in Division 4 with 42.7 points per game. Over the last 2 weeks, they've scored an average of 42.7. While their offense is solid, the defense deserves equal credit for the season's successes. Their 8.7 points allowed per game ranks 3rd in the division and continues to get better week by week - in their last 2 games, they've given up just 0 points per game.
Prediction: Clinton-Massie to win (99.96% chance of victory)