For the Girard Indians, week 4 brings a matchup that will likely come down to the wire against the Lakeview Bulldogs. Coming into the game as a slight 7-point favorite, the Indians will look to prove they are the better team beyond any statistical comparisons. Girard looks to be the superior team on paper, coming into the game ranked 74th in the state while the Bulldogs rank 382nd in the state and 52nd in Division 4. Statistics and rankings aside, this one's completely up in the air and will likely go to whichever team plays at its highest level. 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.
For Lakeview, each game is an opportunity to develop and improve. Projected to finish the season 3-7, each week is a chance to prove they can outperform statistical models and build winning momentum. Thus far, they haven't been particularly strong in terms of scoring on either side of the ball. Their offense ranks 73rd in Division 4, scoring an average of 16.7 points per game. On defense, giving up 22.7 points per game, they rank 55th in the division.
Girard may need to make some improvements in order to reach the playoffs again in 2019. After reaching the State Championship in 2018, they are projected to finish the season 10th in the regional playoff standings. Last week, a 41-14 win against the John F Kennedy Eagles brought their record to 3-0. They'll need every win they can get moving forward to make a repeat playoff appearance. The Indians rank top 25 for Division 4 in both scoring offense and scoring defense. The offense ranks 3rd with an average of 43.3 points per game while their defense ranks 21st, giving up 12.3 points per game.
Prediction: Girard to win (99.85% chance of victory)