As the playoff picture begins to take shape for the Rootstown Rovers and the Southeast Pirates, they come up on an important matchup against one another in week 10. The Rovers are confident that how they finish the season will be enough to bring them to the playoffs - they come into the game projected to finish 5th in the Region 17 playoff standings. For the Pirates, chances aren't looking quite as good as they're projected to finish 17th in Region 17. The Pirates will come in as the favorites, projected to win the game 39-25. The Pirates, the better team on paper, will look to prove their superiority on the field come Friday. One of the more familiar matchups of week 10, both teams know what to expect. Southeast will hope to continue the recent trend, in which they've won 3 of the last 5 matchups. In last year's installment, the Rovers came out on top by a score of 42-19.
Rootstown comes into the game on a 2-game winning streak. After last week's 63-0 win against the Valley Christian Eagles, they are 7-2 and look to continue the positive momentum. The Rovers offense has been one of the best in the division, especially in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 22nd in Division 5 with 34.7 points per game. Over the last 2 weeks, they've scored an average of 34.7. Their defense ranks 31st in their division giving up an average of 19.2 points per game, but they've been improving with each game - over the last 2 weeks, they've allowed an average of 9 points.
Coming off of a 32-12 loss against the Mogadore Wildcats, Southeast, hopes to build some momentum and rebound strongly with a win. While the Pirates haven't been the most high-powered offense throughout the season, they have been improving week to week. In the last 6 weeks, they've averaged 36.17, up from their season average of 30.2, which ranks 36th in Division 5. Defensively, they'll look to show more signs of improvement after giving up 22 points on average in their last 2 games, improved from a On defense, they'll also be looking for improvement, which they have shown signs of in recent weeks. Over their last 2 games, they've allowed an average of 22 points, an improvement over their 65th-ranked 25.8 points allowed per game on the year.
Prediction: Southeast to win (79.72% chance of victory)