In the second round of the playoffs, there are usually a few games in each division that serve as a preview to the rest of the excitement we'll see as we approach the state championships. This week's matchup between the Gilmour Academy Lancers and the Orrville Red Riders looks to be one of those games as the Red Riders comes into the game as 1-point favorites in what essentially amounts to a toss-up. It's do or die for each team as always in the postseason. Regardless of the outcome, each team can take comfort in the fact that they had a successful enough season to get here, but only one team will be satisfied with the result as the other's season will end on a loss. Gilmour Academy comes in as Division 5's 14th-ranked team. Orrville comes in ranked 32nd. A new game on the schedule for both teams, it should shape out as an unpredictable affair. 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.
Gilmour Academy comes into the game on a 11-game winning streak. After last week's 43-21 win against the Crestview Rebels, they are 11-0 and look to continue the positive momentum. The Lancers boasts one of the most high-powered offenses in the state and has been even stronger in their most recent contests. Scoring an average of 43.6 points per game, their offense ranks 22nd in the state. Over their last 2 games, they've been even more impressive, scoring an average of 55.5 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 23 points per game over their last 2, down from their average of 11.2, which ranks 7th in their division on the season.
Orrville will look to continue the momentum of their 3-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 47-20 win against the Tuslaw Mustangs last week, bringing their record to 9-2. On offense, the Red Riders have been one of the best in the state this season, ranking 20th with 44.2 points per game. Recent weeks haven't been quite as explosive as they've averaged 39 points per game but they remain one of the most explosive offenses statewide. Their defense gives up an average of 20 points per game, which ranks 31st in their division - in their last 3 games, they've improved, giving up an average of 6.67 points.
Prediction: Orrville to win (68.56% chance of victory)