Friday's matchup between the Canfield Cardinals and the Boardman Spartans takes place between two teams that most likely will not make the playoffs. The Cardinals come into the week projected to finish 10th in the Region 9 playoff standings. The Spartans are projected to finish 13th in Region 5. Canfield comes in as a 1-point favorite as each team fights to close out the regular season strong. Canfield ranks 80th in the state, compared to Boardman, who ranks 277th in the state and 52nd in Division 2. In this evenly-matched a game, there is no way to tell who will come out on top. There is a certain degree of familiarity between the two teams after they faced off last season. Last year, the Cardinals got the better of the Spartans, winning by a score of 21-14.
Canfield comes into the game on a 2-game winning streak. After last week's 41-10 win against the Howland Tigers, they are 6-3 and look to continue the positive momentum. While the Cardinals offense has not been particularly great, ranked 31st in Division 3 with 31.4 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 45 points over their last 2 contests. They rank similarly on defense, coming in at 39th in their division, allowing 18.2 points per game. That number has generally gone up in recent weeks as they've given up an average of 14.4 points in their last 5 games.
Coming off of a 40-14 loss against the Austintown-Fitch Falcons, Boardman, hopes to build some momentum and rebound strongly with a win. The Spartans offense will look to continue to improve as they've scored an average of 29.25 points per game over their last 4 games, up from their season average of 24, which ranks 51st in Division 2. Defensively, giving up 30.7 points per game, they rank 78th in the division.
Prediction: Canfield to win (94.13% chance of victory)