Saturday's matchup between the Conneaut Spartans and the Cleveland Central Catholic Ironmen takes place between two teams that most likely will not make the playoffs. The Spartans come into the week projected to finish 9th in the Region 17 playoff standings. The Ironmen are projected to finish 27th in Region 13. Conneaut comes in as a 10-point favorite as each team fights to close out the regular season strong. Conneaut comes in as Division 5's 22nd-ranked team. Cleveland Central Catholic comes in ranked 89th in Division 4. Cleveland Central Catholic will be tested at home against a formidable Conneaut team. While the road team is expected to get the victory, overcoming homefield advantage could be a major challenge for Saturday's favorite. 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.
Conneaut comes into the game on a 5-game winning streak. After last week's 70-15 win against the East Palestine Bulldogs, they are 8-1 and look to continue the positive momentum. The Spartans 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 46.8 points per game, their offense ranks 8th in the state. Over their last 2 games, they've been even more impressive, scoring an average of 52 points per game. While their offense is solid, the defense deserves equal credit for the season's successes. Their 10.4 points allowed per game ranks 6th in the division and continues to get better week by week - in their last 5 games, they've given up just 6 points per game.
For Cleveland Central Catholic, this week is a chance to flip the momentum after 9 consecutive losses. Last week was a 49-6 loss against the John F Kennedy Eagles and they'll look to rebound strong on Saturday. While the Ironmen haven't been the most high-powered offense throughout the season, they have been improving week to week. In the last 2 weeks, they've averaged 17, up from their season average of 7.7, which ranks 102nd in Division 4. On the opposite side of the ball, they rank 103rd in the division, allowing 47.2 points per game.
Prediction: Conneaut to win (99.84% chance of victory)