Avon @ Massillon
Sunday, November 24, 2019
By HighSchoolBall.com Staff

The playoffs are in full force and, in the state semifinals, comes what could turn out to be one of the best matchups of the entire season. The Massillon Tigers have earned homefield advantage and will face one of their biggest challenges of the year in the Avon Eagles. The Tigers are projected to win the game 31-30 but nobody truly knows what's in store for Saturday's game. The playoffs are the best time of the year but also come with a great deal of drama as many powerhouses will even see their seasons cut short. Each week, it's do or die and, after this week is complete, half of the current playoff teams will be eliminated. The Eagles rank 2nd in the division while the Tigers rank 3rd. A new matchup on the schedule for each team, Saturday's game is a chance for each to test its skills and strategies against an unfamiliar opponent. Strategically, this might lead to complications that could throw off the gameplan of either team.

Avon is currently on a 13-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Saturday. Coming off of a 20-3 win against the Avon Lake Shoremen, they are 13-0 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. The Eagles offense is the 6th-ranked offense in Division 2, scoring an average of 40.5 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 3 games, however, they've cooled off, averaging 34 points per game. While recent games have affected averages negatively, their defense is one of the best as well. They rank 10th in their division, giving up an average of 12.7 points per game.

Massillon is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 13-game winning streak, including last week's 17-14 win against the Hoban Knights. That brings their record to 13-0 as they look to add another notch to the win column. On offense, the Tigers have been one of the best in the state this season, ranking 15th with 42.5 points per game. Recent weeks haven't been quite as explosive as they've averaged 26 points per game but they remain one of the most explosive offenses statewide. Their defense has been equally impressive, particularly in recent weeks. Over their last 3 games, they've allowed just 7 points per game - that's even better than the shutdown defense they've played all season. On the year, they rank 23rd in the state on defense, allowing an average of 7 points.

Prediction: Massillon to win (92.39% chance of victory) 

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