The second round matchup between the Canfield Cardinals and the East Dragons should be one of the more exciting matchups of the week. The Cardinals come into the week projected to win by a score of 31-23. The playoffs are an interesting time of year as 7 teams fulfill their most ambitious goal in winning a state championship while the other 217 playoff teams will end their season with a loss. This matchup is no different as the winner will continue their playoff run while the loser will end its 2018 season with a loss. East comes in as Division 3's 16th-ranked team. Canfield comes in ranked 5th. A new game on the schedule for both teams, it should shape out as an unpredictable affair. Usually, matchups from the previous year are used in developing a strategy for upcoming games. For these two, no such opportunity will be afforded.
East is 9-2 after their 39-28 win against the Chardon Hilltoppers last week. This week, they look to build on that victory on the way to what they hope will be a strong finish to the season. The Dragons offense is the 11th-ranked offense in Division 3, scoring an average of 34.9 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 2 games, however, they've cooled off, averaging 25.5 points per game. While recent games have affected averages negatively, their defense is one of the best as well. They rank 8th in their division, giving up an average of 13 points per game.
For Canfield, Saturday is a chance to expand on a 3-game winning streak after their 35-10 win against the Marlington Dukes brought their record to 10-1. While the Cardinals offense has not been particularly great, ranked 26th in Division 3 with 30.9 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 40.67 points over their last 3 contests. On defense, they're not much better statistically. They rank 3rd in their division, allowing 8.8 points per game. However, they have improved as the season's gone on, giving up an average of 7.14 points over their last 7.
Prediction: Canfield to win (98.21% chance of victory)