Olentangy Liberty @ Reynoldsburg
Sunday, November 4, 2018
By HighSchoolBall.com Staff

The playoffs are in full force and, in the second round, comes what could turn out to be one of the best matchups of the entire season. The Reynoldsburg Raiders have earned homefield advantage and will face one of their biggest challenges of the year in the Olentangy Liberty Patriots. The Raiders are projected to win the game 24-21 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 Patriots, one of the top teams in Division 1, come into the game ranked 12th. The Raiders come in ranked 15th. The teams did not appear on each other's schedules last season, which presents a degree of unpredictability. 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.

Olentangy Liberty comes into the game on a 2-game winning streak. After last week's 14-7 win against the Gahanna Lincoln Lions, they are 7-4 and look to continue the positive momentum. While the Patriots 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 28, up from their season average of 20.2, which ranks 46th in Division 1. While the defense hasn't been much better, they have improved lately - while they average 14.1 points allowed per game, which ranks 12th in their division, they've taken that average down to 3.5 points over the last 2 weeks.

Reynoldsburg is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 4-game winning streak, including last week's 52-0 win against the Start Spartans. That brings their record to 10-1 as they look to add another notch to the win column. The Raiders are undeniably one of Division 1's best offenses, averaging 32.7 points per game, which ranks 13th. In their last 2 games, they've been even better, scoring 40 points per game. While their offense is solid, the defense deserves equal credit for the season's successes. Their 9.4 points allowed per game ranks 3rd in the division and continues to get better week by week - in their last 2 games, they've given up just 3.5 points per game.

Prediction: Reynoldsburg to win (68.78% chance of victory) 

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