This week's matchup between the Poland Seminary Bulldogs and the Licking Valley Panthers should be one of the more competitive of the state semifinals, the Bulldogs entering the week projected to win by a score of 27-21. 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 Bulldogs rank 6th in the division while the Panthers rank 4th. A new game on the schedule for both teams, it should shape out as an unpredictable affair. Strategically, this might lead to complications that could throw off the gameplan of either team.
Poland Seminary is currently on a 10-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Sunday. Coming off of a 17-13 win against the Perry Pirates, they are 11-2 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. Particularly in recent weeks, the Bulldogs offense has struggled to put points on the board. In their last 4 games, they've put up an average of 24.25 points per game. Throughout the course of the season, they've averaged 30.6, which ranks 32nd in Division 4. While the defense hasn't been much better, they have improved lately - while they average 9.6 points allowed per game, which ranks 2nd in their division, they've taken that average down to 4.33 points over the last 3 weeks.
For Licking Valley, Sunday is a chance to expand on a 13-game winning streak after their 22-6 win against the Bloom-Carroll Bulldogs brought their record to 13-0. The Panthers rank 6th in Division 4 on offense, scoring an average of 37.3. However, over the last 2 weeks, their average is down to 21 points per game. On defense, their last few weeks haven't even done justice to how good they've been all season. They've given up 12.17 points per game over their last 6, down from their average of 10, which ranks 3rd in their division on the season.
Prediction: Poland Seminary to win (96.84% chance of victory)