The regional final matchup between the Massillon Tigers and the Wadsworth Grizzlies should be one of the more exciting matchups of the week. The Tigers come into the week projected to win by a score of 38-27. 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. Wadsworth comes in as Division 2's 6th-ranked team. Massillon 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.
Looking to build upon their 12-game winning streak, Wadsworth comes into the week at 12-0. After their 13-3 win against the Tri-Valley Scotties, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. The Grizzlies offense is the 10th-ranked offense in Division 2, scoring an average of 38.7 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 2 games, however, they've cooled off, averaging 27.5 points per game. While recent games have affected averages negatively, their defense is one of the best as well. They rank 13th in their division, giving up an average of 13.2 points per game.
Massillon is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 12-game winning streak, including last week's 35-17 win against the Whitehall-Yearling Rams. That brings their record to 12-0 as they look to add another notch to the win column. The Tigers are consistently explosive on offense, ranking 5th with 46.7. However, they have come back towards earth lately, averaging 34.67 points per game over the last 3 weeks. Nevertheless, the defense could actually be the true strength of the team, which they've shown in their most recent contests. Over the last 5 games, they've allowed only 10.8 points per game. However, success on defense isn't just a recent trend - on the season, their defense ranks 9th in their division, allowing 11.9 points per game.
Prediction: Massillon to win (92.39% chance of victory)