As we reach the end of the season, teams that still have reasonable chances are jockeying for playoff positioning. For the home team in this matchup, the Strongsville Mustangs, anything but a playoff bid would be a disappointment. They come into the week projected to finish 6th in the Region 1 playoff standings. For the visiting Euclid Panthers, it's a battle to stay in contention. They are currently expected to finish the season 6-4, which would put them around 9th in Region 1. The Mustangs are the favorites on Friday, projected to win the game by a score of 35-34. Strongsville, the 71st-ranked team in the state, host a fellow top-100 team this week as Euclid comes into the game ranked 26th. With no definitive indication over who is truly the better team, each side will have to make its case on the field come Friday. A rematch from their game last season, this matchup will be a good gauge on how each team has improved or regressed. Last season, the Panthers beat the Mustangs 50-31.
Euclid is currently on a 5-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Friday. Coming off of a 56-8 win against the Elyria Pioneers, they are 5-0 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. One of the most talented offenses you'll find anywhere, they've scored an average of 48 points per game, which ranks 12th in the entire state. On defense, they rank 510th in the state, giving up an average of 30 points per game.
Coming off of a 20-14 loss against the Brunswick Blue Devils, Strongsville, hopes to build some momentum and rebound strongly with a win. The Mustangs come in as the 12th-ranked offense in Division 1, scoring 33.8 points per game. On defense, they rank 38th, giving up an average of 23.6.
Prediction: Strongsville to win (69.50% chance of victory)