Friday's matchup between the Hilliard Darby Panthers and the Dublin Scioto Irish takes place between two teams that most likely will not make the playoffs. The Panthers come into the week projected to finish 10th in the Region 3 playoff standings. The Irish are projected to finish 13th in Region 7. Hilliard Darby comes in as a 5-point favorite as each team fights to close out the regular season strong. The Panthers, one of the better teams statewide, come into the game ranked 67th. On the other hand, the Irish come in ranked 160th in the state and 34th in Division 2. With two teams coming in expecting the win, we won't know for sure who's the better team until they take the field on Friday. The teams have played each other in each of the last five years so neither is likely to surprise the other. Over their last 5 matchups, the Panthers have won 5, a trend they hope to continue. In the most recent season's matchup, the Panthers proved superior, winning 13-11.
Hilliard Darby comes into the game on a 3-game winning streak. After last week's 24-6 win against the Hayes Pacers, they are 6-3 and look to continue the positive momentum. While the Panthers offense has not been particularly great, ranked 50th in Division 1 with 20.7 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 32.33 points over their last 3 contests. On defense, they're not much better statistically. They rank 8th in their division, allowing 12.2 points per game. However, they have improved as the season's gone on, giving up an average of 3 points over their last 2.
For Dublin Scioto, this week is a chance to flip the momentum after 2 consecutive losses. Last week was a 30-27 loss against the Thomas Worthington Cardinals and they'll look to rebound strong on Friday. While the Irish offense has not been particularly great, ranked 33rd in Division 2 with 29.3 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 31.29 points over their last 7 contests. On the opposite side of the ball, they rank 55th in the division, allowing 24.9 points per game.
Prediction: Hilliard Darby to win (73.72% chance of victory)