As the end of the season draws near, playoffs are the only thing on any team's mind that still stands a reasonable chance. On Saturday, two of these teams meet - the Massillon Tigers and the McKinley Bulldogs. The Tigers come into the game projected to enter the playoffs as Region 5's 1st best team at 10-0. The Bulldogs come into the game projected to finish 8-2 as Region 1's 4th best team. Massillon will enter the game as a 9-point favorite, projected to win the game 35-26. Saturday's matchup will feature two of the state's top 100 teams. The Tigers come into the game ranked 5th in the state while the Bulldogs come in ranked 34th. The Bulldogs will go into Saturday looking to prove that, contrary to statistical analysis, they are the better team. One of the more familiar matchups of week 10, both teams know what to expect. Massillon will hope to continue the recent trend, in which they've won 4 of the last 5 matchups. In last year's installment, the Tigers came out on top by a score of 24-17.
Looking to build upon their 9-game winning streak, Massillon comes into the week at 9-0. After their 24-0 win against the Louisville Leopards, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. The Tigers have been excellent on offense all season, scoring 46.9 points per game, which ranks 7th in the state. In recent weeks, they've cooled off a little, scoring 36.5 points per game in their last 2 games. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 10.9 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 7th in their division. Over the last 5 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 8.6 points per game.
McKinley is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 6-game winning streak, including last week's 28-17 win against the Perry Panthers. That brings their record to 8-1 as they look to add another notch to the win column. The Bulldogs offense is the 10th-ranked offense in Division 1, scoring an average of 35.7 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 4 games, however, they haven't been quite as explosive as they've averaged 27.25 points per game. Their defense ranks 28th in their division allowing an average of 19.6 points per game, but they have shown improvement in recent weeks - in their last 3 games, they've given up an average of 7.67 points.
Prediction: Massillon to win (93.30% chance of victory)