The Massillon Tigers enter the first week of the playoffs against the Warren G Harding Raiders in a game they're projected to win by a score of 36-22. The playoffs are an interesting time of year as 7 teams fulfill their most ambitious goal in winning a state championship while the other 217 playoff teams will end their season with a loss. This matchup is no different as the winner will continue their playoff run while the loser will end its 2019 season with a loss. Warren G Harding comes in as Division 2's 18th-ranked team. Massillon comes in ranked 2nd. A rematch from earlier in the season, look for this to be one of the more emotional battles of the week. In the regular season, the Tigers won 49-7 so the Raiders will be looking for revenge. Last season, they played as well, the Tigers beating the Raiders 51-21.
Warren G Harding is currently on a 4-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Saturday. Coming off of a 28-6 win against the Howland Tigers, they are 7-3 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. The Raiders have struggled on offense, scoring only 25 points per game over their last 2 games. On the year, they rank 32nd in Division 2, scoring an average of 29.6 points per game over the course of the season. Their defense hasn't been much better throughout the course of the season, ranking 24th with an average of 19.5 points allowed per game. In recent weeks, they have improved, giving up an average of 9 points over their last 3 games.
Massillon will look to continue the momentum of their 10-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 24-14 win against the McKinley Bulldogs last week, bringing their record to 10-0. On offense, the Tigers have been one of the best in the state this season, ranking 20th with 44.6 points per game. Recent weeks haven't been quite as explosive as they've averaged 24 points per game but they remain one of the most explosive offenses statewide. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 11.2 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 7th in their division. Over the last 2 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 7 points per game.
Prediction: Massillon to win (99.92% chance of victory)