The biggest game of the entire year for 4 is finally here. The Licking Valley Panthers take on the Clyde Fliers in what will likely be a heated battle as the Fliers come into the game projected to pull out the close win by a score of 29-23. 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. Clyde comes in as Division 4's 7th-ranked team. Licking Valley comes in ranked 4th. A new matchup on the schedule for each team, Saturday's game is a chance for each to test its skills and strategies against an unfamiliar opponent. Usually, matchups from the previous year are used in developing a strategy for upcoming games. For these two, no such opportunity will be afforded.
Clyde comes into the game on a 5-game winning streak. After last week's 35-14 win against the Wyoming Cowboys, they are 10-4 and look to continue the positive momentum. In recent weeks, the Fliers haven't been quite as successful producing points but they remain the 16th-ranked offense in Division 4, scoring an average of 33.6 points per game. Their defense ranks 39th in their division giving up an average of 20.9 points per game, but they've been improving with each game - over the last 2 weeks, they've allowed an average of 12 points.
For Licking Valley, Saturday is a chance to expand on a 14-game winning streak after their 25-24 win against the Poland Seminary Bulldogs brought their record to 14-0. The Panthers rank 8th in Division 4 on offense, scoring an average of 36.4. However, over the last 3 weeks, their average is down to 22.33 points per game. On defense, their last few weeks haven't even done justice to how good they've been all season. They've given up 15 points per game over their last 2, down from their average of 11, which ranks 3rd in their division on the season.
Prediction: Clyde to win (97.54% chance of victory)