In the second round of the playoffs, the Cuyahoga Heights Redskins come in with an edge over the East Canton Hornets on paper, projected to win by a score of 39-15. 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 2018 season with a loss. East Canton comes in as Division 7's 21st-ranked team. Cuyahoga Heights comes in ranked 3rd. Having matched up in 2017, there is a degree of familiarity between the two. Last season, the Redskins beat the Hornets 46-14.
East Canton is currently on a 3-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Sunday. Coming off of a 53-13 win against the St. John Fighting Herald, they are 8-3 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. While the Hornets offense has not been particularly great, ranked 28th in Division 7 with 29.9 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 45.5 points over their last 2 contests. Their defense hasn't been much better throughout the course of the season, ranking 11th with an average of 13.5 points allowed per game. In recent weeks, they have improved, giving up an average of 12.33 points over their last 3 games.
For Cuyahoga Heights, Sunday is a chance to expand on a 5-game winning streak after their 42-13 win against the Tuscarawas Central Catholic Saints brought their record to 9-2. The Redskins are undeniably one of Division 7's best offenses, averaging 32.1 points per game, which ranks 20th. In their last 5 games, they've been even better, scoring 37.4 points per game. Nevertheless, the defense could actually be the true strength of the team, which they've shown in their most recent contests. Over the last 4 games, they've allowed only 6.25 points per game. However, success on defense isn't just a recent trend - on the season, their defense ranks 25th in their division, allowing 19.3 points per game.
Prediction: Cuyahoga Heights to win (99.89% chance of victory)