The Big Walnut Eagles have a tough game on the schedule for week 4, heading into Friday as a 1-point favorite over the Olentangy Orange Pioneers. Projected as one of the closest matchups of the week, it's definitely one to keep an eye on. With no true consensus over who's the better team, they'll have to sort all that out on the field. The teams are no strangers to one another, playing against each other in each of the last five years. Over their last 5 matchups, the Pioneers have been superior, coming out on top in 4 of them. However, the past won't matter come kickoff. In last year's installment, the Pioneers came out on top by a score of 35-7.
Olentangy Orange comes off of a 38-17 loss against the Pickerington North Panthers, which brought their record to 2-1. They are projected to finish the season 13th in the region with a record of 4-6 - they'll need to do better than that to secure a spot in the postseason. They could use some improvement on both sides of the ball - on offense, they rank 54th in Division 1 with 16.7 points per game; on defense, they give up 19.3 points per game, which ranks 30th.
Big Walnut comes into the week projected to finish the season as the region's 11th-ranked team in terms of playoff points. Last week, their 21-14 win against the Shelby Whippets brought them to 2-1. A home win this week could give them a better chance of avoiding the same fate as last year, when they were left on the outside looking in come postseason. The Eagles aren't particularly dominant on either side of the ball. On offense, they rank 50th in Division 2 with 25.3 points per game. Their defense, which gives up 18.3 points per game, ranks 37th in their division.
Prediction: Big Walnut to win (73.56% chance of victory)