Friday's matchup between the Nordonia Knights and the North Royalton Bears takes place between two teams that most likely will not make the playoffs. The Knights come into the week projected to finish 10th in the Region 5 playoff standings. The Bears are projected to finish 16th in Region 6. Nordonia comes in as a 19-point favorite as each team fights to close out the regular season strong. The better team on paper, the Knights come into the game ranked 98th in the state and 23rd in Division 2. The Bears come in ranked 331st in the state and 60th in Division 2. The Knights travel to the home field of the Bears expecting a win. However, the Bears will pay little attention to pregame predictions as they look to defend their home field. Having matched up in 2018, there is a degree of familiarity between the two. Last year, the Knights got the better of the Bears, winning by a score of 63-50.
Nordonia hopes to build off of last week's 42-28 win against the Cuyahoga Falls Black Tigers and finish the season strong. While the Knights offense has not been particularly great, ranked 26th in Division 2 with 31.4 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 36 points over their last 2 contests. Defensively, giving up 30.1 points per game, they rank 76th in the division.
North Royalton comes into Friday looking to put a halt to their 3-game losing streak and build some momentum moving forward. Last week's loss came at the hands of the Brecksville Bees, who beat the Bears by a score of 57-31. While the Bears haven't been the most high-powered offense throughout the season, they have been improving week to week. In the last 2 weeks, they've averaged 35.5, up from their season average of 28.1, which ranks 38th in Division 2. On defense, they rank 98th in the division, giving up 38.7 points per game.
Prediction: Nordonia to win (96.76% chance of victory)