As the playoff picture begins to take shape for the Mentor Cardinals and the Strongsville Mustangs, they come up on an important matchup against one another in week 10. The Cardinals are confident that how they finish the season will be enough to bring them to the playoffs - they come into the game projected to finish 1st in the Region 1 playoff standings. For the Mustangs, chances aren't looking quite as good as they're projected to finish 11th in Region 1. The Cardinals will come in as the favorites, projected to win the game 40-20. The Cardinals, one of the better teams statewide, come into the game ranked 4th. On the other hand, the Mustangs come in ranked 135th in the state and 39th in Division 1. One of the bigger road favorites of the week, the Cardinals will look to fulfill expectations and bring home the win. For the Mustangs, this won't be taken lightly as they look to prove themselves capable of defending their home field against one of the tougher opponents on their schedule. The teams have played each other in each of the last five years so neither is likely to surprise the other. Over their last 5 matchups, the Cardinals have won 5, a trend they hope to continue. A rubber match in the rivalry series, this is a chance for each team to settle the score after the Cardinals won the 2018 regular season matchup 45-20 before their postseason got cut short when they lost 38-7 in the rematch.
Mentor comes into the game on a 9-game winning streak. After last week's 45-0 win against the Euclid Panthers, they are 9-0 and look to continue the positive momentum. The Cardinals boasts one of the most high-powered offenses in the state and has been even stronger in their most recent contests. Scoring an average of 45.2 points per game, their offense ranks 17th in the state. Over their last 6 games, they've been even more impressive, scoring an average of 52 points per game. While their offense is solid, the defense deserves equal credit for the season's successes. Their 10.6 points allowed per game ranks 4th in the division and continues to get better week by week - in their last 3 games, they've given up just 2.33 points per game.
Strongsville looks to rebound after a 33-22 loss against the Solon Comets last week, which brought their record to 5-4. The Mustangs offense is one of the most high-powered in their division, particularly in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 25th in Division 1 with 29 points per game. Over the last 2 weeks, they've scored an average of 29. Their defense gives up an average of 27 points per game, ranking 50th in their division.
Prediction: Mentor to win (99.67% chance of victory)