As we reach the end of the season, teams that still have reasonable chances are jockeying for playoff positioning. For the home team in this matchup, the Olentangy Braves, anything but a playoff bid would be a disappointment. They come into the week projected to finish 4th in the Region 7 playoff standings. For the visiting Olentangy Orange Pioneers, it's a battle to stay in contention. They are currently expected to finish the season 5-5, which would put them around 11th in Region 3. The Braves are the favorites on Friday, projected to win the game by a score of 35-17. Olentangy looks to be the superior team on paper, coming into the game ranked 74th in the state while the Pioneers rank 115th in the state and 36th in Division 1. For Olentangy Orange, this is a chance to prove themselves legitimate by coming out on top against a solid opponent. For Olentangy, this week is simply about doing what's expected of them. 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 Braves have won 3, a trend they hope to continue. In the most recent season's matchup, the Braves proved superior, winning 35-34.
Olentangy Orange is currently on a 3-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Friday. Coming off of a 30-7 win against the Westerville North Warriors, they are 5-1 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. Their defense has been one of the best in Division 1, ranking 5th with 11.3 points allowed per game. On offense, they rank 33rd, scoring an average of 27.7 points per game.
Olentangy will look to continue the momentum of their 2-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 23-20 win against the Westerville South Wildcats last week, bringing their record to 4-2. Neither side of the ball has been particularly strong for the Braves. Their offense scores an average of 27 points per game and their defense allows an average of 22.7 points per game, ranking 44th and 47th in Division 2 respectively.
Prediction: Olentangy to win (86.91% chance of victory)