West Branch @ Salem
Sunday, October 27, 2019
By HighSchoolBall.com Staff

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 Salem Quakers, anything but a playoff bid would be a disappointment. They come into the week projected to finish 6th in the Region 13 playoff standings. For the visiting West Branch Warriors, it's a battle to stay in contention. They are currently expected to finish the season 2-8, which would put them around 26th in Region 9. The Quakers are the favorites on Saturday, projected to win the game by a score of 27-25. With no true consensus over who's the better team, they'll have to sort all that out on the field. One of the more familiar matchups of week 10, both teams know what to expect. Salem will hope to continue the recent trend, in which they've won 3 of the last 5 matchups. In last year's installment, the Quakers came out on top by a score of 30-20.

West Branch has dropped each of their most recent 2 games and will look to reverse the negative momentum on Saturday. They are currently 2-7 and come off of a 31-24 loss against the Marlington Dukes. While the Warriors offense has not been particularly great, ranked 75th in Division 3 with 20.7 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 29 points over their last 2 contests. On the opposite side of the ball, they rank 72nd in the division, allowing 26.3 points per game.

Salem is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 2-game winning streak, including last week's 32-18 win against the Kenmore-Garfield Golden Rams. That brings their record to 7-2 as they look to add another notch to the win column. While the Quakers 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 37, up from their season average of 26.4, which ranks 49th in Division 4. Defensively, they'll look to show more signs of improvement after giving up 15.5 points on average in their last 2 games, improved from a On defense, they'll also be looking for improvement, which they have shown signs of in recent weeks. Over their last 2 games, they've allowed an average of 15.5 points, an improvement over their 33rd-ranked 19 points allowed per game on the year.

Prediction: Salem to win (97.33% chance of victory) 

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