As the end of the season draws near, playoffs are the only thing on any team's mind that still stands a reasonable chance. On Friday, two of these teams meet - the McComb Panthers and the Liberty-Benton Eagles. The Panthers come into the game projected to enter the playoffs as Region 26's 1st best team at 9-1. The Eagles come into the game projected to finish 8-2 as Region 18's 6th best team. McComb will enter the game as a 5-point favorite, projected to win the game 30-25. The better team on paper, the Panthers come into the game ranked 30th in the state and 2nd in Division 7. The Eagles come in ranked 234th in the state and 29th in Division 5. Fans on both sides head into Friday expecting the win but only one of the two can come out on top. One of the more familiar matchups of week 10, both teams know what to expect. McComb will hope to continue the recent trend, in which they've won 3 of the last 5 matchups. In the most recent season's matchup, the Panthers proved superior, winning 43-19.
Last week, McComb dropped a game 29-25 against the Leipsic Vikings. They'll look to get in the win column this week as they hope to finish out the season on a positive note. The Panthers have boasted one of Division 7's best offenses all season, averaging 43 points per game, which ranks 1st. In their last 4 games, they've been even better, scoring 47.75 points per game. On defense, their last few weeks haven't even done justice to how good they've been all season. They've given up 18 points per game over their last 2, down from their average of 12.7, which ranks 11th in their division on the season.
Liberty-Benton will look to continue the momentum of their 7-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 56-0 win against the North Baltimore Tigers last week, bringing their record to 8-1. Scoring an average of 36 points per game on offense, the Eagles rank 18th in Division 5. They've been even more dominant in recent weeks, scoring an average of 43 over their last 3 games. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 12.3 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 8th in their division. Over the last 5 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 5.6 points per game.
Prediction: McComb to win (97.53% chance of victory)