The Johnstown-Monroe Johnies enter the Division 5 state championship projected to win by a score of 36-24. The only problem is that another team that has been equally successful is looking to lay claim to the same prize. Despite what any numbers say, and surely despite what any spectators say, the Orrville Red Riders believe they can beat the Johnies and come out as the undisputed best team in their division. However, this will be a major challenge because, as in any state championship, they're going up against the best talent the division has to offer. The playoffs are an interesting time of year as 7 teams fulfill their most ambitious goal in winning a state championship while the other 217 playoff teams will end their season with a loss. This matchup is no different as the winner will continue their playoff run while the loser will end its 2018 season with a loss. Johnstown-Monroe comes in as Division 5's 2nd-ranked team. Orrville comes in ranked 27th. A new game on the schedule for both teams, it should shape out as an unpredictable affair. Strategically, this might lead to complications that could throw off the gameplan of either team.
Looking to build upon their 10-game winning streak, Johnstown-Monroe comes into the week at 13-1. After their 32-14 win against the Wheelersburg Pirates, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. The Johnies offense is the 19th-ranked offense in Division 5, scoring an average of 35 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 4 games, however, they've cooled off, averaging 31.75 points per game. While their defense has given up more points than usual in recent weeks, they deserve every bit as much of the credit for this season's successes as the offense. Over the course of the season, they've given up an average of 10.5 points per game, which ranks 3rd in their division.
Orrville is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 6-game winning streak, including last week's 38-7 win against the Liberty Center Tigers. That brings their record to 12-2 as they look to add another notch to the win column. The Red Riders score an average of 44.1 points per game, which ranks 10th in the state offensively. In recent weeks, they've scored at an even more impressive rate, an average of 44.5 points over their last 4 games. Their defense gives up an average of 20.6 points per game, which ranks 35th in their division - in their last 2 games, they've improved, giving up an average of 13 points.
Prediction: Johnstown-Monroe to win (98.27% chance of victory)