This week's matchup between the St. Clairsville Red Devils and the Bloom-Carroll Bulldogs should be one of the more competitive of the second round, the Red Devils entering the week projected to win by a score of 30-26. It's do or die for each team as always in the postseason. Regardless of the outcome, each team can take comfort in the fact that they had a successful enough season to get here, but only one team will be satisfied with the result as the other's season will end on a loss. The Bulldogs rank 16th in the division while the Red Devils rank 12th. The teams did not appear on each other's schedules last season, which presents a degree of unpredictability. Stylistically and schematically, past matchups are often used as a guiding tool. This week, however, each team will likely take time to adjust to an unfamiliar opponent, which should make for some added excitement.
Looking to build upon their 3-game winning streak, Bloom-Carroll comes into the week at 9-2. After their 38-7 win against the Unioto Sherman Tanks, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. The Bulldogs have boasted one of Division 4's best offenses all season, averaging 34.3 points per game, which ranks 22nd. In their last 3 games, they've been even better, scoring 41.33 points per game. Their defense ranks 33rd in their division allowing an average of 19.5 points per game, but they have shown improvement in recent weeks - in their last 2 games, they've given up an average of 7 points.
St. Clairsville is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 11-game winning streak, including last week's 34-6 win against the Fairland Dragons. That brings their record to 11-0 as they look to add another notch to the win column. The Red Devils offense is the 17th-ranked offense in Division 4, scoring an average of 36.1 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 7 games, however, they haven't been quite as explosive as they've averaged 34.57 points per game. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 13 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 11th in their division. Over the last 2 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 3 points per game.
Prediction: St. Clairsville to win (93.26% chance of victory)