West Branch @ Girard
Monday, September 2, 2019
By HighSchoolBall.com Staff

On Friday, the Girard Indians are looking forward to a game which they should theoretically control. As a projected 40-23 winner, the pressure is on them to come out swinging against the West Branch Warriors, a team that's not expected to simply roll over. The Indians rank 49th in the state while the Warriors rank 368th in the state and 74th in Division 3. The Indians, the better team on paper, will look to prove their superiority on the field come Friday. 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.

West Branch is towards the bottom of the pack in terms of playoff probability, but it's extremely early in the season to make any definitive conclusions. With a win this week, the Warriors hope to turn the tables and prove themselves capable of surpassing their projected record for the season of 4-6. After a season-opening 24-14 loss against the Woodridge Bulldogs, they'll look to make improvements on both sides of the ball as the season goes on.

Girard comes into the season looking to expand upon last year's trip to the State Championship. After going 13-2 last season, they are projected to go 7-3 in 2019, expected to finish 6th in the regional playoff standings. The Indians come off of one of the biggest blowouts of week 1, a 60-0 win against the East Palestine Bulldogs. In that first week, they were the 7th highest scoring team and, on defense, gave up the 1st least points.

Prediction: Girard to win (99.84% chance of victory) 

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