The Paulding Panthers and the Crestview Knights meet on Friday for what could be an important matchup - while both currently have less than a 50% chance of making the playoffs, every win counts at the end of the season. The Panthers are expected to finish 4-6, good for 23rd in Region 18. The Knights are projected to finish 10th in Region 26 at 5-5. Crestview will be the favorite, projected to come out on top by a score of 45-19. The Panthers will have a chance to move up in the rankings this week - coming into the game ranked 84th in Division 5, they take on one of Division 7's best as the Knights come in ranked 11th in that division. Crestview, who should theoretically control the game on Friday, look forward to proving they are the better team. The teams have played each other in each of the last five years so neither is likely to surprise the other. Over their last 5 matchups, the Knights have won 5, a trend they hope to continue. In 2018's matchup, the Knights came away with a 50-8 victory.
Paulding hopes to build off of last week's 70-40 win against the Ada Bulldogs and finish the season strong. The Panthers offense will look to continue to improve as they've scored an average of 45.5 points per game over their last 2 games, up from their season average of 28.8, which ranks 45th in Division 5. On defense, they rank 84th in the division, giving up 32.4 points per game.
Crestview looks to rebound after a 20-14 loss against the Allen East Mustangs last week, which brought their record to 4-5. The Knights offense is one of the most high-powered in their division, particularly in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 21st in Division 7 with 31 points per game. Over the last 2 weeks, they've scored an average of 31. Their defense gives up an average of 24 points per game, which ranks 48th in their division - in their last 2 games, they've improved, giving up an average of 16 points.
Prediction: Crestview to win (99.94% chance of victory)