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 Independence Blue Devils and the Cuyahoga Heights Redskins. The Blue Devils come into the game projected to enter the playoffs as Region 25's 4th best team at 7-3. The Redskins come into the game projected to finish 8-1 as Region 25's 1st best team. Cuyahoga Heights will enter the game as a 17-point favorite, projected to win the game 33-16. Cuyahoga Heights enters the game as the 3rd-ranked team in Division 7, which makes this a key matchup in the division as Independence comes in ranked 20th. The Redskins will look to get the crowd involved in a home game they're expected to win. On the other hand, the Blue Devils hope to silence the crowd and come away with the road upset. The teams are no strangers to one another, playing against each other in each of the last five years. Over their last 5 matchups, the Redskins have been superior, coming out on top in 5 of them. However, the past won't matter come kickoff. In 2018's matchup, the Redskins came away with a 31-12 victory.
Looking to build upon their 4-game winning streak, Independence comes into the week at 7-2. After their 42-24 win against the Trinity Trojans, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. The Blue Devils offense has been one of the best in the division, especially in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 17th in Division 7 with 32.6 points per game. Over the last 2 weeks, they've scored an average of 32.6. Their defense ranks 36th in their division giving up an average of 21.6 points per game, but they've been improving with each game - over the last 4 weeks, they've allowed an average of 13 points.
For Cuyahoga Heights, Friday is a chance to expand on a 5-game winning streak after their 34-0 win against the Lutheran West Longhorns brought their record to 7-1. The Redskins offense is one of the most high-powered in their division, particularly in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 11th in Division 7 with 36.2 points per game. Over the last 2 weeks, they've scored an average of 36.2. While their offense is solid, the defense deserves equal credit for the season's successes. Their 7.5 points allowed per game ranks 2nd in the division and continues to get better week by week - in their last 2 games, they've given up just 4 points per game.
Prediction: Cuyahoga Heights to win (99.92% chance of victory)