The Mentor Cardinals are looking to mount a deep playoff run, which they hope will end in a state championship, beginning with a game they're projected to win 39-17 over the Cleveland Heights Tigers. The playoffs are the best time of the year but also come with a great deal of drama as many powerhouses will even see their seasons cut short. Each week, it's do or die and, after this week is complete, half of the current playoff teams will be eliminated. The Tigers rank 19th in the division while the Cardinals rank 2nd. 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 9-game winning streak, Cleveland Heights comes into the week at 9-1. After their 21-12 win against the Maple Heights Mustangs, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. The Tigers have boasted one of Division 1's best offenses all season, averaging 34.6 points per game, which ranks 10th. In their last 3 games, they've been even better, scoring 43 points per game. Nevertheless, the defense could actually be the true strength of the team, which they've shown in their most recent contests. Over the last 4 games, they've allowed only 8 points per game. However, success on defense isn't just a recent trend - on the season, their defense ranks 15th in their division, allowing 14 points per game.
For Mentor, Saturday is a chance to expand on a 10-game winning streak after their 56-21 win against the Strongsville Mustangs brought their record to 10-0. The Cardinals score an average of 46.3 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 52.57 points over their last 7 games. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 11.6 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 5th in their division. Over the last 7 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 6 points per game.
Prediction: Mentor to win (99.86% chance of victory)