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High School Football Playoff Watch: Week 3 Predictions

High school football playoffs. Week 3. Only four Northeast Ohio teams left in Division I. Eight remain in Division II. It all kicks off tonight at 7:00PM. Here is who we're picking and how to watch:

Division I

(2) Mentor vs. (6) Brunswick

-Time/Location: Friday (10/23), 7:00PM, at Mentor

-Prediction: Mentor, 35-21

-Why: Brunswick is looking strong coming off a big win against Canton McKinley last week, but Mentor is too hot right now. The Cardinals demolished Shaker Heights, 69-13, during week 1 and beat a good Stow-Munroe Falls team by a healthy margin, 31-14, last week. Plus, these two teams already faced off on September 18 and Mentor shut out the Blue Devils 38-0. Look for Mentor's dual-threat QB, Ian Kipp, to have a big night for the Cardinal offense.

-How to watch: You can stream the game here.

(5) Ignatius vs. (8) Medina

-Time/Location: Friday (10/23), 7:00PM, at Byers Field in Parma

-Prediction: Medina, 28-24

-Why: This one will be close, but Medina has all the momentum coming off a stunning upset of #1 seed St. Eds last week. The Bees defense played lights out last week, forcing two consequential turnovers, and will step up again against the Wildcats, whose offense struggled throughout the regular season.

-How to Watch: You can stream the game here.

Division II

(1) Hoban vs. (8) Mayfield

-Time/Location: Friday (10/23), 7:00PM, at Hoban

-Prediction: Hoban, 45-20

-Why: Mayfield has had some big playoff wins. They beat Nordonia 55-31 last week and knocked off Kenmore-Garfield 51-6 in week 1. But Hoban has been on another level all season long. They stomped on St. Eds, 35-0, and beat talented Benedictine and SVSM teams during the regular season. The Knights will be too much for Mayfield to stop.

-How to Watch: You can live stream the game here.

(4) Benedictine vs. (5) Walsh Jesuit

-Time/Location: Friday (10/23), 7:00PM, at Euclid

-Prediction: Benedictine, 24-21

-Why: This one will be a nailbiter. Both teams won by 35-point margins last week (Benedictine beat Willoughby South 35-0; Walsh knocked off Garfield Heights 49-14). Both teams kept it close in the regular season against Hoban. Sophomore running back Duane Jackson will put the Bengals over the top in this one.

-How to Watch: You can stream the game here.

(2) Austintown-Fitch vs. (7) Warren G. Harding

-Time/Location: Friday (10/23), 7:00PM, at Austintown-Fitch

-Prediction: Harding, 42-35

-Why: Both teams have dominated in the playoffs, thus far. Fitch beat Twinsburg 35-0 last week, and Harding has outscored its playoff opponents 80-6 in the first two weeks. Ultimately, Harding will avenge its midseason loss to the Falcons (Fitch won 25-21 on Sept. 18) and snap the Falcons' undefeated season. Look for Harding's high-flying offense to put up big numbers in this shootout.

(3) Hudson vs. (6) Riverside

-Time/Location: Friday (10/23), 7:00PM, at Hudson

-Prediction: Hudson, 38-28

-Why: This might be our game of the week. Both of these teams have been fantastic all season long. Riverside is 6-1 on the season. Hudson is undefeated at 7-0. But Hudson's offense will be the difference maker. The Explorers have outscored opponents 334 to 140 this season. If Hudson running back Aiden Lal can keep playing like he has all season, the Explorers will be a lock to move on to the next round.

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