High School Football Playoff Watch: Week 4 Predictions
After a perfect six for six record on our picks last week, we are ready to pick our favorites for Round 4 of the high school football playoffs, which kick off on Friday at 7:00PM. Last week, we saw two major upsets—Medina over St. Ignatius and Harding over Austintown-Fitch—and a string of weather delays that postponed games. This weekend, we have more cold rain in store and a couple more upset predictions to watch out for. Here's who we're picking to advance to Week 5:
(2) Mentor vs. (8) Medina
-Time/Location: Friday (10/30/20), 7:00PM, at Mentor
-Prediction: Medina, 38-35
-Why: Upset Alert. Mentor has been impressive this postseason, knocking off Shaker Heights, Stow-Munroe Falls, and Brunswick. But Medina is too hot to stop right now. Last week, they shocked St. Ignatius. The week prior, they stunned St. Ed's. This week's game will be a nail-biter, but ultimately, the Bees' Allar-Hensley duo will be too much for the Cardinals. Medina quarterback Drew Allar has been killing it in recent weeks. Last week, against Ignatius, he threw for 488 yards and four touchdowns. Against St. Ed's, he threw for 262 yards and three touchdowns. Luke Hensley, Allar's go-to target, has also been rolling with five touchdowns in the past two weeks. If this fun-to-watch duo can keep putting up points, we think the Bees avenge their season-opening loss to the Cards and pull off the W on the road.
-How to watch: You can watch the game live on Spectrum News 1.
(1) Hoban vs. (4) Benedictine
-Time/Location: Friday (10/30/20), 7:00PM, at Archbishop Hoban
-Prediction: Hoban, 35-21
-Why: The Bengals are talented, but the Knights is unstoppable. Undefeated on the season, Hoban outscored its opponents 105 to 0 in its first two playoff matchups. Led by defensive end Darryl Peterson, who had two sacks last week against Mayfield, the Hoban defense is shutting down offenses. On the other side of the ball, quarterback Shane Hamm is looking impeccable. Last week, Hamm threw for four touchdowns and 175 yards, while completing 9-of-10 passes. He also put up another 106 yards and TD on the ground. Look for Hoban to continue its dominance and beat Benedictine again (Hoban won 31-24 on a September 11 matchup between the two teams).
-How to watch: You can stream the game here.
(3) Hudson vs. (7) Harding
-Time/Location: Friday (10/30/20), 7:00PM, at Hudson
-Prediction: Hudson, 28-21
-Why: Coming off an incredible overtime win against Riverside last week, Hudson will keep the postseason magic alive against Harding at home. Expect quarterback Jacob Paltani—who threw for two touchdowns on 201 passing yards and ran for another 55 yards—and Aiden Lal—who scored the game-winner last week—to be the difference makers again this week.
(1) Avon vs. (5) Brecksville-Broadview Heights
-Time/Location: Friday (10/30/20), 7:00PM, at Avon
-Prediction: Avon, 40-30
-Why: These are two great football teams. Avon is 8-0. Brecksville-Broadview Heights is 7-1. Both teams won by three scores last week: Avon beat Highland 35-14 and Brecksville-Broadview Heights beat Barberton 55-30. Both teams have high-powered offenses. This will be a close one, but we give the edge to Avon. With their dominant offensive line and running back, Devon Hunter, who put up 124 rushing yards and three touchdowns last week, the Eagles will pull out the W at home.
(2) Toledo Central Catholic vs. (3) Avon Lake
-Time/Location: Friday (10/30/20), 7:00PM, at Central Catholic
-Prediction: Avon Lake, 42-35
-Why: In its first two playoff games, Central Catholic outscored its opponents 98-6. Can an offense like that be stopped? We think so. The Shoremen defense has played lights out all season long. Avon Lake's D not only knows how to create turnovers, but also how to convert those turnovers into points. In Week 2 of the playoffs, against Wadsworth, linebacker Nathan Cikalo returned an interception for a touchdown. He had another pick six against Midview earlier in the season. The week prior to that, against Berea-Midpark, Kadyn Viancourt and Lewis Miller both scored off turnovers. We think the Avon Lake defense keeps up the trend and slows Central Catholic enough to squeeze out the W on the road.