One of the most highly anticipated matchups of the first round comes between the Moeller Crusaders and the Elder Panthers, the Crusaders projected to win by a score of 25-21. 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. Moeller comes in as Division 1's 26th-ranked team. Elder comes in ranked 21st. This is a chance for the Panthers to avenge a loss from earlier on in the regular season, when the Crusaders beat them 24-21. Last season, they played as well, the Panthers beating the Crusaders 42-14.
Moeller comes into the game on a 3-game losing streak, which they hope to put to an end on Friday. Their 21-17 loss against the Winton Woods Warriors last week brings their record to 6-4. Particularly in recent weeks, the Crusaders offense has struggled to put points on the board. In their last 3 games, they've put up an average of 15.33 points per game. Throughout the course of the season, they've averaged 20.4, which ranks 48th in Division 1. On defense, they haven't been any better statistically, ranking 25th in their division, allowing 16.9 points per game.
For Elder, Friday is a chance to expand on a 2-game winning streak after their 13-10 win against the La Salle Lancers brought their record to 6-4. The Panthers rank 24th in Division 1 on offense, scoring an average of 27.1. However, over the last 4 weeks, their average is down to 23 points per game. Their defense gives up an average of 19.5 points per game, which ranks 36th in their division - in their last 2 games, they've improved, giving up an average of 8.5 points.
Prediction: Moeller to win (82.65% chance of victory)