Typically, the first round consists largely of vastly superior teams beating up on other teams in their region that just so happened to get in with enough playoff points. This likely will not be one of those matchups as the Springfield Wildcats head into Friday projected to beat the Fairmont Firebirds by a score of 28-23. It's do or die for each team as always in the postseason. Regardless of the outcome, each team can take comfort in the fact that they had a successful enough season to get here, but only one team will be satisfied with the result as the other's season will end on a loss. Fairmont comes in as Division 1's 37th-ranked team. Springfield comes in ranked 34th. A rematch from earlier in the season, look for this to be one of the more emotional battles of the week. In the regular season, the Firebirds won 14-7 so the Wildcats will be looking for revenge. Last season, they played as well, the Firebirds beating the Wildcats 7-3.
After their 14-7 win against the Springfield Wildcats last week, Fairmont is 7-3 and looks to finish the season strong. The Firebirds have struggled on offense, scoring only 7 points per game over their last 2 games. On the year, they rank 33rd in Division 1, scoring an average of 25.6 points per game over the course of the season. On defense, they haven't been any better statistically, ranking 22nd in their division, allowing 16.7 points per game.
Coming off of a 14-7 loss against the Fairmont Firebirds, Springfield, hopes to build some momentum and rebound strongly with a win. Particularly in recent weeks, the Wildcats offense has struggled to put points on the board. In their last 4 games, they've put up an average of 17 points per game. Throughout the course of the season, they've averaged 23.1, which ranks 43rd in Division 1. Defensively, they haven't been the strongest either in terms of points allowed. They give up 13 points per game, ranking 6th in their division.
Prediction: Springfield to win (84.39% chance of victory)