In the second round of the playoffs, there are usually a few games in each division that serve as a preview to the rest of the excitement we'll see as we approach the state championships. This week's matchup between the Shadyside Tigers and the Paint Valley Bearcats looks to be one of those games as the Bearcats comes into the game as 1-point favorites in what essentially amounts to a toss-up. The playoffs are an interesting time of year as 7 teams fulfill their most ambitious goal in winning a state championship while the other 217 playoff teams will end their season with a loss. This matchup is no different as the winner will continue their playoff run while the loser will end its 2018 season with a loss. Shadyside comes in as Division 6's 15th-ranked team. Paint Valley comes in ranked 22nd. 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.
Shadyside hopes to build off of last week's 34-6 win against the Adena Warriors and finish the season strong. The Tigers offense is the 18th-ranked offense in Division 6, scoring an average of 35.8 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 2 games, however, they've cooled off, averaging 23.5 points per game. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 11 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 8th in their division. Over the last 5 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 8.6 points per game.
Paint Valley is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 11-game winning streak, including last week's 39-36 win against the Grandview Heights Bobcats. That brings their record to 11-0 as they look to add another notch to the win column. In recent weeks, the Bearcats haven't been quite as explosive on offense but they remain the 15th-ranked offense in Division 6, scoring an average of 36.5 points per game. On defense, their last few weeks haven't even done justice to how good they've been all season. They've given up 20 points per game over their last 4, down from their average of 13, which ranks 12th in their division on the season.
Prediction: Paint Valley to win (68.36% chance of victory)