The first round is often the part of the playoffs where we find out who truly deserves to be there, chasing after a state title. This week, the Southern Indians will have to prove they belong here, coming in as 38-point underdogs against the Trimble Tomcats. 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. The Indians, one of the top teams in Division 6, come into the game ranked 32nd. The Tomcats come in ranked 2nd. A new matchup on the schedule for each team, Saturday's game is a chance for each to test its skills and strategies against an unfamiliar opponent. Stylistically and schematically, past matchups are often used as a guiding tool. This week, however, each team will likely take time to adjust to an unfamiliar opponent, which should make for some added excitement.
Southern comes into the game on a 10-game winning streak. After last week's 50-7 win against the Leetonia Bears, they are 10-0 and look to continue the positive momentum. The Indians boasts one of the most high-powered offenses in the state and has been even stronger in their most recent contests. Scoring an average of 45.4 points per game, their offense ranks 15th in the state. Over their last 3 games, they've been even more impressive, scoring an average of 57.67 points per game. While their offense is extremely productive, the defense is what allows them to win games by such substantial margins. Giving up just 8.3 points per game, they rank 15th in the state. In their last 4 games, they've been even more stout, giving up an average of 1.75 points.
Trimble is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 10-game winning streak, including last week's 79-0 win against the Wahama White Falcons. That brings their record to 10-0 as they look to add another notch to the win column. Thus far, the Tomcats offense has averaged 44.9 points per game offensively, which ranks 18th in the state. In recent weeks, they've been even more powerful, scoring an average of 77.5 points per game over the last 2 weeks. On defense, they're also one of the state's best, giving up an average of 0.6 points per game, which ranks 1st in the state. Over the last 2, they've allowed an even more impressive 0 points per game.
Prediction: Trimble to win (99.97% chance of victory)