The Mansfield Senior Tygers come into the opening round of the playoffs projected to get a victory over the Bay Rockets by a score of 31-17. However, anything can happen in the playoffs so you can throw mathematical predictions out the window. 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 2019 season with a loss. The Rockets, one of the top teams in Division 3, come into the game ranked 34th. The Tygers come in ranked 20th. 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. Usually, matchups from the previous year are used in developing a strategy for upcoming games. For these two, no such opportunity will be afforded.
Bay comes off of a 23-21 loss against the Revere Minutemen and will look to rebound this week as they hope to finish out the season strong. While the Rockets offense has not been particularly great, ranked 48th in Division 3 with 27.8 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 38.75 points over their last 4 contests. On defense, they'll also be looking for improvement, which they have shown signs of in recent weeks. Over their last 4 games, they've allowed an average of 13 points, an improvement over their 34th-ranked season average of 17.8.
Mansfield Senior will look to continue the momentum of their 2-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 49-7 win against the Madison Rams last week, bringing their record to 9-1. Scoring an average of 33.7 points per game on offense, the Tygers rank 23rd in Division 3. They've been even more dominant in recent weeks, scoring an average of 41.5 over their last 2 games. While recent games have affected averages negatively, their defense is one of the best as well. They rank 7th in their division, giving up an average of 9.1 points per game.
Prediction: Mansfield Senior to win (89.90% chance of victory)