The Jackson Ironmen are looking to mount a deep playoff run, which they hope will end in a state championship, beginning with a game they're projected to win 45-18 over the Centennial Stars. 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 Stars rank 46th in the division while the Ironmen rank 12th. The teams did not appear on each other's schedules last season, which presents a degree of unpredictability. Usually, matchups from the previous year are used in developing a strategy for upcoming games. For these two, no such opportunity will be afforded.
Looking to build upon their 9-game winning streak, Centennial comes into the week at 9-1. After their 55-7 win against the Whetstone Braves, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. The Stars have boasted one of Division 3's best offenses all season, averaging 43.1 points per game, which ranks 2nd. In their last 4 games, they've been even better, scoring 49.75 points per game. While their offense is solid, the defense deserves equal credit for the season's successes. Their 8.3 points allowed per game ranks 3rd in the division and continues to get better week by week - in their last 3 games, they've given up just 4.67 points per game.
For Jackson, Saturday is a chance to expand on a 10-game winning streak after their 49-2 win against the Chillicothe Cavaliers brought their record to 10-0. Scoring an average of 40.5 points per game on offense, the Ironmen rank 6th in Division 3. They've been even more dominant in recent weeks, scoring an average of 46.4 over their last 5 games. Nevertheless, the defense could actually be the true strength of the team, which they've shown in their most recent contests. Over the last 2 games, they've allowed only 2.5 points per game. However, success on defense isn't just a recent trend - on the season, their defense ranks 11th in their division, allowing 10.9 points per game.
Prediction: Jackson to win (99.14% chance of victory)