The St. Thomas Aquinas Knights enter the second week of the playoffs against the Lucas Cubs in a game they're projected to win by a score of 31-15. 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 Knights, one of the top teams in Division 7, come into the game ranked 16th. The Cubs come in ranked 12th. A new matchup on the schedule for each team, Sunday'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.
St. Thomas Aquinas is 7-3 after their 35-0 win against the Toronto Red Knights last week. This week, they look to build on that victory on the way to what they hope will be a strong finish to the season. While the Knights haven't been the most high-powered offense throughout the season, they have been improving week to week. In the last 4 weeks, they've averaged 32.75, up from their season average of 28.5, which ranks 28th in Division 7. Their defense hasn't been much better throughout the course of the season, ranking 9th with an average of 14.3 points allowed per game. In recent weeks, they have improved, giving up an average of 5.67 points over their last 3 games.
After a 21-20 win against the McDonald Blue Devils brought their record to 9-2, Lucas will be looking to carry that momentum over and earn another victory. The Cubs offense is the 15th-ranked offense in Division 7, scoring an average of 32.4 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 2 games, however, they haven't been quite as explosive as they've averaged 14 points per game. While their defense has given up more points than usual in recent weeks, they deserve every bit as much of the credit for this season's successes as the offense. Over the course of the season, they've given up an average of 11.3 points per game, which ranks 6th in their division.
Prediction: St. Thomas Aquinas to win (93.85% chance of victory)