The first two rounds of the playoffs are where most of the more lopsided matchups happen in the postseason. Saturday's matchup between the Euclid Panthers and the St. Edward Eagles is one of those matchups, the Eagles projected to advance to the second round with a 43-15 victory. The playoffs are the best time of the year but also come with a great deal of drama as many powerhouses will even see their seasons cut short. Each week, it's do or die and, after this week is complete, half of the current playoff teams will be eliminated. The Panthers rank 15th in the division while the Eagles rank 2nd. There is a certain degree of familiarity between the two teams after they faced off last season. Last year, the Eagles got the better of the Panthers, winning by a score of 56-35.
Looking to build upon their 2-game winning streak, Euclid comes into the week at 9-2. After their 28-19 win against the Jackson Polar Bears, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. The Panthers offense is the 6th-ranked offense in Division 1, scoring an average of 35.1 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 3 games, however, they've cooled off, averaging 20 points per game. Their defense ranks 48th in their division giving up an average of 26.4 points per game, but they've been improving with each game - over the last 2 weeks, they've allowed an average of 16.5 points.
For St. Edward, Saturday is a chance to expand on a 10-game winning streak after their 73-38 win against the Medina Bees brought their record to 10-1. The Eagles offense is one of the most high-powered in their division, particularly in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 2nd in Division 1 with 38.7 points per game. Over the last 2 weeks, they've scored an average of 38.7. On defense, they rank 26th in their division, giving up an average of 19.4 points per game.
Prediction: St. Edward to win (99.78% chance of victory)