The Pickerington Central Tigers come into the regional finals projected to get a victory over the Groveport-Madison Cruisers by a score of 31-16. However, anything can happen in the playoffs so you can throw mathematical predictions out the window. 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. Pickerington Central comes in as Division 1's 4th-ranked team. Groveport-Madison comes in ranked 34th. A rematch from earlier in the season, look for this to be one of the more emotional battles of the week. In the regular season, the Cruisers won 19-14 so the Tigers will be looking for revenge. They also played last season, a matchup in which the Tigers got the better of the Cruisers, winning by a score of 33-0.
Pickerington Central is currently on a 8-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Saturday. Coming off of a 44-0 win against the Olentangy Orange Pioneers, they are 11-1 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. The Tigers offense has been one of the best in the division, especially in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 14th in Division 1 with 32.5 points per game. Over the last 4 weeks, they've scored an average of 32.5. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 13.2 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 10th in their division. Over the last 3 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 6.67 points per game.
For Groveport-Madison, Saturday is a chance to expand on a 2-game winning streak after their 13-7 win against the Olentangy Liberty Patriots brought their record to 10-2. The Cruisers rank 15th in Division 1 on offense, scoring an average of 32.2. However, over the last 3 weeks, their average is down to 12.67 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 10.1 points per game, which ranks 2nd in their division.
Prediction: Pickerington Central to win (99.18% chance of victory)