The regional finals offer some of the best matchups as teams in close proximity look to claim superiority over their area in the division. On Saturday, the Colerain Cardinals come in projected to beat the Elder Panthers by a score of 28-21. It's do or die for each team as always in the postseason. Regardless of the outcome, each team can take comfort in the fact that they had a successful enough season to get here, but only one team will be satisfied with the result as the other's season will end on a loss. The Cardinals rank 1st in the division while the Panthers rank 7th. A rematch from their game last season, this matchup will be a good gauge on how each team has improved or regressed. Last season, the Cardinals beat the Panthers 42-0.
Colerain comes into the game on a 10-game winning streak. After last week's 28-7 win against the Fairfield Indians, they are 11-1 and look to continue the positive momentum. The Cardinals offense hasn't been particularly great this season in terms of point production, a trend which continues into recent weeks. Over their last 3 games, they've scored an average of 24.67 points - this season they've averaged 28, which ranks 28th in Division 1. On defense, they're not much better statistically. They rank 6th in their division, allowing 12.2 points per game. However, they have improved as the season's gone on, giving up an average of 6.75 points over their last 4.
Elder is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 2-game winning streak, including last week's 28-24 win against the St. Xavier Bombers. That brings their record to 10-2 as they look to add another notch to the win column. The Panthers rank 3rd in Division 1 on offense, scoring an average of 37.8. However, over the last 4 weeks, their average is down to 31.5 points per game. Their defense ranks 45th in their division giving up an average of 24.9 points per game, but they've been improving with each game - over the last 2 weeks, they've allowed an average of 20.5 points.
Prediction: Colerain to win (93.96% chance of victory)