This week's matchup between the Dublin Coffman Shamrocks and the Westerville Central Warhawks should be one of the more competitive of the first round, the Shamrocks entering the week projected to win by a score of 27-20. 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 Warhawks rank 40th in the division while the Shamrocks rank 10th. A new matchup on the schedule for each team, Friday'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.
Westerville Central comes off of a 42-21 loss against the Olentangy Braves and will look to rebound this week as they hope to finish out the season strong. The Warhawks have struggled on offense, scoring only 21.14 points per game over their last 7 games. On the year, they rank 28th in Division 1, scoring an average of 26.7 points per game over the course of the season. Defensively, giving up 21.7 points per game, they rank 45th in the division.
Dublin Coffman is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 2-game winning streak, including last week's 17-0 win against the Upper Arlington Golden Bears. That brings their record to 9-1 as they look to add another notch to the win column. In recent weeks, the Shamrocks haven't been quite as explosive on offense but they remain the 16th-ranked offense in Division 1, scoring an average of 30.3 points per game. While their offense is solid, the defense deserves equal credit for the season's successes. Their 16 points allowed per game ranks 18th in the division and continues to get better week by week - in their last 2 games, they've given up just 3 points per game.
Prediction: Dublin Coffman to win (99.50% chance of victory)