In the first matchup of the 2018 playoffs, the Mason will play at home against the Lakota East Thunderhawks in what looks to be one of the most competitive matchups of the season. The Comets come into the game as 2-point favorites, projected to come away with the victory by a score of 24-22. 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 Thunderhawks, one of the top teams in Division 1, come into the game ranked 30th. The Comets come in ranked 15th. Having matched up in 2017, there is a degree of familiarity between the two. Last season, the Comets beat the Thunderhawks 36-0.
Lakota East comes into the game on a 2-game winning streak. After last week's 42-21 win against the Sycamore Aviators, they are 7-3 and look to continue the positive momentum. The Thunderhawks offense has been one of the best in the division, especially in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 19th in Division 1 with 29.2 points per game. Over the last 2 weeks, they've scored an average of 29.2. On defense, their last few weeks haven't even done justice to how good they've been all season. They've given up 25.67 points per game over their last 3, down from their average of 16.5, which ranks 20th in their division on the season.
Mason will look to continue the momentum of their 3-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 24-21 win against the Fairfield Indians last week, bringing their record to 8-2. The Comets offense will look to continue to improve as they've scored an average of 23.33 points per game over their last 3 games, up from their season average of 21.1, which ranks 45th in Division 1. They've played at a simiar level on defense, ranking 27th in their division, giving up 17 points per game. Over their last 3 games, however, they have made progress, giving up an average of 11.33 points per game.
Prediction: Mason to win (97.13% chance of victory)