In this year's regional finals for the Shadyside Tigers, they are projected to come away with a 29-20 win over the Fort Frye Cadets. However, it should be one of the more hotly contested matchups of the round and all statistical predictions could easily go out the window. The playoffs are an interesting time of year as 7 teams fulfill their most ambitious goal in winning a state championship while the other 217 playoff teams will end their season with a loss. This matchup is no different as the winner will continue their playoff run while the loser will end its 2018 season with a loss. Fort Frye comes in as Division 6's 7th-ranked team. Shadyside comes in ranked 15th. A new matchup on the schedule for each team, Saturday's game is a chance for each to test its skills and strategies against an unfamiliar opponent. Stylistically and schematically, past matchups are often used as a guiding tool. This week, however, each team will likely take time to adjust to an unfamiliar opponent, which should make for some added excitement.
Fort Frye comes into the game on a 8-game winning streak. After last week's 41-23 win against the Northmor Golden Knights, they are 11-0 and look to continue the positive momentum. The Cadets offense is the 15th-ranked offense in Division 6, scoring an average of 36.2 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 4 games, however, they've cooled off, averaging 36.75 points per game. While recent games have affected averages negatively, their defense is one of the best as well. They rank 9th in their division, giving up an average of 12.2 points per game.
Shadyside will look to continue the momentum of their 2-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 40-6 win against the Paint Valley Bearcats last week, bringing their record to 10-2. The Tigers offense is the 15th-ranked offense in Division 6, scoring an average of 36.2 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 3 games, however, they haven't been quite as explosive as they've averaged 29 points per game. Nevertheless, the defense could actually be the true strength of the team, which they've shown in their most recent contests. Over the last 2 games, they've allowed only 6 points per game. However, success on defense isn't just a recent trend - on the season, their defense ranks 7th in their division, allowing 10.6 points per game.
Prediction: Shadyside to win (53.04% chance of victory)