In the first playoff matchup of the year for the Amanda-Clearcreek Aces, they are projected to come away with a 32-23 win over the Columbus Academy Vikings. However, it should be one of the more hotly contested matchups of the round and all statistical predictions could easily go out the window. 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 Vikings, one of the top teams in Division 5, come into the game ranked 36th. The Aces come in ranked 20th. A new matchup on the schedule for each team, Sunday'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.
Columbus Academy comes into the game on a 5-game winning streak. After last week's 41-0 win against the Bexley Lions, they are 7-3 and look to continue the positive momentum. While the Vikings haven't been the most high-powered offense throughout the season, they have been improving week to week. In the last 4 weeks, they've averaged 40.75, up from their season average of 29.5, which ranks 38th in Division 5. They aren't a top defense in terms of points allowed either, but they have given up less points in recent weeks. While they rank 49th in their division on the season with 21.8 points allowed per game, they've given up an improved average of 3.5 points over their last 2 games.
After a 28-6 win against the Logan Elm Braves brought their record to 8-2, Amanda-Clearcreek will be looking to carry that momentum over and earn another victory. Particularly in recent weeks, the Aces offense has struggled to put points on the board. In their last 2 games, they've put up an average of 24.5 points per game. Throughout the course of the season, they've averaged 31.9, which ranks 30th in Division 5. On the opposite side of the ball, they rank 30th in the division, allowing 19.1 points per game.
Prediction: Amanda-Clearcreek to win (94.64% chance of victory)