The postseason has arrived and the Avon Lake Shoremen enter their first round matchup against the Maple Heights Mustangs projected to win by a score of 35-25. 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 Mustangs rank 15th in the division while the Shoremen rank 8th. The teams did not appear on each other's schedules last season, which presents a degree of unpredictability. 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.
Maple Heights comes off of a 21-12 loss against the Cleveland Heights Tigers and will look to rebound this week as they hope to finish out the season strong. The Mustangs rank 18th in Division 2 on offense, scoring an average of 35. However, over the last 3 weeks, their average is down to 21.33 points per game. Their defense gives up an average of 20.9 points per game, which ranks 33rd in their division - in their last 2 games, they've improved, giving up an average of 13.5 points.
Avon Lake will look to continue the momentum of their 9-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 31-7 win against the Olmsted Falls Bulldogs last week, bringing their record to 9-1. The Shoremen offense is one of the most high-powered in their division, particularly in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 23rd in Division 2 with 33.6 points per game. Over the last 7 weeks, they've scored an average of 33.6. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 5 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 2nd in their division. Over the last 5 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 1.4 points per game.
Prediction: Avon Lake to win (95.18% chance of victory)