In the first matchup of the 2019 playoffs, the Franklin will play at home against the Memorial Rough Riders in what looks to be one of the most competitive matchups of the season. The Rough Riders come into the game as 1-point favorites, projected to come away with the victory by a score of 28-27. 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. Memorial comes in as Division 3's 8th-ranked team. Franklin comes in ranked 27th. A new game on the schedule for both teams, it should shape out as an unpredictable affair. 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.
Memorial is currently on a 7-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Saturday. Coming off of a 48-6 win against the Defiance Bulldogs, they are 8-2 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. The Rough Riders offense has been one of the best in the division, especially in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 24th in Division 3 with 33.6 points per game. Over the last 4 weeks, they've scored an average of 33.6. Their defense ranks 27th in their division allowing an average of 16.1 points per game, but they have shown improvement in recent weeks - in their last 2 games, they've given up an average of 6 points.
For Franklin, Saturday is a chance to expand on a 7-game winning streak after their 35-0 win against the Oakwood Lumberjacks brought their record to 9-1. While the Wildcats haven't been the most high-powered offense throughout the season, they have been improving week to week. In the last 3 weeks, they've averaged 39.33, up from their season average of 31.7, which ranks 31st in Division 3. On defense, they're not much better statistically. They rank 22nd in their division, allowing 14.4 points per game. However, they have improved as the season's gone on, giving up an average of 8 points over their last 3.
Prediction: Memorial to win (76.44% chance of victory)