This week's matchup between the Garaway Pirates and the Garfield G-Men should be one of the more competitive of the first round, the Pirates entering the week projected to win by a score of 31-25. 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 Pirates rank 17th in the division while the G-Men rank 25th. 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. Strategically, this might lead to complications that could throw off the gameplan of either team.
Looking to build upon their 2-game winning streak, Garaway comes into the week at 8-2. After their 62-7 win against the Tuscarawas Valley Trojans, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. The Pirates offense has been one of the best in the division, especially in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 21st in Division 5 with 34.3 points per game. Over the last 2 weeks, they've scored an average of 34.3. On defense, their last few weeks haven't even done justice to how good they've been all season. They've given up 25.5 points per game over their last 4, down from their average of 15.4, which ranks 14th in their division on the season.
Garfield is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 2-game winning streak, including last week's 55-6 win against the Valley Christian Eagles. That brings their record to 9-1 as they look to add another notch to the win column. The G-Men offense is the 13th-ranked offense in Division 5, scoring an average of 39.6 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 32.33 points per game. While their defense has given up more points than usual in recent weeks, they deserve every bit as much of the credit for this season's successes as the offense. Over the course of the season, they've given up an average of 17.7 points per game, which ranks 22nd in their division.
Prediction: Garaway to win (55.45% chance of victory)