The Hoban Knights come into the opening round of the playoffs projected to get a victory over the Mayfield Wildcats by a score of 36-18. However, anything can happen in the playoffs so you can throw mathematical predictions 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 Wildcats, one of the top teams in Division 2, come into the game ranked 27th. The Knights come in ranked 1st. A rematch from their game last season, this matchup will be a good gauge on how each team has improved or regressed. In 2017, the Knights defeated the Wildcats by a score of 56-27.
Last week, Mayfield dropped a game 14-6 against the Riverside Beavers. They'll look to get in the win column this week as they hope to finish out the season on a positive note. While the Wildcats 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 33.75, up from their season average of 24.6, which ranks 54th in Division 2. They rank similarly on defense, coming in at 35th in their division, allowing 20.9 points per game. That number has generally gone up in recent weeks as they've given up an average of 9.33 points in their last 3 games.
Hoban is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 10-game winning streak, including last week's 31-0 win against the Notre-Dame Cathedral Latin Lions. That brings their record to 10-0 as they look to add another notch to the win column. The Knights score an average of 44 points per game, which ranks 23rd in the state offensively. In recent weeks, they've scored at an even more impressive rate, an average of 49.25 points over their last 4 games. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 11.7 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 11th in their division. Over the last 2 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 3 points per game.
Prediction: Hoban to win (99.99% chance of victory)