The first two rounds of the playoffs are where most of the more lopsided matchups happen in the postseason. Saturday's matchup between the Little Miami Panthers and the Winton Woods Warriors is one of those matchups, the Warriors projected to advance to the second round with a 50-10 victory. 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 Panthers rank 52nd in the division while the Warriors rank 5th. The teams did not appear on each other's schedules last season, which presents a degree of unpredictability. Strategically, this might lead to complications that could throw off the gameplan of either team.
Looking to build upon their 2-game winning streak, Little Miami comes into the week at 9-2. After their 10-7 win against the Edgewood Cougars, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. Particularly in recent weeks, the Panthers offense has struggled to put points on the board. In their last 3 games, they've put up an average of 18.33 points per game. Throughout the course of the season, they've averaged 33, which ranks 31st in Division 2. While the defense hasn't been much better, they have improved lately - while they average 14.6 points allowed per game, which ranks 16th in their division, they've taken that average down to 9.5 points over the last 2 weeks.
Winton Woods will look to continue the momentum of their 10-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 49-42 win against the Olentangy Braves last week, bringing their record to 10-1. In recent weeks, the Warriors haven't been quite as explosive on offense but they remain the 13th-ranked offense in Division 2, scoring an average of 37.4 points per game. Their defense allows an average of 19.1 points per game, which ranks 30th in their division.
Prediction: Winton Woods to win (99.98% chance of victory)