In the playoffs, there are usually a few games in each division each week that serve as a preview to the rest of the excitement we'll see as we approach the state championships. This week's regional final matchup between the Pickerington Central Tigers and the Hilliard Davidson Wildcats looks to be one of those games as the Wildcats comes into the game as 1-point favorites in what essentially amounts to a toss-up. 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 Tigers rank 3rd in the division while the Wildcats rank 10th. This is a chance for the Wildcats to avenge a loss from earlier on in the regular season, when the Tigers beat them 17-14. Saturday will be the only matchup in the series that matters as it's do or die and only one team will be able to continue their playoff run.
Pickerington Central is currently on a 3-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Saturday. Coming off of a 33-7 win against the Northmont Thunderbolts, they are 10-2 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. The Tigers offense is the 13th-ranked offense in Division 1, scoring an average of 31.5 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 2 games, however, they've cooled off, averaging 23.5 points per game. While their offense is solid, the defense deserves equal credit for the season's successes. Their 12.7 points allowed per game ranks 7th in the division and continues to get better week by week - in their last 3 games, they've given up just 6.67 points per game.
For Hilliard Davidson, Saturday is a chance to expand on a 7-game winning streak after their 17-14 win against the Springfield Wildcats brought their record to 11-1. While the Wildcats offense has not been particularly great, ranked 35th in Division 1 with 24.3 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 31.33 points over their last 3 contests. The defense hasn't been much better statistically, giving up an average of 9.8 points per game, which ranks 4th in their division.
Prediction: Hilliard Davidson to win (79.99% chance of victory)