Anything can happen in the playoffs. This is why the Fairview Apaches come into the first round expecting a victory over the Lima Central Catholic Thunderbirds, despite the fact the Thunderbirds are projected to win the game by a score of 40-23. 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. Fairview comes in as Division 6's 18th-ranked team. Lima Central Catholic comes in ranked 9th. A new matchup on the schedule for each team, Saturday'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.
Fairview is currently on a 9-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Saturday. Coming off of a 49-0 win against the Ottawa Hills Green Bears, they are 9-1 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. Scoring an average of 39.6 points per game on offense, the Apaches rank 14th in Division 6. They've been even more explosive in recent weeks, scoring an average of 51.67 over their last 3 games. While their offense is solid, the defense deserves equal credit for the season's successes. Their 5.7 points allowed per game ranks 2nd in the division and continues to get better week by week - in their last 2 games, they've given up just 0 points per game.
For Lima Central Catholic, Saturday is a chance to expand on a 9-game winning streak after their 14-7 win against the Lucas Cubs brought their record to 9-1. Thus far, the Thunderbirds offense has averaged 45 points per game offensively, which ranks 17th in the state. In recent weeks, they've been even more powerful, scoring an average of 49.5 points per game over the last 6 weeks. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 17.2 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 25th in their division. Over the last 2 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 3.5 points per game.
Prediction: Lima Central Catholic to win (94.70% chance of victory)