In their third game of the 2018 playoffs, the Canfield Cardinals will play at home against the Kenston Bombers in what looks to be one of the most competitive regional final matchups for this season. The Bombers come into the game as 3-point favorites, projected to come away with the victory by a score of 29-26. The playoffs are an interesting time of year as 7 teams fulfill their most ambitious goal in winning a state championship while the other 217 playoff teams will end their season with a loss. This matchup is no different as the winner will continue their playoff run while the loser will end its 2018 season with a loss. Kenston comes in as Division 3's 7th-ranked team. Canfield comes in ranked 5th. 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. Stylistically and schematically, past matchups are often used as a guiding tool. This week, however, each team will likely take time to adjust to an unfamiliar opponent, which should make for some added excitement.
Looking to build upon their 3-game winning streak, Kenston comes into the week at 11-1. After their 40-21 win against the Buckeye Bucks, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. In recent weeks, the Bombers haven't been quite as successful producing points but they remain the 3rd-ranked offense in Division 3, scoring an average of 40.8 points per game. On defense, they rank 38th in their division, giving up an average of 19.2 points per game.
Canfield is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 4-game winning streak, including last week's 30-7 win against the East Dragons. That brings their record to 11-1 as they look to add another notch to the win column. The Cardinals are undeniably one of Division 3's best offenses, averaging 30.8 points per game, which ranks 25th. In their last 4 games, they've been even better, scoring 38 points per game. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 8.7 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 3rd in their division. Over the last 8 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 7.12 points per game.
Prediction: Kenston to win (94.61% chance of victory)