The Bishop Hartley Hawks have their sights set on a state championship as they come into a regional final matchup in which they're projected to win 36-16 over the Jonathan Alder Pioneers. 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 2019 season with a loss. Jonathan Alder comes in as Division 3's 18th-ranked team. Bishop Hartley comes in ranked 1st. 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.
Jonathan Alder is currently on a 12-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Saturday. Coming off of a 38-13 win against the Jackson Ironmen, they are 12-0 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. The Pioneers rank 7th in Division 3 on offense, scoring an average of 37.2. However, over the last 3 weeks, their average is down to 32.33 points per game. Their defense ranks 29th in their division giving up an average of 17.2 points per game, but they've been improving with each game - over the last 2 weeks, they've allowed an average of 13 points.
For Bishop Hartley, Saturday is a chance to expand on a 7-game winning streak after their 28-13 win against the Granville Blue Aces brought their record to 11-1. The Hawks offense hasn't been particularly great this season in terms of point production, a trend which continues into recent weeks. Over their last 3 games, they've scored an average of 20.67 points - this season they've averaged 31.1, which ranks 28th in Division 3. Their defense hasn't been much better throughout the course of the season, ranking 13th with an average of 12.6 points allowed per game. In recent weeks, they have improved, giving up an average of 8 points over their last 5 games.
Prediction: Bishop Hartley to win (99.42% chance of victory)