In this year's state semifinals for the Aurora Greenmen, they are projected to come away with a 29-17 win over the Mansfield Senior Tygers. However, it should be one of the more hotly contested matchups of the round and all statistical predictions could easily go out the window. 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. The Tygers, one of the top teams in Division 3, come into the game ranked 16th. The Greenmen come in ranked 2nd. 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.
Mansfield Senior comes into the game on a 5-game winning streak. After last week's 15-9 win against the Sandusky Blue Streaks, they are 12-1 and look to continue the positive momentum. The Tygers rank 22nd in Division 3 on offense, scoring an average of 32.7. However, over the last 3 weeks, their average is down to 29.33 points per game. On defense, their last few weeks haven't even done justice to how good they've been all season. They've given up 19.5 points per game over their last 2, down from their average of 10, which ranks 5th in their division on the season.
For Aurora, Saturday is a chance to expand on a 13-game winning streak after their 22-19 win against the Chardon Hilltoppers brought their record to 13-0. The Greenmen offense is the 24th-ranked offense in Division 3, scoring an average of 32.1 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 3 games, however, they haven't been quite as explosive as they've averaged 27.67 points per game. While their defense has given up more points than usual in recent weeks, they deserve every bit as much of the credit for this season's successes as the offense. Over the course of the season, they've given up an average of 8 points per game, which ranks 2nd in their division.
Prediction: Aurora to win (98.56% chance of victory)