The Dover Tornadoes come into the opening round of the playoffs projected to get a victory over the Whitehall-Yearling Rams by a score of 38-19. However, anything can happen in the playoffs so you can throw mathematical predictions out the window. It's do or die for each team as always in the postseason. Regardless of the outcome, each team can take comfort in the fact that they had a successful enough season to get here, but only one team will be satisfied with the result as the other's season will end on a loss. The Rams rank 36th in the division while the Tornadoes rank 23rd. The teams did not appear on each other's schedules last season, which presents a degree of unpredictability. 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.
Whitehall-Yearling comes into the game on a 9-game winning streak. After last week's 34-15 win against the London Red Raiders, they are 9-1 and look to continue the positive momentum. While the Rams haven't been the most high-powered offense throughout the season, they have been improving week to week. In the last 5 weeks, they've averaged 42.4, up from their season average of 33.9, which ranks 26th in Division 2. On defense, they're not much better statistically. They rank 18th in their division, allowing 14.1 points per game. However, they have improved as the season's gone on, giving up an average of 11.25 points over their last 4.
Dover will look to continue the momentum of their 4-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 35-0 win against the New Philadelphia Quakers last week, bringing their record to 8-2. Scoring an average of 37.6 points per game on offense, the Tornadoes rank 14th in Division 2. They've been even more dominant in recent weeks, scoring an average of 43.25 over their last 4 games. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 13.9 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 17th in their division. Over the last 2 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 3.5 points per game.
Prediction: Dover to win (89.29% chance of victory)