In the first matchup of the 2018 playoffs, the West Jefferson will play at home against the CHCA Eagles in what looks to be one of the most competitive matchups of the season. The Eagles come into the game as 3-point favorites, projected to come away with the victory by a score of 29-26. 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 Eagles, one of the top teams in Division 5, come into the game ranked 8th. The Roughriders come in ranked 6th. 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.
CHCA comes into the game on a 3-game winning streak. After last week's 43-29 win against the MVCA Lions, they are 7-2 and look to continue the positive momentum. While the Eagles offense has not been particularly great, ranked 30th in Division 5 with 32.7 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 46.5 points over their last 2 contests. On defense, they're not much better statistically. They rank 16th in their division, allowing 15.2 points per game. However, they have improved as the season's gone on, giving up an average of 8 points over their last 4.
West Jefferson will look to continue the momentum of their 4-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 34-13 win against the Triad Cardinals last week, bringing their record to 8-2. Scoring an average of 35.6 points per game on offense, the Roughriders rank 18th in Division 5. They've been even more dominant in recent weeks, scoring an average of 39.67 over their last 3 games. Their defense gives up an average of 20.9 points per game, ranking 38th in their division.
Prediction: CHCA to win (85.50% chance of victory)