The first two rounds are often the part of the playoffs where we find out who truly deserves to be there, chasing after a state title. This week, the Greeneview Rams will have to prove they belong here, coming in as 28-point underdogs against the Wheelersburg Pirates. 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, one of the top teams in Division 5, come into the game ranked 7th. The Pirates come in ranked 1st. A new matchup on the schedule for each team, Sunday's game is a chance for each to test its skills and strategies against an unfamiliar opponent. Strategically, this might lead to complications that could throw off the gameplan of either team.
Looking to build upon their 7-game winning streak, Greeneview comes into the week at 10-1. After their 31-28 win against the Madeira Mustangs, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. The Rams have boasted one of Division 5's best offenses all season, averaging 39.5 points per game, which ranks 7th. In their last 4 games, they've been even better, scoring 49.75 points per game. While recent games have affected averages negatively, their defense is one of the best as well. They rank 13th in their division, giving up an average of 13.7 points per game.
Wheelersburg is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 9-game winning streak, including last week's 52-7 win against the Portsmouth West Senators. That brings their record to 10-1 as they look to add another notch to the win column. Scoring an average of 36.5 points per game on offense, the Pirates rank 15th in Division 5. They've been even more dominant in recent weeks, scoring an average of 43 over their last 5 games. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 8.8 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 2nd in their division. Over the last 5 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 4 points per game.
Prediction: Wheelersburg to win (99.94% chance of victory)