In the second playoff matchup of the year for the Kirtland Hornets, they are projected to come away with a 30-20 win over the Norwayne Bobcats. 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 2018 season with a loss. The Bobcats, one of the top teams in Division 6, come into the game ranked 5th. The Hornets 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. Usually, matchups from the previous year are used in developing a strategy for upcoming games. For these two, no such opportunity will be afforded.
Norwayne is currently on a 10-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Saturday. Coming off of a 52-16 win against the Southern Indians, they are 10-1 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. The Bobcats offense has been one of the best in the division, especially in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 7th in Division 6 with 41.2 points per game. Over the last 3 weeks, they've scored an average of 41.2. While recent games have affected averages negatively, their defense is one of the best as well. They rank 17th in their division, giving up an average of 14.3 points per game.
Kirtland will look to continue the momentum of their 11-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 59-0 win against the Catholic Central Crusaders last week, bringing their record to 11-0. The Hornets are undeniably one of Division 6's best offenses, averaging 42.5 points per game, which ranks 5th. In their last 3 games, they've been even better, scoring 47.67 points per game. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 2.9 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 1st in their division. Over the last 3 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 2.33 points per game.
Prediction: Kirtland to win (99.65% chance of victory)