In the playoffs, there are usually a few games in each division each week that serve as a preview to the rest of the excitement we'll see as we approach the state championships. This week's regional final matchup between the Fairview Apaches and the Seneca East Tigers looks to be one of those games as the Apaches comes into the game as 2-point favorites in what essentially amounts to a toss-up. The playoffs are the best time of the year but also come with a great deal of drama as many powerhouses will even see their seasons cut short. Each week, it's do or die and, after this week is complete, half of the current playoff teams will be eliminated. Fairview comes in as Division 6's 34th-ranked team. Seneca East comes in ranked 18th. The teams did not appear on each other's schedules last season, which presents a degree of unpredictability. Strategically, this might lead to complications that could throw off the gameplan of either team.
Fairview is currently on a 5-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Saturday. Coming off of a 32-26 win against the Hillsdale Falcons, they are 9-3 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. The Apaches offense has been one of the best in the division, especially in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 19th in Division 6 with 35.2 points per game. Over the last 7 weeks, they've scored an average of 35.2. Their defense ranks 39th in their division giving up an average of 20.2 points per game, but they've been improving with each game - over the last 5 weeks, they've allowed an average of 8 points.
Seneca East will look to continue the momentum of their 7-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 27-20 win against the Columbus Grove Bulldogs last week, bringing their record to 11-1. The Tigers rank 11th in Division 6 on offense, scoring an average of 37.6. However, over the last 2 weeks, their average is down to 30 points per game. While their offense is solid, the defense deserves equal credit for the season's successes. Their 14.7 points allowed per game ranks 14th in the division and continues to get better week by week - in their last 5 games, they've given up just 14.2 points per game.
Prediction: Fairview to win (94.28% chance of victory)