In their third game of the 2018 playoffs, the Mentor Cardinals will play at home against the St. Edward Eagles in what looks to be one of the most competitive regional final matchups for this season. The Eagles come into the game as 1-point favorites, projected to come away with the victory by a score of 27-26. 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 rank 4th in the division while the Cardinals rank 2nd. A rematch from earlier in the season, look for this to be one of the more emotional battles of the week. In the regular season, the Cardinals won 42-39 so the Eagles will be looking for revenge. They also played in 2017, a matchup in which the defeated the Eagles by a score of 21-13.
Looking to build upon their 2-game winning streak, St. Edward comes into the week at 8-3. After their 56-35 win against the Euclid Panthers, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. Scoring an average of 30.2 points per game on offense, the Eagles rank 16th in Division 1. They've been even more explosive in recent weeks, scoring an average of 38.5 over their last 2 games. On defense, they rank 27th in their division, giving up an average of 18.4 points per game.
Mentor is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 4-game winning streak, including last week's 36-6 win against the McKinley Bulldogs. That brings their record to 11-1 as they look to add another notch to the win column. In recent weeks, the Cardinals haven't been quite as explosive on offense but they remain the 3rd-ranked offense in Division 1, scoring an average of 38.8 points per game. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 12.4 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 6th in their division. Over the last 3 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 4.33 points per game.
Prediction: St. Edward to win (95.60% chance of victory)