The Maple Heights Mustangs enter the this year's regional finals with a major challenge as the Hoban Knights come into the game projected to win by a score of 41-18. 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. The Mustangs, one of the top teams in Division 2, come into the game ranked 18th. The Knights come in ranked 1st. A new game on the schedule for both teams, it should shape out as an unpredictable affair. 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.
Looking to build upon their 12-game winning streak, Maple Heights comes into the week at 12-0. After their 44-14 win against the Riverside Beavers, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. The Mustangs have been excellent on offense all season, scoring 42.9 points per game, which ranks 23rd in the state. In recent weeks, they've cooled off a little, scoring 38 points per game in their last 3 games. On defense, their last few weeks haven't even done justice to how good they've been all season. They've given up 21.8 points per game over their last 5, down from their average of 12.9, which ranks 11th in their division on the season.
Hoban is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 12-game winning streak, including last week's 41-7 win against the Garfield Heights Bulldogs. That brings their record to 12-0 as they look to add another notch to the win column. The Knights are consistently explosive on offense, ranking 13th with 44.2. However, they have come back towards earth lately, averaging 40.33 points per game over the last 3 weeks. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 10.3 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 5th in their division. Over the last 3 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 2.33 points per game.
Prediction: Hoban to win (99.99% chance of victory)