The Symmes Valley Vikings begin this year's postseason with a major challenge as the Shadyside Tigers come into the game projected to win by a score of 33-12. 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 2019 season with a loss. Symmes Valley comes in as Division 7's 28th-ranked team. Shadyside comes in ranked 11th. The teams did not appear on each other's schedules last season, which presents a degree of unpredictability. Usually, matchups from the previous year are used in developing a strategy for upcoming games. For these two, no such opportunity will be afforded.
Symmes Valley comes into the game on a 7-game winning streak. After last week's 22-16 win against the Northwest Mohawks, they are 9-1 and look to continue the positive momentum. While the Vikings haven't been the most high-powered offense throughout the season, they have been improving week to week. In the last 7 weeks, they've averaged 33.71, up from their season average of 29.3, which ranks 29th in Division 7. While the defense hasn't been much better, they have improved lately - while they average 11.1 points allowed per game, which ranks 7th in their division, they've taken that average down to 7.14 points over the last 7 weeks.
Shadyside is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 2-game winning streak, including last week's 49-24 win against the Monroe Central Seminoles. That brings their record to 7-3 as they look to add another notch to the win column. The Tigers offense is one of the most high-powered in their division, particularly in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 22nd in Division 7 with 30.3 points per game. Over the last 2 weeks, they've scored an average of 30.3. While their offense is solid, the defense deserves equal credit for the season's successes. Their 12.4 points allowed per game ranks 9th in the division and continues to get better week by week - in their last 6 games, they've given up just 8.33 points per game.
Prediction: Shadyside to win (99.40% chance of victory)