In the opening round of the playoffs, the St. Edward Eagles come in with an edge over the Medina Bees on paper, projected to win by a score of 38-13. 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. The Bees, one of the top teams in Division 1, come into the game ranked 32nd. The Eagles come in ranked 3rd. The teams did not appear on each other's schedules last season, which presents a degree of unpredictability. 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.
Medina is currently on a 2-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Saturday. Coming off of a 45-35 win against the Brunswick Blue Devils, they are 7-3 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. The Bees offense has been one of the best in the division, especially in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 21st in Division 1 with 30.6 points per game. Over the last 2 weeks, they've scored an average of 30.6. On defense, they rank 45th in their division, giving up an average of 25.5 points per game.
St. Edward will look to continue the momentum of their 9-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 36-14 win against the National Christian Academy Eagles last week, bringing their record to 9-1. The Eagles rank 8th in Division 1 on offense, scoring an average of 35.3. However, over the last 4 weeks, their average is down to 31.25 points per game. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 17.5 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 20th in their division. Over the last 4 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 8.75 points per game.
Prediction: St. Edward to win (99.95% chance of victory)