The first round of the playoffs is where most of the more lopsided matchups happen in the postseason. Sunday's matchup between the Eastern Eagles and the Newark Catholic Green Wave is one of those matchups, the Green Wave projected to advance to the second round with a 41-6 victory. 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. Eastern comes in as Division 7's 36th-ranked team. Newark Catholic comes in ranked 16th. A new game on the schedule for both teams, it should shape out as an unpredictable affair. Strategically, this might lead to complications that could throw off the gameplan of either team.
Eastern is currently on a 6-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Sunday. Coming off of a 63-6 win against the Southern Tornadoes, they are 8-2 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. Scoring an average of 31.6 points per game on offense, the Eagles rank 17th in Division 7. They've been even more explosive in recent weeks, scoring an average of 51 over their last 2 games. Nevertheless, the defense could actually be the true strength of the team, which they've shown in their most recent contests. Over the last 4 games, they've allowed only 8.5 points per game. However, success on defense isn't just a recent trend - on the season, their defense ranks 19th in their division, allowing 16.3 points per game.
For Newark Catholic, Sunday is a chance to expand on a 2-game winning streak after their 35-14 win against the Johnstown Northridge Vikings brought their record to 7-3. The Green Wave offense will look to continue to improve as they've scored an average of 38 points per game over their last 2 games, up from their season average of 28.1, which ranks 33rd in Division 7. Defensively, giving up 19.2 points per game, they rank 28th in the division.
Prediction: Newark Catholic to win (98.87% chance of victory)