The Kirtland Hornets enter the state semifinals against the Oak Harbor Rockets in a game they're projected to win by a score of 35-17. 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. Oak Harbor comes in as Division 5's 3rd-ranked team. Kirtland comes in ranked 1st. 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.
Oak Harbor comes into the game on a 13-game winning streak. After last week's 35-28 win against the Orrville Red Riders, they are 13-0 and look to continue the positive momentum. The Rockets have been excellent on offense all season, scoring 43.8 points per game, which ranks 12th in the state. In recent weeks, they've cooled off a little, scoring 34.5 points per game in their last 2 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 points per game over their last 2, down from their average of 12.3, which ranks 5th in their division on the season.
For Kirtland, Sunday is a chance to expand on a 13-game winning streak after their 32-7 win against the Manchester Panthers brought their record to 13-0. The Hornets have been extremely impressive on offense all season, scoring 42.2 points per game, which ranks 20th in the state. In recent weeks, they've cooled off a little, scoring 35 points per game in their last 2 games. The defense has been equally as impressive, ranking 2nd in the state allowing just 5.5 points per game.
Prediction: Kirtland to win (99.90% chance of victory)