In the second round of the playoffs, there are usually a few games in each division that serve as a preview to the rest of the excitement we'll see as we approach the state championships. This week's matchup between the Elyria Catholic Panthers and the Genoa Area Comets looks to be one of those games as the Panthers comes into the game as 1-point favorites in what essentially amounts to a toss-up. 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 2018 season with a loss. Elyria Catholic comes in as Division 5's 18th-ranked team. Genoa Area comes in ranked 4th. A new matchup on the schedule for each team, Sunday's game is a chance for each to test its skills and strategies against an unfamiliar opponent. Usually, matchups from the previous year are used in developing a strategy for upcoming games. For these two, no such opportunity will be afforded.
Elyria Catholic is currently on a 6-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Sunday. Coming off of a 42-35 win against the Anna Rockets, they are 9-2 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. In recent weeks, the Panthers haven't been quite as successful producing points but they remain the 6th-ranked offense in Division 5, scoring an average of 41.1 points per game. Their defense ranks 27th in their division allowing an average of 19.4 points per game, but they have shown improvement in recent weeks - in their last 6 games, they've given up an average of 17.33 points.
For Genoa Area, Sunday is a chance to expand on a 11-game winning streak after their 47-21 win against the Lake Flyers brought their record to 11-0. The Comets rank 10th in Division 5 on offense, scoring an average of 37.6. However, over the last 3 weeks, their average is down to 34 points per game. While their offense is solid, the defense deserves equal credit for the season's successes. Their 12.5 points allowed per game ranks 10th in the division and continues to get better week by week - in their last 4 games, they've given up just 10.75 points per game.
Prediction: Elyria Catholic to win (97.72% chance of victory)