In the second playoff matchup of the year for the Mogadore Wildcats, they are projected to come away with a 33-20 win over the McDonald Blue Devils. However, it should be one of the more hotly contested matchups of the round and all statistical predictions could easily go out the window. 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. The Blue Devils, one of the top teams in Division 6, come into the game ranked 7th. The Wildcats come in ranked 4th. A new matchup on the schedule for each team, Saturday'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.
McDonald is currently on a 11-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Saturday. Coming off of a 46-20 win against the Rootstown Rovers, they are 11-0 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. The Blue Devils have been excellent on offense all season, scoring 45.8 points per game, which ranks 10th in the state. In recent weeks, they've cooled off a little, scoring 40.33 points per game in their last 3 games. While their offense is solid, the defense deserves equal credit for the season's successes. Their 11.1 points allowed per game ranks 9th in the division and continues to get better week by week - in their last 5 games, they've given up just 6.4 points per game.
For Mogadore, Saturday is a chance to expand on a 8-game winning streak after their 35-0 win against the Columbia Raiders brought their record to 10-1. In recent weeks, the Wildcats haven't been quite as explosive on offense but they remain the 13th-ranked offense in Division 6, scoring an average of 37.4 points per game. Their defense ranks 42nd in their division allowing an average of 21 points per game, but they have shown improvement in recent weeks - in their last 3 games, they've given up an average of 8.67 points.
Prediction: Mogadore to win (97.81% chance of victory)