The regional finals offer some of the best matchups as teams in close proximity look to claim superiority over their area in the division. On Saturday, the Eastmoor Academy Warriors come in projected to beat the Sheridan Generals by a score of 32-26. 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. Sheridan comes in as Division 3's 19th-ranked team. Eastmoor Academy comes in ranked 13th. 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.
Sheridan comes into the game on a 5-game winning streak. After last week's 20-7 win against the Granville Blue Aces, they are 11-1 and look to continue the positive momentum. The Generals offense is the 2nd-ranked offense in Division 3, scoring an average of 41.2 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 2 games, however, they've cooled off, averaging 23.5 points per game. While recent games have affected averages negatively, their defense is one of the best as well. They rank 2nd in their division, giving up an average of 7.9 points per game.
For Eastmoor Academy, Saturday is a chance to expand on a 9-game winning streak after their 19-14 win against the Bishop Hartley Hawks brought their record to 11-1. On offense, the Warriors have been one of the best in the state this season, ranking 21st with 43.2 points per game. Recent weeks haven't been quite as explosive as they've averaged 26.5 points per game but they remain one of the most explosive offenses statewide. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 12.8 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 7th in their division. Over the last 5 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 5.6 points per game.
Prediction: Eastmoor Academy to win (84.81% chance of victory)