In the regional finals, the Wheelersburg Pirates come in with an edge over the Madison Mohawks on paper, projected to win by a score of 39-17. 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 Mohawks, one of the top teams in Division 5, come into the game ranked 3rd. The Pirates come in ranked 1st. A rematch from their game last season, this matchup will be a good gauge on how each team has improved or regressed. Last season, the Pirates beat the Mohawks 15-10.
Madison comes into the game on a 12-game winning streak. After last week's 50-6 win against the CHCA Eagles, they are 12-0 and look to continue the positive momentum. The Mohawks has one of the best offenses in the entire state, ranking 16th with 43.8. However, they have come back towards earth lately, averaging 38 points per game over the last 2 weeks. Their defense has been equally impressive, particularly in recent weeks. Over their last 3 games, they've allowed just 2 points per game - that's even better than the shutdown defense they've played all season. On the year, they rank 3rd in the state on defense, allowing an average of 2 points.
Wheelersburg is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 10-game winning streak, including last week's 35-13 win against the Greeneview Rams. That brings their record to 11-1 as they look to add another notch to the win column. The Pirates are undeniably one of Division 5's best offenses, averaging 36.4 points per game, which ranks 15th. In their last 2 games, they've been even better, scoring 43.5 points per game. While their defense has given up more points than usual in recent weeks, they deserve every bit as much of the credit for this season's successes as the offense. Over the course of the season, they've given up an average of 9.2 points per game, which ranks 2nd in their division.
Prediction: Wheelersburg to win (99.78% chance of victory)