The Colerain Cardinals come into the state semifinals projected to get a victory over the Pickerington Central Tigers by a score of 33-18. However, anything can happen in the playoffs so you can throw mathematical predictions 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. Colerain comes in as Division 1's 1st-ranked team. Pickerington Central comes in ranked 3rd. There is a certain degree of familiarity between the two teams after they faced off last season. Last year, the Tigers got the better of the Cardinals, winning by a score of 41-28.
Looking to build upon their 13-game winning streak, Colerain comes into the week at 13-0. After their 42-0 win against the Elder Panthers, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. The Cardinals rank 2nd in Division 1 on offense, scoring an average of 41.1. However, over the last 3 weeks, their average is down to 41.67 points per game. On defense, their last few weeks haven't even done justice to how good they've been all season. They've given up 10 points per game over their last 5, down from their average of 7.5, which ranks 1st in their division on the season.
Pickerington Central is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 4-game winning streak, including last week's 20-13 win against the Hilliard Davidson Wildcats. That brings their record to 11-2 as they look to add another notch to the win column. The Tigers offense is the 14th-ranked offense in Division 1, scoring an average of 30.6 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 3 games, however, they haven't been quite as explosive as they've averaged 22.33 points per game. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 12.7 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 7th in their division. Over the last 4 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 8.25 points per game.
Prediction: Colerain to win (58.06% chance of victory)