In the first playoff matchup of the year for the Hudson Explorers, they are projected to come away with a 32-21 win over the Perry Panthers. However, it should be one of the more hotly contested matchups of the round and all statistical predictions could easily go out the window. It's do or die for each team as always in the postseason. Regardless of the outcome, each team can take comfort in the fact that they had a successful enough season to get here, but only one team will be satisfied with the result as the other's season will end on a loss. The Explorers, one of the top teams in Division 2, come into the game ranked 16th. The Panthers come in ranked 11th. 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.
Hudson comes into the game on a 5-game winning streak. After last week's 56-13 win against the Twinsburg Tigers, they are 7-3 and look to continue the positive momentum. The Explorers offense has been one of the best in the division, especially in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 8th in Division 2 with 40.5 points per game. Over the last 2 weeks, they've scored an average of 40.5. Their defense ranks 65th in their division allowing an average of 26.9 points per game, but they have shown improvement in recent weeks - in their last 4 games, they've given up an average of 19.75 points.
After a 48-14 win against the GlenOak Eagles brought their record to 8-2, Perry will be looking to carry that momentum over and earn another victory. The Panthers are undeniably one of Division 2's best offenses, averaging 33.5 points per game, which ranks 24th. In their last 4 games, they've been even better, scoring 39.5 points per game. Their defense gives up an average of 21.2 points per game, which ranks 36th in their division - in their last 3 games, they've improved, giving up an average of 18.33 points.
Prediction: Hudson to win (88.33% chance of victory)