In the first playoff matchup of the year for the Poland Seminary Bulldogs, they are projected to come away with a 27-19 win over the Struthers Wildcats. 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 Wildcats, one of the top teams in Division 4, come into the game ranked 18th. The Bulldogs come in ranked 9th. A rematch from earlier in the season, look for this to be one of the more emotional battles of the week. In the regular season, the Bulldogs won 14-12 so the Wildcats will be looking for revenge. Last season, they played as well, the Wildcats beating the Bulldogs 22-21.
Struthers comes into the game on a 2-game losing streak, which they hope to put to an end on Sunday. Their 14-12 loss against the Poland Seminary Bulldogs last week brings their record to 6-4. The Wildcats offense has been one of the best in the division, especially in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 18th in Division 4 with 33.9 points per game. Over the last 5 weeks, they've scored an average of 33.9. On defense, they rank 42nd in their division, giving up an average of 20.7 points per game.
Poland Seminary will look to continue the momentum of their 7-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 14-12 win against the Struthers Wildcats last week, bringing their record to 8-2. While the Bulldogs haven't been the most high-powered offense throughout the season, they have been improving week to week. In the last 5 weeks, they've averaged 41.2, up from their season average of 31.5, which ranks 30th in Division 4. While the defense hasn't been much better, they have improved lately - while they average 11.2 points allowed per game, which ranks 5th in their division, they've taken that average down to 6.75 points over the last 4 weeks.
Prediction: Poland Seminary to win (90.33% chance of victory)