The Harrison Wildcats come into the opening round of the playoffs projected to get a victory over the Canal Winchester Indians by a score of 37-20. 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 2019 season with a loss. Canal Winchester comes in as Division 2's 26th-ranked team. Harrison comes in ranked 17th. The teams did not appear on each other's schedules last season, which presents a degree of unpredictability. Stylistically and schematically, past matchups are often used as a guiding tool. This week, however, each team will likely take time to adjust to an unfamiliar opponent, which should make for some added excitement.
Canal Winchester is currently on a 3-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Saturday. Coming off of a 28-13 win against the Big Walnut Eagles, they are 9-1 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. The Indians offense has been one of the best in the division, especially in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 16th in Division 2 with 35.3 points per game. Over the last 3 weeks, they've scored an average of 35.3. While their offense is solid, the defense deserves equal credit for the season's successes. Their 13.3 points allowed per game ranks 11th in the division and continues to get better week by week - in their last 3 games, they've given up just 6.33 points per game.
Harrison will look to continue the momentum of their 8-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 49-0 win against the Northwest Knights last week, bringing their record to 9-1. The Wildcats are undeniably one of Division 2's best offenses, averaging 35.1 points per game, which ranks 17th. In their last 3 games, they've been even better, scoring 48.67 points per game. Nevertheless, the defense could actually be the true strength of the team, which they've shown in their most recent contests. Over the last 2 games, they've allowed only 6.5 points per game. However, success on defense isn't just a recent trend - on the season, their defense ranks 4th in their division, allowing 7.6 points per game.
Prediction: Harrison to win (92.83% chance of victory)