In the first round of the playoffs, there are usually a few games in each division that serve as a preview to the rest of the excitement we'll see as we approach the state championships. This week's matchup between the St. Henry Redskins and the Mechanicsburg Indians looks to be one of those games as the Redskins comes into the game as 3-point favorites in what essentially amounts to a toss-up. 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. St. Henry comes in as Division 6's 13th-ranked team. Mechanicsburg comes in ranked 7th. A new game on the schedule for both teams, it should shape out as an unpredictable affair. Strategically, this might lead to complications that could throw off the gameplan of either team.
Looking to build upon their 4-game winning streak, St. Henry comes into the week at 8-2. After their 43-8 win against the Parkway Panthers, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. Particularly in recent weeks, the Redskins offense has struggled to put points on the board. In their last 5 games, they've put up an average of 26.4 points per game. Throughout the course of the season, they've averaged 31.6, which ranks 35th in Division 6. On defense, they're not much better statistically. They rank 5th in their division, allowing 9.5 points per game. However, they have improved as the season's gone on, giving up an average of 6 points over their last 3.
Mechanicsburg looks to rebound after a 21-14 loss against the Fairbanks Panthers last week, which brought their record to 8-2. The Indians have struggled on offense, scoring only 28 points per game over their last 7 games. On the year, they rank 30th in Division 6, scoring an average of 33.6 points per game over the course of the season. The defense hasn't been much better statistically, giving up an average of 7.2 points per game, which ranks 4th in their division.
Prediction: St. Henry to win (89.93% chance of victory)