One of the most highly anticipated matchups of the second round comes between the Elder Panthers and the Lakota East Thunderhawks, the Panthers projected to win by a score of 28-21. 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. Elder comes in as Division 1's 19th-ranked team. Lakota East comes in ranked 27th. 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.
Elder comes into the game on a 3-game winning streak. After last week's 35-0 win against the Moeller Crusaders, they are 7-4 and look to continue the positive momentum. Scoring an average of 27.8 points per game on offense, the Panthers rank 23rd in Division 1. They've been even more explosive in recent weeks, scoring an average of 32 over their last 3 games. Their defense ranks 28th in their division allowing an average of 17.7 points per game, but they have shown improvement in recent weeks - in their last 2 games, they've given up an average of 5 points.
Lakota East will look to continue the momentum of their 3-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 20-17 win against the Mason Comets last week, bringing their record to 8-3. The Thunderhawks are undeniably one of Division 1's best offenses, averaging 28.4 points per game, which ranks 21st. In their last 3 games, they've been even better, scoring 36.33 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 23.5 points per game over their last 4, down from their average of 16.5, which ranks 19th in their division on the season.
Prediction: Elder to win (53.18% chance of victory)