Anything can happen in the playoffs. This is why the Mason Comets come into the first round expecting a victory over the St. Xavier Bombers, despite the fact the Bombers are projected to win the game by a score of 31-13. 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. Mason comes in as Division 1's 28th-ranked team. St. Xavier comes in ranked 7th. 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.
Mason is currently on a 2-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Saturday. Coming off of a 35-19 win against the Princeton Vikings, they are 5-5 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. While the Comets offense has not been particularly great, ranked 43rd in Division 1 with 22.2 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 38 points over their last 2 contests. They aren't a top defense in terms of points allowed either, but they have given up less points in recent weeks. While they rank 35th in their division on the season with 21.4 points allowed per game, they've given up an improved average of 18.43 points over their last 7 games.
For St. Xavier, Saturday is a chance to expand on a 2-game winning streak after their 35-7 win against the St. Xavier Tigers brought their record to 8-2. In recent weeks, the Bombers haven't been quite as explosive on offense but they remain the 24th-ranked offense in Division 1, scoring an average of 29.9 points per game. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 17.5 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 20th in their division. Over the last 2 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 8.5 points per game.
Prediction: St. Xavier to win (98.67% chance of victory)