The St. Vincent-St. Mary Fighting Irish enter the first week of the playoffs against the Streetsboro Rockets in a game they're projected to win by a score of 36-17. 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. St. Vincent-St. Mary comes in as Division 3's 6th-ranked team. Streetsboro comes in ranked 32nd. 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.
St. Vincent-St. Mary comes into the game on a 5-game winning streak. After last week's 27-7 win against the Ursuline Fighting Irish, they are 8-2 and look to continue the positive momentum. While the Fighting Irish 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 33.2, up from their season average of 27.9, which ranks 46th in Division 3. 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 31st in their division on the season with 17.3 points allowed per game, they've given up an improved average of 10.25 points over their last 4 games.
For Streetsboro, Saturday is a chance to expand on a 10-game winning streak after their 41-0 win against the Springfield Spartans brought their record to 10-0. On offense, the Rockets have been one of the best in the state this season, ranking 11th with 46.2 points per game. Recent weeks haven't been quite as explosive as they've averaged 43.33 points per game but they remain one of the most explosive offenses statewide. Nevertheless, the defense could actually be the true strength of the team, which they've shown in their most recent contests. Over the last 5 games, they've allowed only 4.6 points per game. However, success on defense isn't just a recent trend - on the season, their defense ranks 12th in their division, allowing 11.6 points per game.
Prediction: St. Vincent-St. Mary to win (89.37% chance of victory)