One of the most highly anticipated matchups of the first round comes between the Jonathan Alder Pioneers and the Sheridan Generals, the Pioneers projected to win by a score of 29-22. 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. Sheridan comes in as Division 3's 18th-ranked team. Jonathan Alder comes in ranked 23rd. 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 3-game winning streak, Sheridan comes into the week at 8-2. After their 46-0 win against the Morgan Raiders, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. The Generals offense will look to continue to improve as they've scored an average of 53 points per game over their last 2 games, up from their season average of 29.4, which ranks 39th in Division 3. While the defense hasn't been much better, they have improved lately - while they average 13.7 points allowed per game, which ranks 18th in their division, they've taken that average down to 5 points over the last 2 weeks.
Jonathan Alder is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 10-game winning streak, including last week's 24-23 win against the London Red Raiders. That brings their record to 10-0 as they look to add another notch to the win column. The Pioneers are undeniably one of Division 3's best offenses, averaging 37.3 points per game, which ranks 8th. In their last 2 games, they've been even better, scoring 40 points per game. On defense, they rank 37th in their division, giving up an average of 18 points per game.
Prediction: Jonathan Alder to win (76.36% chance of victory)