In the first playoff matchup of the year for the Pickerington Central Tigers, they are projected to come away with a 30-20 win over the Reynoldsburg Raiders. However, it should be one of the more hotly contested matchups of the round and all statistical predictions could easily go out the window. It's do or die for each team as always in the postseason. Regardless of the outcome, each team can take comfort in the fact that they had a successful enough season to get here, but only one team will be satisfied with the result as the other's season will end on a loss. The Raiders, one of the top teams in Division 1, come into the game ranked 17th. The Tigers come in ranked 4th. A rematch from earlier in the season, look for this to be one of the more emotional battles of the week. In the regular season, the Tigers won 40-14 so the Raiders will be looking for revenge. They also played in 2018, a matchup in which the defeated the Tigers by a score of 24-21.
After their 55-20 win against the Lancaster Golden Gales last week, Reynoldsburg is 7-3 and looks to finish the season strong. The Raiders have boasted one of Division 1's best offenses all season, averaging 30.4 points per game, which ranks 22nd. In their last 3 games, they've been even better, scoring 34.67 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 30 points per game over their last 2, down from their average of 16.5, which ranks 18th in their division on the season.
Pickerington Central will look to continue the momentum of their 6-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 42-6 win against the Grove City Greyhounds last week, bringing their record to 9-1. Scoring an average of 32.6 points per game on offense, the Tigers rank 16th in Division 1. They've been even more dominant in recent weeks, scoring an average of 41 over their last 2 games. On defense, they've been just as strong. Allowing just 14.4 points per game over the course of the season, their defense ranks 17th in their division. Over the last 4 weeks, they've been even more proficient, giving up just 6.75 points per game.
Prediction: Pickerington Central to win (99.55% chance of victory)