The McKinley Bulldogs enters the second round of this year's postseason with a major challenge as the Mentor Cardinals come into the game projected to win by a score of 41-19. The playoffs are the best time of the year but also come with a great deal of drama as many powerhouses will even see their seasons cut short. Each week, it's do or die and, after this week is complete, half of the current playoff teams will be eliminated. The Bulldogs rank 18th in the division while the Cardinals rank 2nd. 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. Strategically, this might lead to complications that could throw off the gameplan of either team.
McKinley hopes to build off of last week's 28-15 win against the Solon Comets and finish the season strong. The Bulldogs offense is the 10th-ranked offense in Division 1, scoring an average of 34 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 2 games, however, they've cooled off, averaging 22.5 points per game. Their defense gives up an average of 18.3 points per game, ranking 29th in their division.
For Mentor, Saturday is a chance to expand on a 3-game winning streak after their 38-7 win against the Strongsville Mustangs brought their record to 10-1. The Cardinals offense is one of the most high-powered in their division, particularly in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 3rd in Division 1 with 39 points per game. Over the last 2 weeks, they've scored an average of 39. While their offense is solid, the defense deserves equal credit for the season's successes. Their 13 points allowed per game ranks 7th in the division and continues to get better week by week - in their last 2 games, they've given up just 3.5 points per game.
Prediction: Mentor to win (99.83% chance of victory)