The regional finals offer some of the best matchups as teams in close proximity look to claim superiority over their area in the division. On Sunday, the McComb Panthers come in projected to beat the Edgerton Bulldogs by a score of 34-30. 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 2018 season with a loss. The Bulldogs rank 7th in the division while the Panthers rank 4th. The teams did not appear on each other's schedules last season, which presents a degree of unpredictability. Usually, matchups from the previous year are used in developing a strategy for upcoming games. For these two, no such opportunity will be afforded.
Looking to build upon their 12-game winning streak, Edgerton comes into the week at 12-0. After their 52-8 win against the Pandora-Gilboa Rockets, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. The Bulldogs has one of the best offenses in the entire state, ranking 1st with 52. However, they have come back towards earth lately, averaging 44 points per game over the last 2 weeks. Their defense has been equally impressive, particularly in recent weeks. Over their last 3 games, they've allowed just 2.67 points per game - that's even better than the shutdown defense they've played all season. On the year, they rank 6th in the state on defense, allowing an average of 2.67 points.
McComb will look to continue the momentum of their 5-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 24-14 win against the Leipsic Vikings last week, bringing their record to 11-1. The Panthers have been extremely impressive on offense all season, scoring 42.8 points per game, which ranks 24th in the state. In recent weeks, they've cooled off a little, scoring 34.5 points per game in their last 2 games. On defense, their last few weeks haven't even done justice to how good they've been all season. They've given up 18 points per game over their last 3, down from their average of 12.9, which ranks 10th in their division on the season.
Prediction: McComb to win (95.44% chance of victory)