Typically, the first round consists largely of vastly superior teams beating up on other teams in their region that just so happened to get in with enough playoff points. This likely will not be one of those matchups as the Columbian Tornadoes head into Saturday projected to beat the Holy Name Green Wave by a score of 29-22. 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 Green Wave, one of the top teams in Division 3, come into the game ranked 41st. The Tornadoes come in ranked 17th. 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.
Holy Name comes into the game on a 2-game winning streak. After last week's 42-7 win against the Fairview Warriors, they are 8-2 and look to continue the positive momentum. The Green Wave offense has been one of the best in the division, especially in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 20th in Division 3 with 34.4 points per game. Over the last 2 weeks, they've scored an average of 34.4. On defense, their last few weeks haven't even done justice to how good they've been all season. They've given up 28.33 points per game over their last 3, down from their average of 14.6, which ranks 24th in their division on the season.
Columbian will look to continue the momentum of their 4-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 29-14 win against the Norwalk Truckers last week, bringing their record to 9-1. The Tornadoes offense is the 10th-ranked offense in Division 3, scoring an average of 36.4 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 3 games, however, they haven't been quite as explosive as they've averaged 30.67 points per game. While their defense has given up more points than usual in recent weeks, they deserve every bit as much of the credit for this season's successes as the offense. Over the course of the season, they've given up an average of 14.4 points per game, which ranks 22nd in their division.
Prediction: Columbian to win (95.94% chance of victory)