In the second playoff matchup of the year for the Wheelersburg Pirates, they are projected to come away with a 32-21 win over the Ridgewood Generals. 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 Pirates, one of the top teams in Division 5, come into the game ranked 2nd. The Generals come in ranked 4th. The teams did not appear on each other's schedules last season, which presents a degree of unpredictability. Stylistically and schematically, past matchups are often used as a guiding tool. This week, however, each team will likely take time to adjust to an unfamiliar opponent, which should make for some added excitement.
Wheelersburg comes into the game on a 6-game winning streak. After last week's 28-23 win against the Minford Falcons, they are 8-3 and look to continue the positive momentum. While the Pirates offense has not been particularly great, ranked 36th in Division 5 with 29.8 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 41.6 points over their last 5 contests. They rank similarly on defense, coming in at 35th in their division, allowing 20.6 points per game. That number has generally gone up in recent weeks as they've given up an average of 10 points in their last 3 games.
Ridgewood will look to continue the momentum of their 11-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 56-21 win against the Portsmouth Trojans last week, bringing their record to 11-0. The Generals score an average of 49.2 points per game, which ranks 4th in the state offensively. In recent weeks, they've scored at an even more impressive rate, an average of 54 points over their last 3 games. While recent games have affected averages negatively, their defense is one of the best as well. They rank 7th in their division, giving up an average of 11.8 points per game.
Prediction: Wheelersburg to win (52.33% chance of victory)