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 42-18. 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 Bulldogs, one of the top teams in Division 1, come into the game ranked 14th. The Cardinals come in ranked 3rd. There is a certain degree of familiarity between the two teams after they faced off last season. In 2018, the Cardinals defeated the Bulldogs by a score of 36-6.
After their 29-25 win against the Solon Comets last week, McKinley is 9-2 and looks to finish the season strong. In recent weeks, the Bulldogs haven't been quite as successful producing points but they remain the 14th-ranked offense in Division 1, scoring an average of 33.1 points per game. Their defense gives up an average of 20.5 points per game, which ranks 28th in their division - in their last 5 games, they've improved, giving up an average of 14.4 points.
Mentor will look to continue the momentum of their 11-game winning streak, the most recent addition to which was a 49-7 win against the Cleveland Heights Tigers last week, bringing their record to 11-0. Thus far, the Cardinals offense has averaged 46.5 points per game offensively, which ranks 8th in the state. In recent weeks, they've been even more powerful, scoring an average of 52.5 points per game over the last 2 weeks. While recent games have affected averages negatively, their defense is one of the best as well. They rank 5th in their division, giving up an average of 11.2 points per game.
Prediction: Mentor to win (99.81% chance of victory)