In their third game of the 2019 playoffs, the West Liberty-Salem Tigers will play at home against the West Jefferson Roughriders in what looks to be one of the most competitive regional final matchups for this season. The Roughriders come into the game as 2-point favorites, projected to come away with the victory by a score of 32-30. 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 Roughriders rank 8th in the division while the Tigers rank 15th. This is a chance for the Roughriders to avenge a loss from earlier on in the regular season, when the Tigers beat them 42-39. They also played last season, a matchup in which the Roughriders got the better of the Tigers, winning by a score of 30-28.
West Jefferson is currently on a 4-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Sunday. Coming off of a 62-28 win against the Shawnee Braves, they are 11-1 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. The Roughriders score an average of 50.4 points per game, which ranks 2nd in the state offensively. In recent weeks, they've been even more proficient, scoring an average of 57.25 points per game over their last 4 games. Their defense allows an average of 21.6 points per game, which ranks 43rd in their division.
West Liberty-Salem is no stranger to winning recently as they come off of a 5-game winning streak, including last week's 14-13 win against the Taft Senators. That brings their record to 11-1 as they look to add another notch to the win column. In recent weeks, the Tigers haven't been quite as explosive on offense but they remain the 8th-ranked offense in Division 5, scoring an average of 40 points per game. On defense, their last few weeks haven't even done justice to how good they've been all season. They've given up 17.83 points per game over their last 6, down from their average of 11.2, which ranks 6th in their division on the season.
Prediction: West Jefferson to win (54.53% chance of victory)