Saturday's matchup between the Lakota Raiders and the St. Joseph Central Catholic Crimson Streaks takes place between two teams that most likely will not make the playoffs. The Raiders come into the week projected to finish 23rd in the Region 18 playoff standings. The Crimson Streaks are projected to finish 18th in Region 26. St. Joseph Central Catholic comes in as a 5-point favorite as each team fights to close out the regular season strong. For the Crimson Streaks, a hard-fought home victory would definitely be a momentum boost. However, the Raiders come in expecting to steal one on the road and the momentum along with it. The teams are no strangers to one another, playing against each other in each of the last five years. Over their last 5 matchups, the Raiders have been superior, coming out on top in 3 of them. However, the past won't matter come kickoff. In the most recent season's matchup, the Crimson Streaks proved superior, winning 20-0.
After their 28-12 win against the Margaretta Polar Bears last week, Lakota is 2-5 and looks to finish the season strong. While the Raiders offense has not been particularly great, ranked 78th in Division 5 with 19.4 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 25 points over their last 4 contests. On defense, they rank 87th in the division, giving up 32.4 points per game.
St. Joseph Central Catholic looks to rebound after a 43-6 loss against the Hopewell-Loudon Chieftains last week, which brought their record to 2-5. While the Crimson Streaks offense has not been particularly great, ranked 69th in Division 7 with 19 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 31.5 points over their last 2 contests. They've played at a simiar level on defense, ranking 86th in their division, giving up 36 points per game. Over their last 5 games, however, they have made progress, giving up an average of 32.2 points per game.
Prediction: St. Joseph Central Catholic to win (80.23% chance of victory)