Friday's matchup between the Hilliard Bradley Jaguars and the Hayes Pacers takes place between two teams that, as of now, most likely will not earn postseason bids. Currently, the Jaguars and the Pacers are projected to finish 11th and 15th in their respective regional playoff standings. Hilliard Bradley enters the week as a 10-point favorite and will look to expand their playoff chances with a victory on Friday. Hayes will be tested at home against a formidable Hilliard Bradley team. While the road team is expected to get the victory, overcoming homefield advantage could be a major challenge for Friday's favorite. There is a certain degree of familiarity between the two teams after they faced off last season. Last season, the Jaguars beat the Pacers 49-0.
Hilliard Bradley is 3-6 after their 49-7 win against the Worthington Kilbourne Wolves last week. This week, they look to build on that victory on the way to what they hope will be a strong finish to the season. While the Jaguars offense has not been particularly great, ranked 44th in Division 1 with 22.2 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 32.6 points over their last 5 contests. On the opposite side of the ball, they rank 41st in the division, allowing 23.1 points per game.
For Hayes, this week is a chance to flip the momentum after 2 consecutive losses. Last week was a 24-6 loss against the Hilliard Darby Panthers and they'll look to rebound strong on Friday. The Pacers offense hasn't been particularly great this season in terms of point production, a trend which continues into recent weeks. Over their last 2 games, they've scored an average of 8 points - this season they've averaged 22.3, which ranks 43rd in Division 1. Defensively, they'll look to show more signs of improvement after giving up 16 points on average in their last 3 games, improved from a On defense, they'll also be looking for improvement, which they have shown signs of in recent weeks. Over their last 3 games, they've allowed an average of 16 points, an improvement over their 33rd-ranked 20.7 points allowed per game on the year.
Prediction: Hilliard Bradley to win (88.79% chance of victory)