The Middletown Middies and the Lakota West Firebirds come into Friday's matchup desperate for a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Even the winner will have less than a 50% chance of making the playoffs as a win gives the Middies a 9.25% chance or the Firebirds a 9.67% chance. Either way, it should bring out the best in both teams. Lakota West enters the game as a 14-point favorite, projected to come out on top by a score of 28 - 14. The Firebirds rank 94th in the state while the Middies rank 237th in the state and 62nd in Division 1. For Middletown, this is a chance to prove themselves legitimate by coming out on top against a solid opponent. For Lakota West, this week is simply about doing what's expected of them. A rematch from their game last season, this matchup will be a good gauge on how each team has improved or regressed. In 2016, the Firebirds defeated the Middies by a score of 33 - 7.
Middletown looks to get back on track this week as they come in on a 7-game losing streak. They are currently 0-7 after a 41 - 14 loss against the Mason Comets last week. While the Middies offense has not been particularly great, ranked 68th in Division 1 with 13.7 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 20 points over their last 2 contests. On the opposite side of the ball, they rank 73rd in the division, allowing 42 points per game.
For Lakota West, this week is a chance to flip the momentum after 3 consecutive losses. Last week was a 24 - 10 loss against the Princeton Vikings and they'll look to rebound strong on Friday. Particularly in recent weeks, the Firebirds offense has struggled to put points on the board. In their last 1 games, they've put up an average of 3.33 points per game. Throughout the course of the season, they've averaged 10.3, which ranks 71st in Division 1. On defense, they rank 50th in the division, giving up 26.7 points per game.
Prediction: Lakota West to win (86.97% chance of victory)