The Lakota West Firebirds and the Middletown Middies meet on Friday for what could be an important matchup - while both currently have less than a 50% chance of making the playoffs, every win counts at the end of the season. The Firebirds are expected to finish 4-6, good for 13th in Region 4. The Middies are projected to finish 17th in Region 4 at 1-9. Lakota West will be the favorite, projected to come out on top by a score of 24-16. This is an unpredictable matchup as the Firebirds, projected favoritees, will have to defeat the Middies on their home field. Not only is it unpredictable from a standpoint of who will come out on top, but also whether it'll be a close game or a decisive victory for one of these teams. There is a certain degree of familiarity between the two teams after they faced off last season. Last year, the Firebirds got the better of the Middies, winning by a score of 35-7.
After their 16-13 win against the Princeton Vikings last week, Lakota West is 3-5 and looks to finish the season strong. The Firebirds offense hasn't been particularly great this season in terms of point production, a trend which continues into recent weeks. Over their last 3 games, they've scored an average of 6.33 points - this season they've averaged 10.4, which ranks 69th in Division 1. On the opposite side of the ball, they rank 41st in the division, allowing 20.1 points per game.
For Middletown, this week is a chance to flip the momentum after 7 consecutive losses. Last week was a 30-0 loss against the Mason Comets and they'll look to rebound strong on Friday. Particularly in recent weeks, the Middies offense has struggled to put points on the board. In their last 2 games, they've put up an average of 7 points per game. Throughout the course of the season, they've averaged 18.1, which ranks 53rd in Division 1. Their defense, while not a top defense in Division 1, has shown signs of improvement. They currently rank 57th in the division with 28.2 points allowed per game, but have allowed an improved average of 22.5 points over their last 2 games.
Prediction: Lakota West to win (71.02% chance of victory)