Friday's road team, the Kirtland Hornets are looking to continue what's looking like a run at the playoffs as they take on the Berkshire Badgers. The Hornets are already in good shape, projected to finish 1st in the Region 17 playoff standings. On the other hand, the Badgers are projected to finish 12th in Region 17, which would not earn them a playoff berth. Kirtland comes into the game as the favorite, projected to come away with a 42-8 victory. The better team on paper, the Hornets come into the game ranked 8th in the state and 1st in Division 5. The Badgers come in ranked 444th in the state and 65th in Division 5. The Badgers will be looking to defend their home field and avoid getting humiliated by what looks to be a superior opponent. The teams have played each other in each of the last five years so neither is likely to surprise the other. Over their last 5 matchups, the Hornets have won 5, a trend they hope to continue. In last year's installment, the Hornets came out on top by a score of 43-6.
Looking to build upon their 9-game winning streak, Kirtland comes into the week at 9-0. After their 45-0 win against the Hawken Hawks, they are confident in their ability to finish strong. The Hornets boasts one of the most high-powered offenses in the state and has been even stronger in their most recent contests. Scoring an average of 43.6 points per game, their offense ranks 24th in the state. Over their last 5 games, they've been even more impressive, scoring an average of 53.6 points per game. On defense, even after the last 2 have affected their average negatively, they're also one of the best in the state, ranking 2nd with 2.3 points allowed on average.
Looking to rebound from a 43-13 loss against the Beachwood Bisons last week, Berkshire will try to establish momentum early and sustain it throughout. The Badgers offense hasn't been particularly great this season in terms of point production, a trend which continues into recent weeks. Over their last 4 games, they've scored an average of 20.5 points - this season they've averaged 32, which ranks 30th in Division 5. Defensively, giving up 24.1 points per game, they rank 59th in the division.
Prediction: Kirtland to win (99.99% chance of victory)