The Princeton Vikings and the Lakota West Firebirds 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 Vikings are expected to finish 3-7, good for 14th in Region 4. The Firebirds are projected to finish 13th in Region 4 at 4-6. Lakota West will be the favorite, projected to come out on top by a score of 27 - 17. The Vikings come into the game with little regard for pregame statistical breakdowns - while the Firebirds believe they are the superior team, the road team will not consider it an upset if they come away with the victory. Having matched up in 2017, there is a degree of familiarity between the two. Last year, the Vikings got the better of the Firebirds, winning by a score of 24 - 10.
Princeton hopes to build off of last week's 42 - 7 win against the Oak Hills Highlanders and finish the season strong. While the Vikings haven't been the most high-powered offense throughout the season, they have been improving week to week. In the last 3 weeks, they've averaged 29, up from their season average of 15.1, which ranks 60th in Division 1. On defense, they haven't been any better statistically, ranking 22nd in their division, allowing 16.7 points per game.
For Lakota West, this week is a chance to flip the momentum after 2 consecutive losses. Last week was a 36 - 3 loss against the Lakota East Thunderhawks and they'll look to rebound strong on Friday. 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 2 games, they've scored an average of 1.5 points - this season they've averaged 9.6, which ranks 70th in Division 1. On the opposite side of the ball, they rank 43rd in the division, allowing 21.1 points per game.
Prediction: Lakota West to win (70.61% chance of victory)