Friday's road team, the Benedictine Bengals are looking to continue what's looking like a run at the playoffs as they take on the Walsh Jesuit Warriors. The Bengals are already in good shape, projected to finish 4th in the Region 6 playoff standings. On the other hand, the Warriors are projected to finish 23rd in Region 5, which would not earn them a playoff berth. Benedictine comes into the game as the favorite, projected to come away with a 32-17 victory. The Bengals, one of the better teams statewide, come into the game ranked 53rd. On the other hand, the Warriors come in ranked 398th in the state and 73rd in Division 2. As a relatively sizeable home underdog, the Warriors come into the game with a lot to prove. For the Bengals, the only thing to prove is that an advantage on paper can translate into an advantage on their opponent's home field. The teams are no strangers to one another, playing against each other in each of the last five years. Over their last 5 matchups, the Bengals have been superior, coming out on top in 5 of them. However, the past won't matter come kickoff. In the most recent season's matchup, the Bengals proved superior, winning 40-19.
Benedictine is currently on a 3-game winning streak, which they hope to continue on Friday. Coming off of a 40-7 win against the Padua Franciscan Bruins, they are 8-1 and their confidence continues to build as they finish up the year. The Bengals offense is the 6th-ranked offense in Division 2, scoring an average of 42 points per game over the course of the season. In their last 4 games, however, they've cooled off, averaging 33 points per game. While their offense is solid, the defense deserves equal credit for the season's successes. Their 18.6 points allowed per game ranks 23rd in the division and continues to get better week by week - in their last 2 games, they've given up just 7 points per game.
Walsh Jesuit looks to rebound after a 42-21 loss against the Hoban Knights last week, which brought their record to 1-8. While the Warriors offense has not been particularly great, ranked 81st in Division 2 with 17.7 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 21 points over their last 2 contests. Their defense, while not a top defense in Division 2, has shown signs of improvement. They currently rank 79th in the division with 30.9 points allowed per game, but have allowed an improved average of 25.5 points over their last 4 games.
Prediction: Benedictine to win (99.84% chance of victory)