The Lakota West Firebirds and the Princeton Vikings 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 Firebirds a 0.01% chance or the Vikings a 1.62% chance. Either way, it should bring out the best in both teams. Lakota West enters the game as a 4-point favorite, projected to come out on top by a score of 24 - 20. The better team on paper, the Firebirds come into the game ranked 93rd in the state and 44th in Division 1. The Vikings come in ranked 122nd in the state and 53rd in Division 1. Lakota West comes in expecting to come away with the road victory. However, it looks to be one of the more hotly contested matchups of the week and Princeton will be looking to defend their home field and finish the game on top. Having matched up in 2016, there is a degree of familiarity between the two. Last year, the Vikings got the better of the Firebirds, winning by a score of 26 - 7.
Lakota West looks to get back on track this week as they come in on a 2-game losing streak. They are currently 1-5 after a 35 - 0 loss against the Lakota East Thunderhawks last week. Thus far, they haven't been particularly strong in terms of scoring on either side of the ball. Their offense ranks 71st in Division 1, scoring an average of 10.3 points per game. On defense, giving up 27.2 points per game, they rank 51st in the division.
After a 36 - 18 win against the Oak Hills Highlanders brought their record to 2-4, Princeton will be looking to carry that momentum over and earn another victory. The Vikings aren't particularly dominant on either side of the ball. On offense, they rank 47th in Division 1 with 23.8 points per game. Their defense, which gives up 24.2 points per game, ranks 47th in their division.
Prediction: Lakota West to win (58.21% chance of victory)