Friday's matchup between the Lorain Titans and the Shaw Cardinals takes place between two teams that most likely will not make the playoffs. The Titans come into the week projected to finish 13th in the Region 1 playoff standings. The Cardinals are projected to finish 24th in Region 10. Lorain comes in as a 26-point favorite as each team fights to close out the regular season strong. For Shaw, the inferior team on paper, this is a chance to ride the home crowd and prove themselves capable against a solid opponent. However, for Lorain, the expectation is a decisive road victory. 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 Titans have won 5, a trend they hope to continue. In the most recent season's matchup, the Titans proved superior, winning 30-18.
Lorain comes into the game on a 3-game winning streak. After last week's 22-20 win against the Bedford Bearcats, they are 5-4 and look to continue the positive momentum. The Titans offense has been one of the best in the division, especially in recent weeks. For the year, they rank 17th in Division 1 with 31.9 points per game. Over the last 5 weeks, they've scored an average of 31.9. Their defense ranks 32nd in their division allowing an average of 20.4 points per game, but they have shown improvement in recent weeks - in their last 3 games, they've given up an average of 8.67 points.
For Shaw, this week is a chance to flip the momentum after 7 consecutive losses. Last week was a 52-8 loss against the Cleveland Heights Tigers and they'll look to rebound strong on Friday. Particularly in recent weeks, the Cardinals offense has struggled to put points on the board. In their last 2 games, they've put up an average of 4 points per game. Throughout the course of the season, they've averaged 13.9, which ranks 92nd in Division 3. Defensively, giving up 27 points per game, they rank 75th in the division.
Prediction: Lorain to win (99.67% chance of victory)