Week 8 might bring about the biggest game of the season for both the Hamilton Big Blue and the Lakota East Thunderhawks as it could ultimately decide the postseason fate of either one. The Thunderhawks currently have a 53.95% chance of making the playoffs, which increases to 57.83% with a win. For the Big Blue, chances aren't quite as high. With a loss, their playoff chances dip below their 8.49%, where they sit currently; however, with a win, they can increase those chances to 8.71%. Lakota East looks to be the superior team on paper, coming into the game ranked 58th in the state while the Big Blue rank 190th in the state and 60th in Division 1. The Thunderhawks, the better team on paper, will look to prove their superiority on the field come Friday. Having matched up in 2016, there is a degree of familiarity between the two. In 2016, the Thunderhawks defeated the Big Blue by a score of 31 - 28.
Last week, Hamilton dropped a game 24 - 13 against the Sycamore Aviators. They'll look to get in the win column this week as they hope to finish out the season on a positive note. While the Big Blue haven't been the most high-powered offense throughout the season, they have been improving week to week. In the last 2 weeks, they've averaged 30, up from their season average of 18.3, which ranks 59th in Division 1. They aren't a top defense in terms of points allowed either, but they have given up less points in recent weeks. While they rank 56th in their division on the season with 29.7 points allowed per game, they've given up an improved average of 25 points over their last 2 games.
Coming off of a 38 - 13 loss against the Colerain Cardinals, Lakota East, hopes to build some momentum and rebound strongly with a win. The Thunderhawks offense will look to continue to improve as they've scored an average of 30 points per game over their last 3 games, up from their season average of 26.6, which ranks 39th in Division 1. Their defense, while not a top defense in Division 1, has shown signs of improvement. They currently rank 44th in the division with 24.1 points allowed per game, but have allowed an improved average of 19 points over their last 2 games.
Prediction: Lakota East to win (89.58% chance of victory)