For the Hamilton Big Blue and the Lakota West Firebirds, the goal is to finish out the season strong after playoff hopes have completely faded. The Firebirds head into Friday as 15-point favorites, projected to win the game by a score of 32 - 17. Better on paper, the Firebirds come into the game ranked 82nd in the state, hosting a Big Blue team that comes in ranked 203rd in the state and 60th in Division 1. The Firebirds, the better team on paper, will look to prove their superiority on the field come Friday. A new matchup on the schedule for each team, Friday's game is a chance for each to test its skills and strategies against an unfamiliar opponent. Usually, matchups from the previous year are used in developing a strategy for upcoming games. For these two, no such opportunity will be afforded.
Hamilton looks to get back on track this week as they come in on a 3-game losing streak. They are currently 2-7 after a 31 - 17 loss against the Princeton Vikings last week. The Big Blue offense will look to continue to improve as they've scored an average of 24.5 points per game over their last 4 games, up from their season average of 18.4, which ranks 62nd 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 59th in their division on the season with 29.9 points allowed per game, they've given up an improved average of 27.75 points over their last 4 games.
Lakota West looks to rebound after a 52 - 24 loss against the Colerain Cardinals last week, which brought their record to 2-7. While the Firebirds offense has not been particularly great, ranked 68th in Division 1 with 14.6 points per game, they have improved in recent weeks, averaging 29.5 points over their last 2 contests. Defensively, giving up 27.3 points per game, they rank 50th in the division.
Prediction: Lakota West to win (83.87% chance of victory)