One of the most competitive matchups of week 2 pits the Centerville Elks against the Lakota West Firebirds. The Elks are projected to win by a score of 24 - 22 in what is essentially a toss-up game. The Firebirds head into Friday ranked 86th in the state and will travel to take on a fellow top-100 team as the Elks come in ranked 71st. With no true consensus over who's the better team, they'll have to sort all that out on the field. Having matched up in 2017, there is a degree of familiarity between the two. Last season, the Elks beat the Firebirds 42 - 21.
For Lakota West, each game is an opportunity to develop and improve. Projected as the 14th-ranked team in the region come the end of the season, the Firebirds look to use this opportunity to defy expectations. They enter the game with a projected regular season record of 2-8 but, with so much time remaining in the season, there's still a chance to greatly exceed those expectations. As 0-point underdogs against the St. Xavier Bombers last week, the Firebirds ended up with their first loss of the season. They will need to improve on both sides of the ball as their offense ranked 68th and their defense ranked 57th for the opening week.
After their 49 - 21 loss against the Fairfield Indians in the season opener, the Elks are not in as formidable a position as last season. After making the postseason last year, they are projected to finish 11th in the region with a record of 6-4. However, it's early in the season and they'll look to build momentum and exceed those early season expectations. After a season-opening 49 - 21 loss against the Fairfield Indians, they'll look to make improvements on both sides of the ball as the season goes on.
Prediction: Centerville to win (63.37% chance of victory)