On Friday, the Sycamore Aviators are looking forward to a game which they should theoretically control. As a projected 33-19 winner, the pressure is on them to come out swinging against the Princeton Vikings, a team that's not expected to simply roll over. The Aviators rank 30th in the state while the Vikings rank 155th in the state and 44th in Division 1. The Aviators, the better team on paper, will look to prove their superiority on the field come Friday. The teams did not appear on each other's schedules last season, which presents a degree of unpredictability. Stylistically and schematically, past matchups are often used as a guiding tool. This week, however, each team will likely take time to adjust to an unfamiliar opponent, which should make for some added excitement.
While it's early in the season, Princeton does not look in any better of a situation than they were last year regarding playoff contention. They finished last season 3-7 and come into the week with a current record of 2-0. Currently projected at 12th in the region, they'll need every win they can get to earn a spot in the playoffs. They've been proficient thus far on both sides of the ball. Their offense ranks 9th in Division 1, scoring an average of 40 points per game. Their defense, giving up just 3.5 points per game, ranks 2nd in the division.
Sycamore's goal this year is to extend the season as far beyond 10 games as possible. After missing out last season, they appear capable of doing just that. With a projected regular season record of 9-1, they should finish towards the top of the regional playoff standings if they can live up to expectations for the rest of the year. The Aviators come in as the 8th-ranked offense in Division 1, scoring 40.5 points per game. On defense, they rank 40th, giving up an average of 22.
Prediction: Sycamore to win (98.42% chance of victory)