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Prep football picks for Friday

11/01/2012, 10:45pm CDT
By Star Tribune

David and Jim are in a dead heat at 21-19. So this weekend, they will pick 10 games, all 7 p.m. Friday.

David and Jim are in a dead heat at 21-19. So this weekend, they will pick 10 games, all 7 p.m. Friday.

CLASS 6A

Minnetonka (4-5) at Maple Grove (9-0)

Jim says: The Skippers are the best sub-.500 team in the state. Four losses were to tough Lake Conference foes and the fifth to one of Wisconsin's best teams. With strength at DB in the Singleton brothers and Malcom Moore, Minnetonka matches up well. Pick: Minnetonka 30, Maple Grove 28

David says: Minnetonka took a page from Maple Grove coach and former Wayzata defensive coordinator Matt Lombardi's book to stymie Hopkins last week. Don't count on that scheme working twice. Crimson receivers Brycen Wojta and Jake Wieneke move the chains. Pick: Maple Grove 35, Minnetonka 31

Eastview (6-3) at Mounds View (8-1)

Jim says: Mounds View is one of those teams where the sum is greater than the parts. The Mustangs are aggressive on defense and have a stud in DL Mick Nelson, but the real star is their physical nature. Opponents always know they're in for a war. Pick: Mounds View 20, Eastview 13

David says: Mounds View coach Jim Galvin said it: Eastview is big and physical -- just like the Stillwater team that handed the Mustangs their first loss this season. Both teams thrive on power football. Eastview will play its version a little better. Pick: Eastview 24, Mounds View 21

Eden Prairie (7-2) at Osseo (6-3)

Jim says: A well-known sports columnist told me this week that Eden Prairie coach Mike Grant -- a close personal friend -- believes the Eagles will win another state championship. I learned long ago: Never pick against the Eagles in the playoffs. Pick: Eden Prairie 22, Osseo 6

David says: You can have a special season without winning a championship, and that will be Osseo's legacy. Orioles players will compete like their hair is on fire at home, but Eden Prairie's size and depth and postseason savvy win out. Pick: Eden Prairie 17, Osseo 8

Blaine (6-3) at Edina (8-1)

Jim says: Say this for Blaine -- the Bengals are survivors. After nearly pulling off a remarkable comeback against Champlin Park, Blaine has given up just 15 points in its past three games. Not saying Blaine will win, but Edina better bring its 'A' game. Pick: Edina 17, Blaine 10

David says: With playmakers on offense and a rugged defense, Edina is equipped to win in a variety of ways. The Hornets are on the Metrodome's doorstep. If they avoid playing tentatively, the Hornets' next stop is downtown Minneapolis. Pick: Edina 21, Blaine 14

CLASS 5A

Spring Lake Park (9-0) at Totino-Grace (9-0)

Jim says: Totino-Grace doesn't earn any offensive style points, but it doesn't have to with perhaps the state's most disciplined and hard-nosed defense. No coaching staff better prepares players for the postseason than Jeff Ferguson and his assistants. Pick: Totino-Grace 21, Spring Lake Park 12

David says: Fresh off a state tournament appearance, Spring Lake Park once again boasts a strong running game and solid defense. Trouble is, those are the same areas Totino-Grace excels. And whatever it is, something crazy always goes the Eagles' way. Pick: Totino-Grace 20, Spring Lake Park 6

East Ridge (5-4) at St. Thomas Academy (8-1)

Jim says: A midseason wake-up call --a 20-13 home loss to Mahtomedi -- has got St. Thomas Academy playing with an edge. East Ridge gave up more than 350 yards rushing to White Bear Lake two weeks ago. The Cadets offense must be salivating. Pick: St. Thomas Academy 30, East Ridge 21

David says: Iron sharpens iron. East Ridge spent its season toiling against tough 6A teams while St. Thomas Academy could afford to rest its starters in the second half more than once. RB Nick Leach and the Raptors offense take charge. Pick: East Ridge 21, St. Thomas Academy 14

Elk River (5-5) at St. Michael-Albertville (7-3)

Jim says: Elk River's sleight-of-hand offense can give opponents fits trying to locate the ball. But St. Michael-Albertville did just fine in 2011 with a convincing victory. The Knights' defense, which gives up 12.3 points per game, trumps the Elks offense. Pick: St. Michael-Albertville 28, Elk River 19.

David says: Rushing for more than 500 yards gets an offense noticed. But the defense recorded a pick-six in the section semifinals and got tough in the fourth quarter. Another balanced performance sends Elk River to state. Pick: Elk River 27, St. Michael-Albertville 20

CLASS 4A

Cooper (8-2) at DeLaSalle (9-0)

Jim says: With lots of athletic ability on both rosters, the score could be basketball-like. DeLaSalle worked out some kinks in a tight victory over Benilde-St. Margaret's. Expect the Islanders offense to be humming in this one. Pick: DeLaSalle 42, Cooper 26

David says: It's hard to hum when someone punches you in the mouth (figuratively) and that's what I expect the Hawks' defense to do. The unit is fast and they can hit. Staying disciplined will be key to stranding the Islanders. Pick: Cooper 31, DeLaSalle 21

Glencoe-Silver Lake (8-1) at Hutchinson (9-0)

Jim says: How can a team go undefeated without having a close game, yet fly under the radar? Hutchinson is likely the most complete team in Class 4A. The Tigers beat GSL in Week 2. They'll do it again. Pick: Hutchinson 31, Glencoe-Silver Lake 14

David says: Hutchinson is solid but beatable. There is no secret formula. The Tigers are tough; the Panthers must be tougher. Sustained offensive drives and more sound defensive play make the difference in the rematch upset. Pick: Glencoe-Silver Lake 21, Hutchinson 20

Hill-Murray (7-2) at South St. Paul (8-1)

Jim says: The Pioneers' Nick Engels played well while subbing at QB for injured Zach LaValle in a victory over St. Paul Harding. This game will be much tougher, but if the Pioneers can run effectively and Engels manages the game well, this could be an upset. Pick: Hill-Murray 24, South St. Paul 21

David says: South St. Paul's ground-and-pound offense can control the ball, shorten the game and force Hill-Murray to play from behind. That's a position the Pioneers, inexperienced behind center, can ill afford. The Pack is going back to the state tournament. Pick: South St. Paul 22, Hill-Murray 19

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Tag(s): All Articles  Star Tribune  Hub Exclusive  Coaching  Rushing  Defense  South  Hill-Murray  Mahtomedi  South St. Paul  St. Thomas Academy  Lake  Eden Prairie  Edina  Hopkins  Minnetonka  Wayzata  Elk River  St. Michael-Albertville  Benilde-St. Margaret's  Spring Lake Park  Totino-Grace  Blaine  Champlin Park  Maple Grove  Osseo  Eastview  St. Paul Harding  East Ridge  Mounds View  Park of Cottage Grove   Stillwater  White Bear Lake   DeLaSalle  Glencoe-Silver Lake  Hutchinson