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Staff writers David LaVaque and Jim Paulsen bring private disagreements public about key high school football games each week. They won’t disagree all the time, but enough to keep score of who’s better at predicting outcomes.
ST. CROIX LUTHERAN AT DELASALLE, 7 p.m.
Jim says: There is so much to like about DeLaSalle: Junior QB Billy Hart, who blossomed in summer 7-on-7s; James Lawson, who can take over games at WR, and RB Chris Williams, who resembles Emmitt Smith with his ability to slip through holes.
Pick: DeLaSalle 34, St. Croix Lutheran 14
David says: A lack of experience will ultimately cost St. Croix Lutheran a chance at victory. But the Crusaders will not beat themselves. DeLaSalle had better play fast and smart.
Pick: DeLaSalle 28, St. Croix Lutheran 7
ST. PAUL HIGHLAND PARK at MINNEAPOLIS WASHBURN, 7 p.m.
Jim says: The Scots have adapted to changing personnel. For once, the lines are deep and experienced, giving unproven skill players a chance to flourish. And everyone knows that winning football depends on line play.
Pick: St. Paul Highland Park 20, Minneapolis Washburn 10
David says: Mired in the distraction of one standout running back transferring and another said to be nearly doing likewise, Washburn is already at a crossroads. The belief here is the Millers regroup and take their frustrations out on the Scots.
Pick: Minneapolis Washburn 21, St. Paul Highland Park 14
NORTHFIELD AT IRONDALE, 8 p.m.
Jim says: Things are looking up for Irondale. Eriq Smith leads a big offensive line. The defense, led by safety Noah Espeseth, is sound. The question: How quickly will Jared Brenny settle in at QB?
Pick: Irondale 27, Northfield 20
David says: Though a little green, the Raiders’ junior-dominated lineup uses speed, excitement and enthusiasm to rise up and grab an early-season upset on the road.
Pick: Northfield 24, Irondale 21