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Saturday's prep football staff picks

10/25/2013, 11:12pm CDT
By Star Tribune

Round two of the football playoffs features teams vying for a chance to play for section championships

Prep Picks

Round two of the football playoffs features teams vying for a chance to play for section championships and a spot in the state tournament. Staff writers Jim Paulsen and David La Vaque dig into three games and find some disagreement.


Elk River (3-6) at Rogers (8-0), 3 p.m.

Jim says: No question Elk River will pose a tougher test than its record suggests, but Rogers has home-field advantage, the highest-scoring offense in Class 5A and a surliness that comes from losses to the Elks in each of the past two seasons. Pick: Rogers 45, Elk River 35

David says: Elk River running back Denis Bardashevskiy piled up 370 yards and five touchdowns at Rogers in this game last season. If there is a legal way to prevent the young man from getting off the team bus, Rogers better find it. Pick: Elk River 42, Rogers 38


St. Thomas Academy (7-2)

at Tartan (6-2), 7 p.m.

Jim says: St. Thomas Academy improved steadily as the season progressed and is set up well for postseason success: a shut-down defense accented by a ball-control running game. Pick: St. Thomas Academy 33, Tartan 20.

David says: Tartan’s strong run through the Classic Suburban Conference did not include a meeting with St. Thomas Academy. The Titans’ first look at the Cadets will be a revelation. Pick: St. Thomas Academy 28, Tartan 14


Chanhassen (7-2) at

Mankato West (7-1), 3 p.m.

Jim says: After a run of lopsided wins, save for a three-point loss to No. 1-ranked Owatonna, the Scarlets had to battle in close victories over Faribault and Rochester Mayo. That experience will serve them well. Pick: Mankato West 42, Chanhassen 31.

David says: Chanhassen’s seven-game winning streak was built on the ability to run the football, control the tempo and break an opponent down. Expect more of the same by the Storm. Pick: Chanhassen 24, Mankato West 21

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Tag(s): Star Tribune  Hub Exclusive  Faribault  Mankato West  Owatonna  Rochester Mayo  Metro East  St. Thomas Academy  Tartan  Rogers  Chanhassen  Elk River