Friday, 7 p.m.
Totino-Grace Eagles (11-1) vs. Eden Prairie Eagles (12-0)
Jim says: This matchup between two polarizing programs is bound to generate statewide interest in the way the New York Yankees or Dallas Cowboys do on a national level. Totino-Grace coach Jeff Ferguson and Eden Prairie coach Mike Grant are masters at gamesmanship, so watching their tactics could be just as entertaining as the game. On the field, Eden Prairie has dominated Totino-Grace in three meetings since 2011, including a 47-22 victory in the last year’s Class 6A semifinals. Some in the Eden Prairie camp believe this outcome will be the same. I think it will be closer, but Eden Prairie will win its fourth consecutive championship.
• The pick: Eden Prairie 26, Totino-Grace 14
David says: Only two schools, in any class, have won four or more consecutive titles: Mahnomen with four in then-Class C (1990-93) and Stephen-Argyle Central with five in Nine-Man (2003-07). Eden Prairie will join that realm because the Eagles do everything Totino-Grace does — run the ball, defend well and make adjustments — but with bigger, faster, stronger athletes at almost every position. I agree with Jim’s notion of overconfidence, but it won’t matter. Will Rains has rushed for 1,374 yards while Belal Omar (519) and J.D. Spielman (493) have chipped in another 1,000 yards combined. But watch quarterback Grantham Gillard. The transfer from Maranatha Christian Academy can surprise defenses with deep balls or bootleg runs for demoralizing big gains and touchdowns. And don’t forget the Eagles’ tough defense.
The pick: Eden Prairie 31,