After Week 1, David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen both have 4-2 records. Three high-profile Class 6A matchups are spotlighted this week, all with no clear favorite, boding well for breaking the tie.
LAKEVILLE NORTH AT EDEN PRAIRIE, 7 P.M.
Jim says: On paper, these two are remarkably similar. Both are tough, physical and disciplined and don’t beat themselves. The difference is playmakers. Eden Prairie, with Benny Sapp III, Antonio Montero, Solo Falaniko and company, presents too many weapons. Pick: Eden Prairie 21, Lakeville North 14
David says: Lakeville North’s names aren’t as known — yet. But QB Brennan Kuebler, RB Brian Curtis Jr. and WR Raja Nelson are an emerging triple threat. The Panthers recorded zero penalties or turnovers last week and scored two defensive touchdowns. Pick: Lakeville North 27, Eden Prairie 24
ST. MICHAEL-ALBERTVILLE AT BLAINE, 7 P.M.
Jim says: Based on Week 1, points could pile up. Blaine showed its quick-strike capabilities, with QB Connor Melton passing for 400 yards. St. Michael-Albertville overwhelmed Mounds View early. Now Blaine knows what to expect, and the Bengals will be ready. Pick: Blaine 38, St. Michael-Albertville 28
David says: It’s hard to say exactly what St. Michael-Albertville has because the Knights didn’t need much past halftime last week. They took a great first step as a Class 6A program. Count on a renewed focus against Blaine, a state semifinalist last year. Pick: St. Michael-Albertville 21, Blaine 14
PRIOR LAKE AT MAPLE GROVE, 7 P.M.
Jim says: Both teams lean on hard-nosed defenses and running attacks while breaking in first-year QBs. This is the fourth consecutive season these two will play; Maple Grove won the previous three. I have a feeling this is Prior Lake’s year. Pick: Prior Lake 20, Maple Grove 16.
David says: Wow, the great matchups keep coming. Maple Grove coach Matt Lombardi credits the Lakers for being the “opponent that comes at you the most.” Still, the Crimson have the edge at home. Pick: Maple Grove 24, Prior Lake 21