Minnetonka vs. Maple Grove

7 p.m., Friday, Sept. 14

There’s been steady improvement in Minnetonka's program since winning just three games in 2015, leading to last year's 11-2 overall record and an appearance in the the Class 6A title game, where the Skippers fell 38-17 to Eden Prairie.

Hope floats again this season, as Minnetonka is off to another good start and looks to improve to 3-0 after a visit to Maple Grove in our Top Game of the Week.

Minnetonka, ranked No. 2 in The Associated Press' Class 6A poll from Sept. 5, defeated No. 10-6A Wayzata 27-24 last Friday, giving the Skippers a jump start in Metro West subdistrict play after a second-place finish a year ago.

Minnetonka (2-0, 1-0) is led by its offensive weapons, including quarterback Aaron Syverson. The senior completed 24 of 36 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns in the first two weeks, and his favorite target has been Jackson Owens, a 6-foot-1 wide receiver with 14 catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns. When the Skippers and Crimson faced each other last fall, Syverson threw for 240 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-21 win.

The No. 6-6A Crimson, meanwhile, hope this week's league opener is a bounce-back game after losing 29-11 to No. 5-6A Prior Lake last Friday.

Maple Grove (1-1, 0-0) counters with Evan Hull, one of the state's top running backs. The senior leads all rushers with 63 carries and 507 yards this season. Hull had a 387-yard performance in the Crimson's 34-7 season-opening victory over Osseo on Aug. 30 and was integral for the Crimson in the last meeting with the Skippers, compiling 197 yards and a touchdown.