Prior Lake has a casino and, well, Upper and Lower Prior Lake. Shakopee has the horse racing track and Valleyfair. Neither of these neighboring communities in the south metro can also count their football programs as signature attractions, but that could be changing this season.
Prior Lake, a four-time Class 6A state tourney entrant, made a high-decibel statement early this season, belting highly regarded Rosemount 28-13 behind 21 points in the fourth quarter. All three of the Lakers' (1-0) touchdowns came on the ground, with Sam Emmerich, Tyler Shaver and quarterback Nate Raddatz punching the ball in from 8, 2 and 20 yards, respectively.
Shakopee, which has reached the Class 6A state tournament just once, in 1981, debuted last week with an eye-opening 42-0 rout of Eagan. Quarterback David Bigaouette piloted the Sabers’ (1-0) new option offense as if he created it, scoring rushing touchdowns of 22, 27 and 16 yards.
What’s at stake? Neither team cracked the Star Tribune’s season-opening Metro Top 10 rankings, but the winner is almost guaranteed at least a temporary spot among the Twin Cities’ big-school elite.