Centennial vs. Minnetonka

7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 15

Centennial sophomore quarterback Daylen Cummings doesn’t throw much. And why should he? Reading defenses, scrambling out of the pocket, checking down to a third or fourth option, flinging the ball into openings the size of a dinner plate. It’s exhausting typing all of that out, much less trying to execute it while being chased by behemoths with bad intentions. 

Cummings has attempted just 37 passes this season for the No. 7-6A Cougars (4-2), whose punishing style of play instead leans heavily toward the 200-pound sledgehammer that is Lance Liu. A senior running back, Liu has gained 592 yards on 118 carries. He averages 5 yards per carry and 98.7 yards per game.

Liu gained 119 yards and ran for a touchdown in Centennial’s 26-14 win over Blaine last week, the Cougars’ fourth straight victory after opening the season with back-to-back losses. 

Speaking of turnarounds, No. 8-6A Minnetonka (5-1) is in the midst of a superb season after a couple, well, not-so-good ones. The Skippers, 2-5 last season and 0-9 in 2019, got three touchdown passes from senior quarterback Will Martin in last week’s 41-8 rout of Totino-Grace. 

Skippers star defensive back Evan Swenson, a senior with a state-best six interceptions, doesn’t figure to have many opportunities to add to that total against the run-heavy Cougars. But the shifty Swenson can burn teams in other ways, as shown by his 44-yard punt return for a touchdown last week.