Sauk Rapids-Rice vs. St. Francis

7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 7

Yet another battle of 5-0 squads is featured as two of the top teams north of the metro do battle. After a 6-3 campaign last year, Sauk Rapids-Rice has threaded the needle to stay unbeaten despite some close calls. The Storm, ranked No. 9 in Class 5A, were tied at halftime last week against winless Bemidji before pulling away in a 37-23 win. Sauk Rapids-Rice has three wins by one or two possessions.

The Storm are a balanced bunch on offense. It starts with quarterback Keegan Patterson. The junior has thrown for 768 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions this season. Four rushers are over 50 yards on the season led by senior Broden Flakne who's toted it 81 times for 276 yards and two scores. Sauk Rapids-Rice will still be the favorite to earn the top seed in the Section 8 playoffs even with a loss.

St. Francis, ranked No. 10 in Class 5A has also survived a couple close calls. The Saints looked good, however, in a 44-14 win at Chisago Lakes (1-4) last week and also have a win in Week 1 over Class 6A Coon Rapids (2-3). Based on three games logged on Minnesota Football Hub, sophomore running back Grady Brunn leads the team with 189 yards on 40 carries and a touchdown. Senior quarterback Jaxon Skogquist can also sling it. In three games recorded, he's 34 of 64 (56.2%) for six touchdowns and two picks. 

It's been a redemptive season for St. Francis, which finished 3-6 last season and lost 35-7 at Sauk Rapids-Rice. Fortunately for the Saints, they won't have to worry about 2022 graduate Dominic Mathies, who picked them apart to the tune of 239 passing yards and two touchdowns.