Staff writers David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen will square off on three key games on each busy night of the fall football season. Tally so far: David 3, Jim 3.
David says: Cretin-Derham Hall 14, Mounds View 6
Injuries will affect skill players at WR and RB, but QB Kevin Miley and the defense will find ways to keep the Raiders competitive. And for the first time in a long time, the Raiders have something to prove against Mounds View after losing to the Mustangs in the Class 5A tournament quarterfinals.
Jim says: Mounds View 22, Cretin-Derham Hall 16
Mounds View moved the ball well on the ground in a tighter-than-expected victory over Hastings but had trouble finding paydirt. Jim Galvin is one of the metro's best coaches; he'll have the wrinkles ironed out for the home opener.
David says: St. Anthony 21, DeLaSalle 20
You had to admire the Huskies' penchant for explosive scoring plays last week against Blake: 92-yard kickoff return, 23-yard run, 50-yard pass. A more stern test awaits, but the Huskies will carry the momentum from last season's victory in this matchup.
Jim says: DeLaSalle 33, St. Anthony 17
After losing to St. Anthony last year and surviving a sluggish start to this season -- DeLaSalle trailed by 12 in the third quarter before rallying to beat Concordia Academy -- there is no way the talented Islanders come out flat in this one.
David says: Waconia 20, Glencoe-Silver Lake 16
Battered but unbroken, QB Maxx Williams willed himself to play last week and inspired his team to victory. He'll need another gutty performance -- and his teammates -- against a strong, tradition-rich Panthers team.
Jim says: Glencoe-Silver Lake 20, Waconia 7
The Panthers gave up more than 200 yards in the air but still held Dassel-Cokato to a single touchdown. Waconia's physical, run-first style is more to their liking. Freshman QB Keaton Anderson impressed in his debut.