Staff writers David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen disagree on just about everything. There is no way David can catch Jim now, but, being a big-game player, David is shooting for a playoffs victory. Jim just yawns. Tally so far: Jim 40, David 19.
Jim says: Totino-Grace 14, Eden Prairie 13
Since becoming the head coach at Totino-Grace, Jeff Ferguson is 13-0 at the Metrodome in state tournament play. I learned my lesson last week when I picked Prior Lake: Do not choose against Totino-Grace at this time of year.
David says: Eden Prairie 21, Totino-Grace 10
Tip of the cap to Totino-Grace for opting up to Class 5A and reaching the final four. Now the Eagles will feel the squeeze of Eden Prairie's boa constrictor game plan. Whatever TG can do, EP can do a little better.
Jim says: Mankato West 33, Bemidji 20
What more to say about the Scarlets? How about this: Philip Nelson threw two interceptions in the quarterfinals against South St. Paul. That doubled his season total to four in 221 attempts, or only one in every 55 attempts.
David says: Bemidji 35, Mankato West 34
An undefeated underdog? Welcome to the Lumberjacks' world. A week ago they put up 24 points on Class 4A's toughest defense. This week they will survive a shootout with the state's finest quarterback.
David says: Annandale 14, Fairmont 7
You can't rattle the Cardinals. Survive an 0-4 start? Done. Endure a tough section slate? Done. Win first state tournament game ever? Done. Coach Matt Walter said his "championship defense" deserves much of the credit.
Jim says: Fairmont 26, Annandale 7
Annandale's run has been fun, but Fairmont is perfectly set up for postseason success. The four-time South Central conference champs have loads of experience, a big-game QB in Ben Kain and a stifling defense. The Prep Bowl awaits.
Jim says: W-E-M 34, ML-WR 26
The nickname is Buccaneers, but Waterville-Elysian-Morristown might be better named as Assassins for their no-nonsense style. They've outscored opponents 311-26 in the first half this year. These guys don't fool around.
David says: ML-WR 28, W-E-M 21
It's too late for the Rebels to patent the term "explosive plays" but they sure are practitioners. Junior RB Jake Disterhaupt averages nearly 18 yards per carry and has more than 2,000 rushing yards this season.
Jim says: Sleepy Eye St. Mary's 20, Mahnomen 16
The Knights are a team no one wants to play right now. They defeated 2010 state champion New Ulm Cathedral, ranked No. 1 in 1A, in the Section 2 semifinals and avoided a letdown with a convincing victory over No. 7 Adrian in the finals.
David says: Mahnomen 21, Sleepy Eye St. Mary's 8
I wouldn't be in a hurry to play the second-ranked Indians, either. Their past three victories forced three top-10 opponents in Class 1A to turn in their equipment. Only once this season have they allowed more than 10 points.
Jim says: Ada-Borup 38, Edgerton/Ellsworth 28
Ada-Borup, making its third trip to the semifinals in four years, can run the ball, but what sets the Cougars apart is QB Jace Hennen. He has passed for more than 1,400 yards and 19 TDs.
David says: Edgerton/Ellsworth 28, Ada-Borup 20
Few programs can run like the Flying Dutchmen, with four players who have rushed for at least 500 yards. Hennen had better watch out for Johnny Menning -- 21 sacks this season.