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Metro Top Ten: Week 3 rankings and a nod to pleasant surprises

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 09/19/21, 7:15PM CDT


While Metro Top 10 is set up to acknowledge the best teams in the metro, there are plenty of others who have played well enough to deserve a little love.

Wayzata is at No. 2 in this week's rankings, behind undisputed No. 1 Lakeville South (Earl Ebensteiner, Sports Engine)

While Metro Top 10 is set up to acknowledge the best teams in the metro, there are plenty of others who have played well enough to deserve a little love.

Here are my choices for the most pleasant surprises of the season so far:

  • Anoka (2-1): The Tornadoes won just three games from 2017 to 2020, never more than one a season. They’ve already topped that total this season with victories over Forest Lake and Burnsville. And the remainder of schedule sets up well.
  • Osseo (2-1): After a season-opening loss to Maple Grove – no shame there – the Orioles are showing off a lot of offense weapons, starting with senior QB Cade Fitzgerald. Plenty of playmakers behind him in RBs Adrian Bertin, Devin Williams and B.J. Zakiel.
  • Bloomington Kennedy (2-1): The last time the Eagles were above .500 at this point of the season was 2007, which is also the last time they finished with a winning record. They’ve bounced back from a big first-game loss by outscoring their last two opponents by a combined 67-7.
  • Watertown-Mayer (3-0): Less than a year removed from a 29-game losing streak, the Royals improved to 3-0 with an impressive victory over Albany, christening their brand-new stadium in style. Expect interest in Friday’s game against also-undefeated Dassel-Cokato to be intense.


1. Lakeville South (3-0): Def. Eden Prairie 42-7. The Cougars answered any questions about who is No. 1 with emphasis, crushing the metro’s longtime big dogs.

2. Wayzata (3-0): Def. St. Michael-Albertville 34-14. A converted wide receiver, Julian Alfaro Diedrich, is the Trojans’ new bell-cow, running for more than 200 yards and five TDs Friday.

3. Rosemount (3-0): Def. Lakeville North 17-0. The Irish appears to be rounding into shape just in time to play at Eden Prairie on Friday.

4. Shakopee (3-0): Def. Farmington 63-20. No one has been able to stop the Sabers’ quick-hitting option offense, which is averaging 52.3 points per game.

5. Maple Grove (3-0): Def. Minnetonka 35-7. With the Skippers focused on stopping RB Derrick Jameson, QB Jacob Kilzer stepped into the spotlight, running for three scores and passing for two more.

6. Eden Prairie (2-1): lost to Lakeville South 42-7. Sure, they lost, but it came at the hands of the top team in the state. However, the score was very un-Eden Prairie like.

7. Stillwater (3-0): Def. Roseville 42-7. The Ponies’ defense is for real and giving the offense, behind QB Max Shikenjanski and a improving running game, a chance to develop.

8. Woodbury (3-0): Def. Eagan 48-15. QB George Bjellos spread the wealth, completing 14 passes to seven different receivers, five of them for touchdowns.

9. St. Michael-Albertville (2-1): lost to Wayzata 34-14. The loss looks worse that it was. The final score was the Knights’ largest deficit of the game and it was a one-score game for much of the night.

10. (tie) St. Thomas Academy (3-0) and Andover (3-0): These two teams have separated themselves as the best 5A teams in the metro, both coming off convincing victories.

Also worth considering: Prior Lake, Minnetonka, Osseo, White Bear Lake, Blaine, Elk River (5A)

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