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Nothing to lose

By JASON GONZALEZ, 09/28/12, 2:00AM CDT


No. 1 Eden Prairie not overwhelming for South

JASON GONZALEZ/Star Tribune - South runs through its game plan one last time on Thursday before facing the state's No. 1 team Eden Prairie.

Floating around the school parking lot after practice on Wednesday, a group of the South High School football players began to fantasize about "what if."

"If we beat Eden Prairie this week, it'll be the biggest upset in Minnesota high school football history," one of the players yelled out. Teammates responded with more hopeful statements including, "We'll be on the front page of the newspaper."

The Tigers know very well what awaits them tonight at Eden Prairie. "The best team in the state," is how most of the group described it throughout the week of preparation. To clarify, the Eagles are not just the No. 1-ranked team in the state, but the defending Class 5A champion.

Instead of being intimidated by the hype, senior running back Kaleb Pritchard is embracing it.

"They have everything to lose. We don't," Pritchard said. "We're expected to lose."

If last year's 42-point loss on the same field is any indication of what is come for South, it could be a long night. But for a program with aspirations to one day regularly play alongside Lake Conference teams, it can be a statement game. If the Tigers can match their 20-point output from last year, coach Lenny Sedlock and his players would leave with smiles..

Here's a look at both team's run through the first half of the season:
South (Not ranked)
Record: 3-1 - Week 1: Roosevelt, W 15-0; Week 2: Washburn, L 33-6; Week 3: Mpls. North, W 51-27; Week 4: Henry, W 36-22.
Avg. points per game: 27

Eden Prairie (Ranked No. 1 in state)
Record: 4-0 - Week 1: Champlin Park, @ 55-20;  Week 2: Rosemount, W, 34-7; Week 3: Centennial, W 49-12;  Week 4: Hopkins, W 42-21
Avg. points per game: 45

Minneapolis South (3-1) at Eden Prairie (4-0), 7 p.m. Friday
Last year's result: Eden Prairie won 62-20
Noteworthy: South's 20 points against Eden Prairie last season were the most the Eagles gave up in the regular season. South also seeks to join Eden Prairie in the Lake Conference.

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