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Staff picks: State football quarterfinals

By Star Tribune, 11/07/12, 9:29PM CST


Last week, Jim, using a little insight and a lot of luck, picked eight of 10 games correctly and is 29-21. David, who went 5-5, is 26-24. This weekend's picks of 10 state quarterfinals include four Class 6A games at the Metrodome.


Class 6A: Rosemount (6-4) vs. Edina (9-1), 5 p.m.

Jim says: Like good defensive line play? Check out Edina's Deon Dorvil, a 290-pound tackle who manhandles blockers and devours running backs. A run-stopper extraordinaire. Jerry Kill, are you paying attention? Pick: Edina 23, Rosemount 10

David says: With all respect to Dorvil, it's receiver/kick returner Marley Allison who gives the Hornets their buzz. Rosemount earned its right to be here, but Edina is simply too strong at too many positions. Pick: Edina 21, Rosemount 7

Class 6A: Lakeville North (9-1) vs. Prior Lake (9-1), 8 p.m.

Jim says: Lakeville North coach Brian Vossen is a superb motivator, but he won't need to say much. The Panthers' 10-6 regular-season loss to the Lakers is all they need. QB Zach Creighton and the defense will do the rest. Pick: Lakeville North 21, Prior Lake 13

David says: Prior Lake already proved its state tournament appearance last season was no fluke. And the physical Lakers' running game will help ensure a repeat victory against the Panthers. Pick: Prior Lake 24, Lakeville North 21


Class 6A: Eastview (7-3) vs. Wayzata (8-1), 5 p.m.

Jim says: Eastview is on the rise and playing its best football. Keep an eye on sophomore running back Will Rains, a beast at 6 feet and 215 pounds, with more than 1,500 yards rushing and a history of decleating defenders. Pick: Eastview 21, Wayzata 16

David says: Wayzata humbled then-No. 8 Eastview 24-7 in Week 2. The Trojans do it again Friday. Watch for a hungry young linebacker to assert himself in place of injured Gophers recruit Chris Wipson. Pick: Wayzata 20, Eastview 14

Class 6A: Minnetonka (5-5) vs. Eden Prairie (8-2), 8 p.m.

Jim says: I'm done trying to figure out Eden Prairie's offense. Let's just say that the Eagles' obstinate defense will keep them in the game and that any of a dozen offensive players will step up when needed. Pick: Eden Prairie 26, Minnetonka 6

David says: A healthier Minnetonka squad redeemed itself after a frustrating season with a state tournament appearance. But the Skippers are 1-10 under coach Dave Nelson against Eden Prairie. Redemption has its limits. Pick: Eden Prairie 24, Minnetonka 13

Class 5A: Totino-Grace (10-0) vs. Apple Valley (8-2), at Griffin Stadium, 7 p.m.

Jim says: Want to beat Totino-Grace? Score early and often and force the Eagles to play catch-up. But Totino-Grace has trailed only three times this year - once in the second half - and never by more than a touchdown. Pick: Totino-Grace 24, Apple Valley 12

David says: Facing the No. 1 team in Class 5A is tough. Doing it with banged-up skill players makes for a difficult night. Kudos to Apple Valley for a rousing comeback season, but equipment turn-in day is nigh. Pick: Totino-Grace 31, Apple Valley 8

Class 5A: Elk River (6-5) vs. St. Thomas Academy (9-1), at Osseo, 7 p.m.

Jim says: St. Thomas Academy can bring in running backs in waves and has a surplus of playmakers in the secondary. The Cadets won't be fooled by Elk River's hidden-ball offense. Pick: St. Thomas Academy 31, Elk River 16

David says: Elk River respects the Cadets but doesn't fear them. The Elks' shell game offense might not produce explosive scoring runs but can sustain long drives. Shortening the game is the key to victory. Pick: Elk River 21, St. Thomas Academy 20

Class 4A: DeLaSalle (10-0) vs. Becker (9-1), at Hopkins, 7 p.m.

Jim says: It's time to give some love to the Islanders' defense, which blanked an awfully athletic Cooper 28-0 Saturday. It appears that the only team that can beat DeLaSalle is ... DeLaSalle. Pick: DeLaSalle 38, Becker 21

David says: You need a special quarterback in big games, and the Bulldogs' Tommy Benson is such a player. An undersized but active Becker defense will do just enough to limit the dynamic Islanders. Pick: Becker 27, DeLaSalle 21

Class 4A: Hutchinson (10-0) vs. Kasson-Mantorville (9-1), at Chanhassen, 7 p.m.

Jim says: Moving up to Class 4A hasn't fazed the KoMets, whose only loss was to No. 1, 3A Rochester Lourdes. But beating Hutchinson, which hasn't had a game closer than 21 points this season, is too much to ask. Pick: Hutchinson 41, Kasson-Mantorville 20

David says: The KoMets nickname is great. Physical, disciplined and opportunistic Hutchinson is greater. Watch for defensive lineman Shaun Schindler, considered by some the best player, period, in the Wright County Conference. Pick: Hutchinson 28, Kasson-Mantorville 14

Class 4A: Hill-Murray (8-2) vs. Holy Family (8-3), at Macalester, 7 p.m.

Jim says: The nickname Fire describes how Holy Family has played recently, winning six in a row. Super-sophomore Chazz Johnson, finally healthy, had four touchdowns in a 42-35 victory over Holy Angels. Pick: Holy Family 34, Hill-Murray 23

David says: Who said Hill-Murray was just for hockey players? A second consecutive trip to the state tournament semifinals is in reach, thanks to a comeback victory last week. The Pioneers will find a way again. Pick: Hill-Murray 28, Holy Family 27


Class 3A: St. Croix Lutheran (9-1) vs. Blue Earth (10-0), at Lakeville North, 6 p.m.

Jim says: Blue Earth has a stud in quarterback Kysten Zierke, who handles the Buccaneers' pistol offense deftly and runs through arm tackles. A demanding schedule has them battle-tested. Pick: Blue Earth 36, St. Croix Lutheran 20

David says: Blue Earth is the No. 2 team in Class 3A, one spot ahead of the defending champion Crusaders. They have two E's in their favor: experience and explosiveness. Pick: St. Croix Lutheran 34, Blue Earth 24

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