skip navigation

State football quarterfinals staff picks

By Star Tribune, 11/05/14, 10:20PM CST


Our weekly staff picks continue with Round 1 of the football tournament.

Class 6A

No. 1 seed Eden Prairie (10-0) vs. East Ridge (9-1), at Woodbury, 7 p.m. Friday

Jim says: Fans have been climbing over themselves finding reasons to declare Eden Prairie’s run of success over. Now we get to see if they’re right. I’m not ready to bury the Eagles quite yet.

Pick: Eden Prairie 30, East Ridge 19

David says: I’ll agree with the Eden Prairie pick, but a monster game from East Ridge dual-threat quarterback Seth Green could make us both look dumb(er).

Pick: Eden Prairie 28, East Ridge 14


No. 2 Rosemount (10-0) vs. Lakeville North (9-1), at Edina Community Center, 7:30 p.m. Thursday

Jim says: Rosemount has looked virtually unbeatable this season, but it hasn’t faced a defense like Lakeville North’s. The Panthers should also get an emotional lift from the likely return from injury of LB Tristyn Hanson. Rosemount wins a war.

Pick: Rosemount 24, Lakeville North 17

David says: Lakeville North’s defense has scored eight touchdowns — six interceptions, two fumble recoveries — so Rosemount cannot turn the ball over. Watch for the Irish to use a smart, if not conservative, game plan to stay in control.

Pick: Rosemount 20, Lakeville North 13


No. 3 Mounds View (9-1) vs. Totino-Grace (9-1), at Maple Grove, 7 p.m. Thursday

Jim says: Mounds View’s only loss this season came at Menasha (Wis.), a team with a smash-mouth reputation. After a slow-start, Totino-Grace has built a similar identity. In cold November weather, no-nonsense football wins games.

Pick: Totino-Grace 21, Mounds View 13

David says: Totino-Grace has improved, but Mounds View remains the favorite. The Mustangs’ defense is fast and physical. Expect it to take away too many things from an already limited Eagles attack.

Pick: Mounds View 17, Totino-Grace 10


No. 4 Maple Grove (9-1) vs. No. 5 Prior Lake (9-1) at Minnetonka, 7 p.m. Friday

Jim says: Prior Lake has a well-earned reputation for defense, but Maple Grove’s defense has been equally good, having shut out five of its past six opponents. Points will be tough to come by, but Prior Lake gets the edge with experience.

Pick: Prior Lake 13, Maple Grove 10

David says: Edge in experience? Maple Grove went to state last season. Both teams boast dynamic, two-way players in Prior Lake’s Alex Hart and Maple Grove’s Isaac Collins. I like Collins and company a little bit more.

Pick: Maple Grove 21, Prior Lake 14


Class 5A

Bemidji (9-1) vs. St. Michael-Albertville (9-1) at St. Cloud State, 7 p.m. Friday

Jim says: St. Michael-Albertville has the pieces in place for a title run: It runs the ball, has a savvy veteran in quarterback Jackson Greenwaldt and a fast, swarming defense of playmakers. I think the Knights are Prep Bowl-bound.

Pick: St. Michael-Albertville 34, Bemidji 21

David says: Anything is possible, but St. Michael-Albertville earned the tag of favorite for defeating Rogers and Elk River in the past three weeks. Iron sharpens iron, and the Knights will make good use of their experience in tough games.

Pick: St. Michael-Albertville 28, Bemidji 20


Class 4A

Holy Angels (10-0) vs. Hutchinson (10-0) at Minneapolis Washburn, 7 p.m. Friday

Jim says: Holy Angels’ good fortune helped pull out a victory over Holy Family, but a team doesn’t luck into a perfect record. Few coaches prepare a team for a big game better than Ray Betton, but beating Hutchinson’s juggernaut is asking too much.

Pick: Hutchinson 43, Holy Angels 20

David says: Hutchinson is going to leave tracks on everyone it faces en route to its third consecutive championship. The only question this week is whether the starters will be needed in the fourth quarter.

Pick: Hutchinson 48, Holy Angels 14


Class 3A

St. Croix Lutheran (8-2) vs. Rochester Lourdes (10-0) at Farmington, 6 p.m. Saturday

Jim says: Defending Class 3A champion St. Croix Lutheran may have ripped off eight wins in a row, but the Crusaders lost to their two toughest opponents, DeLaSalle and Holy Angels. Lourdes is big, fast, relentless and just plain good.

Pick: Rochester Lourdes 33, St. Croix Lutheran 16

David says: Football fans deserve better than having a game between the defending state champs and No. 1 Rochester Lourdes in the state quarterfinals. Full disclosure: I never voted Lourdes No. 1 in my poll all season. I’m not starting now.

Pick: St. Croix Lutheran 35, Rochester Lourdes 21


Class 1A

Minneapolis North (11-0) vs. Blooming Prairie (11-0) at Richfield, 7 p.m. Friday.

Jim says: Two of the state’s most dynamic quarterbacks — North’s Tyler Johnson and Blooming Prairie’s John Rumpza — square off. But the deciding matchup will be in the trenches, which is where the Awesome Blossoms are simply more awesome.

Pick: Blooming Prairie 34, Minneapolis North 20

David says: It’s true that the push-and-pull nature of football leaves Minneapolis-St. Paul public schools at a disadvantage. But the Polars can score points in bunches and force opponents into the uncomfortable role of playing catch-up.

Pick: Minneapolis North 28, Blooming Prairie 21

Related Stories