Staff writers Jim Paulsen and David La Vaque offer their thoughts and predictions for three Friday night matchups on day two of prep football’s opening week (games are at 7 p.m.).


Becker at Minnetonka

Jim says: This may be a David vs. Goliath matchup, but Class 4A Becker has some stones in the slingshot. Becker’s wide-open spread offense will make Minnetonka sweat, but the Skippers pull this one out just in time.

Pick: Minnetonka 33, Becker 27

David says: Yes, much respect to the Bulldogs for battling an opponent two sizes above their weight class. But Lake Conference football is another level. Minnetonka’s depth makes the difference.

Pick: Minnetonka 28, Becker 14


DeLaSalle at St. Croix Lutheran

Jim says: I admit to being infatuated with how St. Croix Lutheran uses precision to bridge a frequent gap in overall talent. The defending Class 3A champs will need a near-perfect performance, but I smell an upset.

Pick: St. Croix Lutheran 36, DeLaSalle 33

David says: Striving to finish the job at the Class 4A state tournament, DeLaSalle is eager for such a great, early test. The host Crusaders will develop into a great team later. This game is all about the Islanders.

Pick: DeLaSalle 31, St. Croix Lutheran 21


St. Thomas Academy at South St. Paul

Jim says: With a largely inexperienced starting lineup, South St. Paul looked like an unpolished product in a season-opening loss to Chanhassen. Don’t expect the Packers, with a game in hand and a week to prepare for their biggest rivals, to lose two in a row at home.

Pick: South St. Paul 23, St. Thomas Academy 20

David says: Remember how the Classic Suburban Conference disbanded in hopes of starting anew without St. Thomas Academy? Well, the Cadets were placed in the Metro East Conference with most of those same teams. Don’t think the Cadets forgot.

Pick: St. Thomas Academy 35, South St. Paul 14