Staff picks: Thursday's state semifinal football games

  • Updated: November 14, 2012 - 10:19 PM

Jim picked up another game on David in last week's 10-game bonanza. They will pick every game from now until the last Prep Bowl championship on Nov. 24. Jim is 36-24; David is 32-28. The time is now, David, if you're going to make a run. (All games at the Metrodome.)

CLASS 2A

BOLD (11-0) vs. Caledonia (11-0), 11:30 a.m.

Jim says: I'm a big believer in teams peaking at the right time, and Caledonia, having allowed just six points in three playoff games, is trending right now. With four Class 2A championships in five years, the Warriors know how to win in November. Pick: Caledonia 21, BOLD 7.

David says: Peaking? When was Caledonia, manufacturing hub of Miken baseball and softball bats, ever slumping? It always starts with defense, and the top-ranked Warriors pitched five shutouts this season. Fourth-ranked BOLD can't win if it can't score. Pick: Caledonia 34, BOLD 7.

Moose Lake-Willow River (12-0) vs. Jackson County Central (10-2), 2 p.m.

Jim says: Mix a tough schedule with a diverse offense led by RB Darick Vancura and QB Tanner Menke. Add a dollop of speed in WR Darnell Taylor-Breck and an 11-year state tournament drought. You get a Jackson County Central team that's prepared and hungry. Pick: JCC 34, Moose Lake-WR 27.

David says: Second-ranked Moose Lake-Willow River has a title game rematch with Caledonia in its sights. Senior RBs Jake Disterhaupt and Michael Pender -- a tandem averaging more than 250 yards per game -- keep the Rebels on course. Pick: Moose Lake-WR 31, JCC 20.

CLASS 4A

Becker (10-1) vs. Hutchinson (11-0), 4:30 p.m.

Jim says: In a season in which it had steamrolled every opponent, Hutchinson had to have one bad half of football. The Tigers survived a subpar second half against Kasson-Mantorville. Their scorched-earth running game will trample Becker. Pick: Hutchinson 36, Becker 16.

David says: Having sent top-ranked DeLaSalle home for the season, No. 6 Becker won't be intimidated by the No. 2 Tigers. If QB Tommy Benson and his receiving corps are sharp once again and can build a lead, the Bulldogs will be hard to catch. Pick: Becker 21, Hutchinson 20.

CLASS 6A

Rosemount (7-4) vs. Lakeville North (10-1), 7 p.m.

Jim says: I'm a believer in Rosemount's turnaround, but I'm also a realist. Lakeville North is more talented and playing with purpose. The Panthers have the look - not to mention the defense - of a championship team.

Pick: Lakeville North 27, Rosemount 7.

David says: Tip of the cap to Rosemount for extending its season with a solid victory against No. 1 Edina last week. But picking against the Panthers, who blanked Rosemount 35-0 a month ago, is throwing your vote away. Pick: Lakeville North 28, Rosemount 13.

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