Four fantastic prep football finales

 

Conference titles are on the line and big games abound Wednesday on the last night of regular-season high school football in Minnesota before section playoffs begin next week. Here is a look at four key matchups that the Star Tribune will be covering:

Lakeville North (6-1) at Rosemount (6-1), 7 p.m.

Lakeville North’s two-year run of strong football, culminating in a Class 6A Prep Bowl runner-up finish last fall, was supposedly in danger after graduation losses. But the Panthers clearly believed otherwise.

– Lakeville North’s four shutouts or its four touchdowns permitted in seven games? It all adds up to a measly 5.2 points per game allowed.

Jesse Cardenas leads the team with 59 tackles and defensive ends Greg Menard and Tristyn Hanson contributed four sacks apiece.

On offense, running back Jamiah Newell has rushed for 1,015 yards at a 7 yards per carry clip.

The Panthers ended Rosemount’s season in the semifinals of the Class 6A state tournament last year.

A two-overtime loss to Wayzata in Week 1 is all that separates Rosemount from being undefeated. Quarterback Jackson Erdmann has thrown for 939 yards and 13 touchdowns, bringing desired balance to the typically ground-and-pound Irish.

Dimitri Williams embodies Rosemount’s dual-threat capabilities, leading the team in rushing (471 yards), receiving (335) and scoring (14 TDs).

While not as stingy as its Lakeville North counterpart, Rosemount’s defense only permits two touchdowns per game, plenty of cushion for a potent offense. And the defense has scored touchdowns in three consecutive weeks, two on Conner Yepsen interceptions.

David says: A balanced Rosemount offense scores just enough at home to win. Rosemount 17, Lakeville North 10.

Jim says: Defense wins big games and no defense in the metro is better than Lakeville North’s. Lakeville North 24, Rosemount 14.

Osseo (6-1) at Totino-Grace (6-1), 7 p.m.

It’s fair to say that few outside of Osseo thought the Orioles, who lost 2012 Metro Player of the Year Bridge Tusler to graduation, would be better this year, but that is certainly the case. Coach Derrin Lamker’s squad is more balanced this year, thanks to the arm of senior quarterback Matt Miedtke, who has thrown for 1,652 yards — more than double the passing yards the Orioles generated in 2012 — and 20 touchdowns, and bookend receivers Connor Kittleson and Josh Goldschmidt, both of whom stand 6-3 and have a combined 65 catches. That dimension has opened up possibilities for running backs Jaimen Hampton and Prince Krauh.

Totino-Grace began the season shorthanded due to injuries and other team factors, but the Eagles are close to full strength now and look fully like a team prepared to make another strong postseason run. Quarterback Seth Sullwold has gained confidence as the season has progressed, largely due to the presence of a trio of stellar running backs in Lance Benick, Kez Flomo and Kai Barber. The defense, coach Jeff Ferguson’s baby, has rounded into shape and is the key to everything the Eagles do. They’re athletic, smart and physical and rarely give up big plays.

David says: Osseo serves notice of its strong Class 6A playoff chances. Osseo 24, Totino-Grace 17.

Jim says: Totino-Grace has lost just two games in the past three years, both to Eden Prairie. Totino-Grace 21, Osseo 13.

St. Michael-Albertville (7-0) at Rogers (7-0), 7 p.m.

If the goal of scheduling is to build to a climactic finish, then the Mississippi 8 Conference nailed it. Two undefeated teams meeting for the title on the final night of the regular season shows a definite flair for the dramatic.

With booming youth football numbers, Rogers is looking like a program that will be good for a long time. The Royals feed off a big-play running game that has put up more than 2,000 yards this season, led by junior Gunnar Bloom. But the passing game is also an option as QB Connor Henderson has thrown for 627 yards. If there is a weakness, it’s Rogers’ recent penchant for starting slow. The Royals trailed St. Francis 12-0 and Big Lake 10-0 before rallying for convincing victories.

St. Michael-Albertville has leaned on its defense, giving up less than 200 total yards per game and holding five of its seven opponents under 10 points. Statistically, the Knights are equal with Rogers in terms of yards gained but have not scored at quite the rate of the Royals. Running back Chris Kartes has been remarkably consistent, rushing for less than 98 yards just once en route to a team-high 726 yards.

David says: St. Michael-Albertville takes the lead in a tough Mississippi 8 Conference. St. Michael-Albertville 21, Rogers 20.

Jim says: Rogers’ big-play ability will be the difference. Rogers 33, St. Michael-Albertville 21.

Roseville (6-1) at Mounds View (5-2), 7 p.m.

Roseville is enjoying its best season since going 8-4 and reaching the state tournament in 2006. A victory Wednesday gives Roseville at least a share of its first Suburban East Conference title ever.

Senior quarterback Jacques Perra and other talented athletes earned Roseville respect from conference opponents, Mounds View coach Jim Galvin included. What really makes the Raiders tough, Galvin said, is being “good up front on both sides of the ball.”

Perra’s 1,755 yards passing and 20 touchdowns lead the SEC. He has completed almost 60 percent of his passes while throwing just three interceptions. The team’s turnover ratio is a solid plus-10.

Junior receiver Jesper Horstad leads the conference with 787 yards and 11 touchdowns. His 38 receptions average 20.7 yards.

The Mustangs’ offense, despite relying on some undersized linemen, has executed the run-heavy wing-T scheme. Mounds View leads the conference with 1,747 rushing yards and backs Matt Hunt and Sola Olateju have combined for 12 touchdowns and more than 1,300 yards.

However, Galvin said, “our defense hasn’t lived up to expectations.” Mounds View ranks an uncharacteristic fifth in the conference against both the run and pass. Success against Roseville and in the approaching playoffs, Galvin said, requires “getting pressure and intercepting a pass or two.” Galvin is going for career victory No. 100 on Wednesday.

David says: Roseville wins a battle of teams with contrasting styles. Roseville 28, Mounds View 17.

Jim says: Expect Mounds View to be in a surly mood after an unexpected loss to White Bear Lake. Mounds View 31, Roseville 21.

  • related content

  • Video: PrepCast: Rosemount prepares for Lakeville North

    Tuesday October 15, 2013

    Also: Totino-Grace and Osseo, Roseville and Mounds View, and St. Michael-Albertville and Rogers.

  • Rosemount's Grant Jackson avoided the Wayzata defense and scored a touchdown in the first quarter earlier this season.

  • Lakeville North’s Gregory Menard made a touchdown catch against Burnsville this season, but he is also a standout defensive end. He has four sacks for the Panthers, who have four shutouts but face a big test from Rosemount on Wednesday.

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Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 108 FINAL
Sacramento 107
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Golden State 114
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Edmonton 3 FINAL
San Jose 4
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
FIU 58 FINAL
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
LSU 79 FINAL
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
CS-Dominguez 50 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 72
Walla Walla 39 FINAL
Idaho 86
DePaul 59 FINAL
Oregon State 90
Nevada 65 FINAL
Pacific 69
Portland State 40 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Bakersfield 56 FINAL
Utah State 57
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
UCLA 67
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
IUPUI 95
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Santa Clara 88 FINAL
Oregon 92
(19) Oklahoma St 55 FINAL
Weber State 49
Washington 69 FINAL
San Diego State 48
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
New Mexico 84
(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51

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