Staff writers David La Vaque and Jim Paulsen used to take opposing sides on each game, often building a case for an underdog. Now, in this gentler age, they are allowed to agree. Last week both posted 5-1 records. Let us know: Has the edge become dull?
EDEN PRAIRIE (0-1) at EDINA (1-0), 7 p.m.
David says: When I listed this as the Week 2 game to circle, I mentioned Eden Prairie could start the season 0-2. The Eagles were not sharp last week, especially on special teams. But they don’t lack for talent. And now they are hungry for redemption.
Pick: Eden Prairie 21, Edina 14
Jim says: When was the last time Eden Prairie lost three in a row? It’s at two, counting the end of 2015. Edina gave up on offensive balance and resorted to smash-mouth football in the fourth quarter of a 23-14 victory over Andover. The Hornets go toe-to-toe with an ornery bunch of Eagles.
Pick: Edina 21, Eden Prairie 20
PARK OF COTTAGE GROVE (1-0) AT SOUTH ST. PAUL (1-0), 7 p.m.
David says: Park quarterback Brandon Alt completed 16 passes for 221 yards last week. South St. Paul counterpart Ryan Duffy threw for 135 yards — on just three completions. So let’s not paint the rough-and-tumble Packers as one-dimensional. They can beat you in several ways.
Pick: South St. Paul 28, Park 24
Jim says: One year ago, Park started 2-0 with an identical schedule, defeating Simley in the opener, followed by a narrow victory over South St. Paul. This time the Wolfpack must travel to venerable Ettinger Field, a throwback favorite and a difficult place to play. The Packers have a little payback in mind — that loss to Park was their only one until the Prep Bowl.
Pick: South St. Paul 33, Park 20
WOODBURY (0-1) VS. CRETIN-DERHAM HALL (1-0), At UNIV. OF ST. THOMAS, 7:30 p.m.
David says: Cretin-Derham Hall needed a late touchdown to escape with a victory last week. So do you believe in magic or the team with more top-end players? The latter is Woodbury. Defeating the Raiders restores the Royals as a contender, and I don’t expect them to flub the chance.
Pick: Woodbury 28, Cretin-Derham Hall 21
Jim says: Woodbury turned the ball over five times and mustered just 179 yards of offense last week. I’ll be stunned if the Royals don’t look more like the team we expected. Cretin-Derham Hall has had trouble recently playing up to its potential in big games. Will that carry over to the Brooks Bollinger era?
Pick: Woodbury 30, Cretin-Derham Hall 27