St. Michael-Albertville (2-0) at Rogers (2-0), 7 p.m.
David says: This northwest metro rivalry is so fiercely competitive, picking against defending Class 5A state champion and top-ranked St. Michael-Albertville doesn’t feel absurd. Rogers senior quarterback Tanner Palm is capable of big things in the passing game. And the No. 6 Royals’ defense is stout.
Pick: Rogers 21, St. Michael-Albertville 14
Jim says: Has this rivalry gotten a little lopsided? St. Michael-Albertville has won the past four meetings. This is about as evenly matched as they come, so finding a deciding factor is tricky. The Knights showed they can win on the road against a quality opponent with a victory at Moorhead in week one.
Pick: St. Michael-Albertville 22, Rogers 20
Burnsville (2-0) at Lakeville North (2-0), 7 p.m.
David says: Burnsville graduated a strong senior class yet started this season 2-0. The Blaze rallied at Roseville and edged Lakeville South in overtime. This week, Burnsville, No. 8 in the Class 6A state poll, wins a game most don’t think it should win against the second-ranked Panthers.
Pick: Burnsville 20, Lakeville North 16
Jim says: Lakeville North won at East Ridge in week one despite falling behind 17-0 in the first half, then defeated Eagan 42-7 last week with most starters on the bench in the second half. The Panthers still haven’t played a complete game. They’ll play a full 48 minutes and wear down Burnsville after halftime.
Pick: Lakeville North 28, Burnsville 14
Blaine (2-0) at Centennial (1-1), 7 p.m.
David says: Centennial makes its home debut this fall against border rival and fourth-ranked Blaine. The Cougars’ motivation is twofold. They want to show well for the community and erase doubts brought on by a 7-0 loss at Champlin Park. If quarterback Kyle Nordby and his receivers get going, Centennial wins.
Pick: Centennial 28, Blaine 21
Jim says: Blaine has been amazingly efficient on offense in two games, rushing for 555 yards and getting enough passing production from QB K.J. Downey to keep defenses honest. Centennial has to get the putrid taste of last week’s shutout loss out of its mouth, but Blaine is too balanced to shut down completely.
Pick: Blaine 23, Centennial 17.