ELK RIVER (11-1) vs. OWATONNA (11-1), SATURDAY, 4 P.M.
Defending champion Elk River has shown a penchant for winning shootouts, and this one looks to be one. Elk River’s straight-T offense looks old-school but puts up video-game numbers. The Elks have 1,279 yards on the ground and 117 points in two state tournament games. Quarterback Mitch Stroh deftly handles their offense, which relies on quick offensive linemen and their running backs’ speed through the hole and ability to carry out fakes. Owatonna lost to Elk River in the 5A semifinals last year but was well-prepared, holding the Elks to only 19 points. Owatonna’s diverse offense has been just as potent. It has tallied 115 points in two tournament games behind QB Abe Havelka, who threw for 451 yards and seven TDs in a semifinal victory over Brainerd, and RB Jason Williamson, who has 394 yards and eight touchdowns rushing in two tournament games. The winner of this game will come down to who gets the most defensive stops.
Jim: Elk River 50, Owatonna 46; David: Elk River 41, Owatonna 35