With just one loss the past two weeks, Jim surged to a 21-9 record and two-game lead over David (19-11). And he did it without claiming a retroactive forfeit. If we crowned a regular-season champ, Jim would win. But the pursuit continues through the playoffs. The second season in Class 6A kicks off Friday with some intriguing matchups.
Mounds View (4-4) at Edina (3-5), 7 p.m.
Jim says: Eyebrows went up when sub-.500 Edina received the No. 3 seed in Section 6, one spot ahead of Armstrong.The Hornets’ offense has been inconsistent, controlling the clock but often unable to finish drives. They’ll rectify that problem just enough to get past slumping Mounds View, which has lost three consecutive games for the first time since 2005.
Pick: Edina 28, Mounds View 22
David says: Edina’s record does not impress. The Hornets’ schedule does. They have experienced playoff football all season. They battled Eden Prairie and Maple Grove. They lost to Shakopee and Wayzata by a combined five points. In the words of the immortal Jim Morrison, “The west is the best.”
Pick: Edina 20, Mounds View 14
Woodbury (6-2) at Armstrong (6-2), 7 p.m.
Jim says: Normally, I’m a huge believer in the better the regular-season slate, the better the postseason chances. But in this case Armstrong, despite not playing a Class 6A opponent all season, has the edge in overall talent and the home-field advantage. Woodbury has been far better at home than on the road.
Pick: Armstrong 33, Woodbury 27
David says: Woodbury trailed 21-0 at East Ridge last week and the game appeared over before halftime. But the dogged Royals trailed by just three points in the fourth quarter. The desire is there. The passing game, led by quarterback Brady Mundahl, is potent.
Pick: Woodbury 28, Armstrong 21
Champlin Park (4-4) at Stillwater (5-3), 7 p.m.
Jim says: There’s a reason these two teams are set with middle seeds (Champlin Park was No. 5 in Section 5, Stillwater No. 4 in Section 4): consistency. These two are capable of doing great things, but will they? I’m leaning toward Stillwater, which finished the regular season with four consecutive victories.
Pick: Stillwater 26, Champlin Park 17
David says: To your point, Jim, when Champlin Park’s defense is on, the Rebels are solid. Stillwater’s offense, however, has the edge. Quarterback Mutt Hoefferle, beyond having a fantastic name, averages more than 100 passing yards per game. Running back Stephen Wagner has piled up 1,010 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Pick: Stillwater 30, Champlin Park 21