Week 4 provided a clear reading of the depth of the Class 6A football pool.
None of the largest programs in the state emerged as the favorite to win the Prep Bowl. Lots of them made it clear they have a chance.
Top-ranked Eden Prairie struggled to stop Shakopee's option and, uncharacteristically, was forced to outscore the Sabers; Lakeville South needed another late surge to win, this time against increasingly confident Eagan. Minnetonka fans spent a nervous fourth quarter as the fortuitous Skippers held for a one-point victory, and Lakeville North was frustrated by winless Farmington.
Anoka came back down to earth against defending champ Maple Grove. The Crimson led a pack of one-loss large-school teams, also including Forest Lake, Stillwater, Centennial and Woodbury, that showed a single loss didn't dull their edge.
Get ready for a fun final four weeks of the season.
The new Metro Top 10:
1. Eden Prairie (4-0): Other than the lofty point total required, a 42-28 victory over Shakopee was quintessential Eagles: establish a dominant running game and make crucial plays when you need them. Last week: 1.
2. Lakeville South (4-0): After beating Eagan 27-14 with two late touchdowns, the Cougars have scored 58 points in the fourth quarter this season. Last week: 2.
3. Minnetonka (4-0): The Skippers built a 10-point halftime lead but ended up getting past Prior Lake 17-16 on a missed extra point. Last week: 3.
4. Maple Grove (3-1): Kaden Harney threw three touchdown passes and Charles Langama ran for 198 yards and three scores as the Crimson scored 42 first-half points and coasted over Anoka 42-19. Last week: unranked.
5. Chanhassen (5A, 4-0): The Storm fought back a challenge from Waconia thanks to a 3-yard fourth-quarter touchdown run by Maxwell Woods (who else?). Last week: 5.
6. Lakeville North (3-1): The Panthers avoided the dreaded letdown upset. After a hugely disappointing loss to Lakeville South two weeks ago, they held off Farmington 21-14. Last week: 7.
7. Shakopee (3-1): The Sabers exposed soft spots on the edges of the Eden Prairie defense in a 42-28 loss to the Eagles. Last week: 4.
8. Rogers (5A, 4-0): Wyatt Gilmore, committed to Oklahoma because of the way he plays defensive end, showed offensive skills, taking a swing pass 50 yards for a game-winning touchdown with less than a minute left in a 26-13 victory over Spring Lake Park. Last week: 8.
9. Forest Lake (3-1): The Rangers scored 14 fourth-quarter points in their 28-10 victory over White Bear Lake, despite missing starting QB Cole Gerrell. Last week: 9.
10. Centennial (3-1): Doing what they do best, the Cougars ran for three touchdowns and played bend-but-don't-break defense to beat host St. Michael-Albertville 19-6. Last week: 10.
Also worthy of consideration: Woodbury (3-1), Stillwater (3-1), Anoka (3-1), Robbinsdale Armstrong (5A, 4-0).