The halfway point of the regular season is a week away. Let’s set the usual suspects aside and give a little love to a few metro football teams having success but lacking in fanfare.
Farmington (6A): The early part of the schedule has played into the Tigers’ strong start — their opponents are a combined 2-7 — but they’ve taken care of business in all three games, winning by an average of 30 points. The offense is diverse and talented. Quarterback Alex Berreth threw seven touchdown passes in the first two weeks and running back Zac Janz ran for four scores in Friday’s 35-7 victory over Eagan.
Tartan (5A, 3-0): Coming off a Class 5A state tournament berth in 2018, it’s no surprise the fast and deep Titans are off to a quick start. There are plenty of weapons at quarterback Brandon Lockhart’s disposal and they have one of the state’s most fearsome edge rushers in senior Randy Keumogne.
Armstrong (5A, 3-0): Falcons quarterback Jake Breitbach and receiver Thai Bowman form as good a passing combo as there is in the metro, and the running game has been deeper than expected. The defense has been outstanding with two shutouts.
St. Anthony (4A, 3-0): Huskies senior running back Jonathan Kieren is coming off a 245-yard rushing performance Friday, his third consecutive 200-yard effort of the season. Opponents have to account for senior receiver Troy Ellison, whom coach Todd Niklaus called “a freak athlete.”
METRO TOP 10
1. Lakeville North (3-0): Anyone who doubted the move of RaJa Nelson to QB has been silenced. He accounted for all three TDs— one rushing, two passing — in a 20-3 victory over Rosemount.
2. Eden Prairie (3-0): The Eagles defense has been stifling. Just ask Minnetonka, which was held to 92 total yards in a 19-0 Eden Prairie victory.
3. St. Michael-Albertville (3-0): The Knights appear to have settled on Kolby Gartner as QB. He passed for 137 yards and three touchdowns in a comfortable 35-7 win over Shakopee.
4. Wayzata (3-0): The Trojans will look at Friday’s 14-10 come-from-behind rally over Prior Lake as a signature victory.
5. Mounds View (3-0): Behind a defense that refuses to give up yards — much less points — willingly, the Mustangs are undefeated.
6. Cretin-Derham Hall (3-0): After giving up just 49 total yards in routing Roseville 35-7 Friday, the Raideras are quieting all who doubted them.
7. Prior Lake (2-1): It’s difficult to drop the Lakers far after taking Wayzata to the brink before falling late.
8. Farmington (3-0): The Tigers are 3-0 for the first time since 2013, when they played a Class 5A schedule.
9. St. Thomas Academy (Class 5A, 3-0): After three dominating performances, two of them shutouts, the question is: How did Henry Sibley manage to score a touchdown against the Cadets in Week 2?
10. SMB Wolfpack (Class 4A) (3-0): Sophmore Sanjay Redd ran for 146 yard and three TDs on just six carries and returned a kickoff 84 yards for a score in a 40-7 romp over St. Croix Lutheran.
Others worth a mention: Lakeville South (2-1), Centennial (2-1), Champlin Park (2-1), Eastview (2-1), Chaska (5A, 3-0), Elk River (5A, 3-0).