At a glance

Why East Ridge will win: Quarterback Otumus Payemanu, running back Dominik London and a veteran offensive line pound away at opponents and control the ball. “It behooves us to be that kind of team,” coach Dan Fritze said. London (140 yards per game) and Payemanu (85) keep the emphasis on the backfield, but the Raptors have playmakers at other positions. Linebacker Joshua Knazze returned a fumble for a score against Mounds View. Sam Schiller and Griffen Davis returned a kickoff and punt, respectively, for scores against White Bear Lake.

Why Cretin-Derham Hall will win: The Raiders (3-1) were without leading rusher Kenneth Udoibok in their 19-14 loss at Woodbury. A full-strength offense puts strain on the opponent’s defense. Focus on Udoibok, who averages 123 yards per game, and quarterback Daniel Ryan can make you pay. He has tossed seven touchdown passes and zero interceptions. Receivers Christopher Perry (15 catches, 201 yards, one touchdown) and Denzel Fondungallah (11, 191, four) each possesses game-breaking skills. And the Raiders don’t scare easy. They have trailed in all three games they have won.

DAVID LA VAQUE