DAVID AND JIM’S PREP PICKS: 6A Edition
It’s all Class 6A Friday night, with all 32 teams in action in first-round play. Most of the favorites, including No. 1 seeds Totino-Grace, Eden Prairie, Rosemount and Blaine, should strut into the second round. The more intriguing matchups are found in the games between middle seeds, three of which we’ve spotlighted. Oh, in case you’re keeping score, Jim holds a three-game lead in the picks with a 23-7 record over David’s 20-10 mark. But who’s counting (besides Jim)?
WOODBURY (4-4) at PRIOR LAKE (4-4), 7 p.m.
Jim says: Woodbury is sky-high after routing rival East Ridge in the regular-season finale. But postseason payoff comes from a tough schedule, and Prior Lake’s docket, with losses to Eden Prairie, Maple Grove and Minnetonka (and a 30-0 victory over Edina), carries more cred.
Pick: Prior Lake 27, Woodbury 20
David says: Two teams that had big expectations are hoping for a new lease on the postseason, but one will be one-and-done. Woodbury has won four of its past five games, figuring things out after a 0-3 start. It’s hard picking against a rejuvenated team.
Pick: Woodbury 28, Prior Lake 21
ANOKa (4-4) VS. CRETIN-DERHAM HALL (6-2), AT UNIV. OF ST. THOMAS, 7 p.m.
Jim says: Anoka deserves props for resurrecting a season that started with two lopsided losses, winning four of its next five. But this is a statement for Cretin-Derham Hall as it tries to shake its recent reputation as an underachiever. The Raiders’ offensive balance and defensive speed tip the scales in their favor.
Pick: Cretin-Derham Hall 24, Anoka 14
David says: Expect the Tornadoes to put the ball in running back Ollie Nigh’s hands a lot. He has run for 1,035 yards and 11 touchdowns. I saw East Ridge shred Cretin-Derham Hall on the ground without Dominik London much of the game. Sorry, Raiders, but your end is Nigh.
Pick: Anoka 21, Cretin-Derham Hall 17
FARMINGTON (4-4) at HOPKINS (3-5), 7 p.m.
Jim says: Farmington has won three in a row, Hopkins has dropped three consecutive. Conventional wisdom says go with the hot team. But Farmington has scant playoff success to draw upon, with only one postseason victory in the past 10 years. Hopkins is more talented than its record shows. Go with the home team.
Pick: Hopkins 33, Farmington 28
David says: Farmington caused ripples with its first victory against Rosemount in forever. Then the Irish reclaimed headlines by defeating Lakeville North in overtime. Farmington ended the season with two less-heralded victories, but the Tigers remain something special.
Pick: Farmington 31, Hopkins 21