Football season came early this year but staff writer Jim Paulsen wasn’t fazed. His 3-0 start brought an early-season edge over David La Vaque (2-1), who must respond. High school teams that suffered a setback last week will aim to bounce back as well. A little incentive should make for some good Week 2 football.
Burnsville (1-0) at Lakeville South (0-1), 7 p.m.
David says: Burnsville’s ground game dominated last week as eight runners contributed to team totals of 48 carries, 270 yards and all four Blaze touchdowns. A program hoping to assert itself, Burnsville will muscle its way toward another victory and greater recognition.
Pick: Burnsville 27, Lakeville South 14
Jim says: I’ve had a man-crush on Burnsville all preseason, but I’ve got an equally high opinion of Lakeville South’s chances this year. The Cougars are feeling a little salty after losing to Cretin-Derham Hall. I expect them to scratch out a close victory in their home opener.
Pick: Lakeville South 21, Burnsville 14
Prior Lake (1-0) at Minnetonka (1-0), 7 p.m.
David says: Trailing at halftime at Centennial last week, Prior Lake took control with 28 unanswered second-half points. Quarterback Jimmy Larson shook off a pick-six interception to finish 13-for-17 with 181 yards and two scores. Such moxie will serve the Lakers well this week.
Pick: Prior Lake 21, Minnetonka 13
Jim says: Minnetonka’s Skippers showed plenty of defensive grit in an 8-6 victory at Centennial. Defense, however, is Prior Lake’s forte. And this year, the Lakers appear to have an offense to match. That balance tips the scales in the Lakers’ favor.
Pick: Prior Lake 20, Minnetonka 7
Hopkins (1-0) at Maple Grove (0-1), 7 p.m.
David says: Starting the season on the road at your biggest rival is tough. Maple Grove found this out with a loss at Osseo. The upside? The Crimson is tested and more than a little ticked. Better play up front will be critical but Maple Grove, at home, should prevail.
Pick: Maple Grove 28, Hopkins 21
Jim says: Has there been a bigger sleeping giant in the metro over the years than Hopkins? The school always boasts a cadre of impressive athletes, yet it has struggled to emerge from perennial mediocrity. The Royals will do it some day. Not Friday, however. I cannot imagine Maple Grove starting 0-2.
Pick: Maple Grove 27, Hopkins 16