Here we go with another round of prep football picks. I was 10-4 picking winners last week, 9-5 going against the imaginary point spread that I make up purely by my estimation of how much a team should win by. There are no point spreads for prep football games, at least not around here.
The ones I got wrong last week: Mayer Lutheran beat Eden Valley-Watkins 49-14. I had it the other way around, going with EVW’s impressive football tradition. Boy was I wrong.
Zimmerman beat Albany 37-22 and I had that the other way around, too.
Rocori beat Brainerd 48-28. Brainerd never losses at home, or at least the Warriors do about once every five years or so. I was way off. Rocori, defending state Class 4A champion, led 30-0 at one point. The Spartans are for real.
Fergus Falls beat Sauk Rapids 28-27 and I thought that would go the other way. Oh well.
Here’s a look at this week’s picks:
* Albany (0-1) at Mora (1-0) — This is a long road trip for Albany, but I think it will be a happy bus ride home for the Huskies. Albany wins 28-14.
* Delano (1-0) at Annandale (1-0) — I think the Wright County Conference is one of the most entertaining in the state. Delano beat Dassel-Cokato 28-27 last week and Annandale knocked off Waconia 30-23. I expect another shootout. Let’s try the home team here: Annandale 31, Delano 30.
* Becker (1-0) at Foley (1-0) — Both these teams had easy first games. Becker blew out Milaca 61-6 and Foley won 38-8 at International Falls. I think Becker is in for a lot tougher game, but the Bulldogs’ passing offense is really a marvel to watch, especially for so early in the season. They have their timing down. Take Becker, 28-14.
* Pierz (1-0) at Holdingford (0-1) — Pierz’s Josh Lanners is one of the area’s better running backs and he only carried the ball 11 times in the Pioneers’ 28-7 win at Melrose. He is going to be a chore for the Huskers in the Central Minnesota Conference opener. Take Pierz, 28-14.
* Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (0-1) at Kimball (1-0) — Kimball tossed a shutout, 49-0 at Spectrum of Elk River. BBE, meanwhile, was shut out by Lester Prairie, 34-0. I’m pretty sure BBE is better than Spectrum, so this should be closer. Let’s take Kimball, 21-7.
* Little Falls (0-1) at St. Cloud Cathedral (1-0) — Little Falls has a huge line and an interesting offense that likes to throw the ball. That said, the Flyers are coming off a 49-0 loss to Hutchinson in which they had trouble moving the ball at all. Cathedral posted a 14-6 win over Holdingford and has what should be a sturdy defense. Take Cathedral, 14-7.
* Melrose (0-1) vs. Glenwood City, Wis., 1 p.m. Saturday at Chaska — I really, truly have no idea how this one is going to turn out. Melrose lost to Pierz and the Glenwood City Hilltoppers are 2-0, but I have no idea what that means to the Dutchmen. My knowledge of prep sports is pretty much useless once I cross the Minnesota border. Let’s take Glenwood City 21-7 and have the Dutchmen prove me wrong on this one.
* Milaca (0-1) at Zimmerman (1-0) — Another tough draw for the Wolves. Zimmerman was 9-2 last year and won the first Granite Ridge Conference title. The Thunder will be difficult for Milaca. Take Zimmerman, 28-14.
* Morris (1-0) at Paynesville (1-0) — Morris opened with a 34-7 win over Minnewaska and Paynesville pummeled Montevideo 42-0. I’m taking the home team Paynesville here, 21-20.
* Alexandria (0-1) at Rocori (1-0) — I think the Spartans win this one, 28-13.
* United North Central (0-0) at Royalton (1-0) — The United North Central Warriors of Menagha opened with a 34-6 loss at Ottertail Central, a traditionally strong program. Royalton had a 19-14 win at Long Prairie-Grey Eagle. I’m sticking with the Royals, 28-14.
* Rogers (1-0) at St. Cloud Apollo (0-1) — Rogers has been in the last three state tournaments, losing to Rocori 17-6 last year in the Class 4A quarterfinals after finishing second in the state in 2010. Rogers opened with a 38-15 win over Big Lake and Apollo battled to a 6-0 loss with Sartell at SCSU. I’m taking Rogers here, 14-0.
* St. Cloud Tech (1-0) at Brainerd (0-1) — This is the second week in a row that Tech has a long road trip. The Tigers beat Alexandria 28-13 last week and Brainerd was run over by Rocori. Tech has several interesting weapons with junior Jay Kedrowski starting at quarterback, freeing up Jesse Lavoi to play a slot on offense and help on defense. And then there’s Jacob Peterson at running back. Brainerd hammered Tech 35-0 in the playoffs last year. But that was last year. Let’s take Tech, 14-13.
* Sartell (1-0) at Big Lake (0-1) — These two teams actually were in the same conference, the Central Minnesota, in the 1980s. Both eventually got too big for that conference and have since gone separate ways, with Sartell joining the old Central Gopher, then the West Central and then the Central Lakes and Big Lake lately being a part of the Mississippi 8. Take Sartell in this one, 20-7.
*Montevideo (0-1) at Sauk Centre (1-0) — No way does Montevideo slow down Roosevelt Austin, Patrick Knoblauch, Nick Adams and Company. Take the Mainstreeters, 28-7.
* Sauk Rapids (0-1) at Cambridge-Isanti (1-0) — This another long-lost rivalry renewed because of all the conference shuffling the past two years. Sauk Rapids, a member of the Central Lakes, used to play Cambridge, a member of the Mississippi 8, when both were members of the old Rum River Conference. Cambridge also spent some time in the Central Lakes before Sauk Rapids got there, returned to the Rum River and eventually wound up in the Mississippi 8. It beat Mississippi 8 rival St. Michael-Albertville 8-0 last week. I’m liking Sauk Rapids here to pull off a minor upset on the road, 21-20.
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