Week 7: Prep football picks

This picking-high-school-games stuff will humble you. I went 9-6 last week, which wasn’t very good by my standards. There were a few tough games, but I came out wrong in just about all of them.

The games I got wrong:

Princeton beat Albany.

Glencoe-Silver Lake defeated Becker.

Big Lake beat Rocori.

St. Cloud Apollo won at Sauk Rapids.

Sartell won at St. Cloud Tech.

Minnewaska beat Sauk Centre.

That leaves me 69-24 (74 percent) picking games and 57-36 (61 percent) against my made-up point spread. If you’re making up your own point spreads, you’d think you could do better. I haven’t.

Oh well.

Here’s a look at this week’s games and there a number of good ones. Let’s see if I can do better.

* Little Falls at Albany — I think this is a game that Albany should win. The Huskies rarely lose at home and are still vying for a top seed in Section 6-3A. Little Falls, however, is a Class 4A team and Albany hasn’t done well against Class 4A teams this season. Albany is 3-3 overall and 0-3 against 4A squads. Take Albany, 28-20.

* Annandale at Mound-Westonka — Annandale (5-1) is ranked seventh in the state in Class 3A and should have no trouble in this one. Cardinals win, 35-14.

* Princeton at Becker — Princeton (4-2) has put together a better-than-expected season, beating Albany 35-13 last week. Becker (5-1) is coming off a 21-9 loss to Glencoe-Silver Lake. Both teams were state-ranked and are state quarterfinal contenders for sure. Becker wins here, 28-21.

* Eden Valley-Watkins at Kimball — EVW (1-5) won its first game of the season last week by easily beating Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted. Kimball fell to Holdingford. I think this should be a fun game. Both teams feature excellent passing attacks. I’m thinking shootout, even in the cold tonight. Take Kimball, 34-31.

* Foley at Milaca — The Falcons have put together a good season and are trying to move up in the Section 5A seedings. Milaca is struggling, yet to win a game. Take Foley to improve to 5-2 with a 35-14 win.

* Holdingford at Maple Lake — This is one of the games of the week in the area and certainly the best contest in the Central Minnesota Conference. Holdingford (5-1) and Maple Lake (5-1) are both contending for the conference title and are trying to solidify top seeds in their respective sections. Take Maple Lake here, 21-19.

* Melrose at New Ulm — New Ulm is 1-5 and has struggled most of the season. Melrose is 3-3 and makes yet another long road trip because of its unforgiving independent schedule. Take Melrose to win 21-20.

* Paynesville at Sauk Centre — This is another one that has the makings of a shootout. Paynesville (3-3) runs the ball well and Sauk Centre (2-4) passes it well. The key will be if the Mainstreeters can slow down Nathan Meyer, Anthony Johnson, Matthew Quade and company. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs must contend with quarterback Patrick Knoblauch, who is one of the area’s top passers. Take Paynesville here, 30-28.

* Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa at Pierz — BBE (3-3) is coming off a nice 14-7 win over Maple Lake, handing the Irish their first loss of the season. Pierz (5-1) has won four straight and has one of the area’s best ground games. Take Pierz here, 28-14.

* Monticello at Rocori — Monticello (5-1) is having a good year and will be a tough task for Rocori (4-2), which has dropped two straight and is suffering through injuries to its top two quarterbacks: Mac Mueller (shoulder) and Brad Fabel (concussion). Take the Magic, 20-7.

* Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg at Royalton — This has traditionally been a nice rivalry game. The two met in the Prep Bowl in 2008, with KMS beating the Royals. Royalton (4-2) is trying to position itself in its section and KMSs (3-3) is coming off two straight losses. Take Royalton here, 28-21.

* St. Cloud Tech at St. Cloud Apollo — Apollo (1-5) is coming off a 9-6 win over Sauk Rapids and Tech (3-3) has lost two straight, both tough ones, falling last week to Sartell 21-20 and two weeks ago to Moorhead, 48-40. This all comes down to Apollo being able to contain Jacob Peterson, the area’s leading rusher who is having a record-breaking season for the Tigers. It says here that Tech will win a tight one, 20-14.

* Mora at St. Cloud Cathedral — Mora (1-5) has lost three straight and will have to play well to beat Cathedral (3-3), which is positioning itself for a section run. Take the Crusaders, 28-14.

* Sauk Rapids at Bemidji — Sauk Rapids (1-5) is in for a tough game at Bemidji (4-2). The Lumberjacks average more than 30 points per game and Sauk Rapids has had trouble pointing points on the scoreboard. Take Bemidji here, 26-6.

It looks like another cool evening. Dress warmly and enjoy.


Tom Elliott

About Tom Elliott

Follow Tom Elliott at https://twitter.com/sctimestom Elliott is the prep sports coordinator of Times Media, which includes the St. Cloud Times newspaper. He has worked for the paper since the beginning of time, except for a three-plus-year stretch as the sports editor of The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, Calif., from 1994-97.
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