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« September 2011 | Main | November 2011 »

11 posts from October 2011

October 29, 2011

High school football picks | Section semifinals

FELDY: I'm cleaning off a spot on my shelf for our traveling football picks trophy, the P-B Cup (which, really, is just an old coffee mug that former P-B sports writer Steve Webb left behind in the desk I inherited).

Anyhow, I'm 47-16; Phersy is 41-22. He's going to have to make some bold moves this week and next. Unfortunately for me, we're getting to the point that all of these games could really go either way.

As Phersy would say, #letsgetiton ... Is that what he says? Doesn't matter, I guess.

I'm going to select the games and pick first, as Phersy is avoiding his computer right now. Hopefully he gets his picks in by game time.

I'm also including the seed of each team:

SECTION 1AAAAA
No. 2 Owatonna 27, No. 3 JM 21: Huskies rebounded well last week after that tough, last-minute loss to Mayo in the regular season finale. One thing about this JM, team, though, it seems like they're able to get themselves mentally prepared and are intense for every game. And, after watching tape of the Mayo-Owatonna game, the Rockets know the Huskies are beatable.

SECTION 1AAAA
No. 3 Northfield 14, No. 2 Red Wing 12: These teams were separated by just one score when they met in the regular season. The Raiders flip the tables on the Wingers this time.

SECTION 1AAA
No. 1 Lourdes 26, No. 5 Stewartville 19: Stewy handed Lourdes its only loss this season. The Eagles have probably thought about it every day since. It wouldn't surprise me if the Tigers win again, but I'll give Lourdes the home-field advantage.

No. 2 P-E-M 37, No. 3 Kasson-Mantorville 31 (OT): This could be the game of the night in the area and possibly the state. It's the best matchup in arguably the best section in the state. I'll take the 'Dogs D to make a stand in OT, then their offense gets the winning points.

SECTION 1AA
No. 2 Chatfield 17, No. 3 Zumbrota-Mazeppa 14: I'll go with the 3-point home-field advantage for coach Jeff Johnson and the Gophers. Hopefully coach Johnson (he's also the Gophs' softball coach) doesn't flash ahead and think this is a Chatty-ZM softball showdown. Might be trouble if he calls for the fastball on EVERY play.

SECTION 1A
No. 3 Southland 16, No. 2 Fillmore Central 9: The Falcons beat Southland, 7-0, in their regular season matchup. This is a tough one to call because it's another one of those sections where I could see any of the four remaining teams winning the championship. (Blooming Prairie and Goodhue meet in the other Section 1A semifinal).

SECTION 1 9-MAN
No. 2 Grand Meadow 24, No. 3 Mabel-Canton 16: M-C beat Grand Meadow during the regular season by one score. I'll say the Larks flip that result today. And, as usual, Cougars fans should be overjoyed because I pick 9-man games as well as the Rangers close out World Series games.

****

PHERSY: Yeah, yeah, yeah I'm not good ... it's about time you win this thing after five straight years of losing.

I'm going for broke this week ... because let's face it, I'm already broke.

SECTION 1AAAAA

No. 3 JM 22, No. 2 Owatonna 19: Ugh, the Rockets will have to play a lot better than they did last week to pull off this upset. But I'm in trouble in the standings ... so go Rockets!

SECTION 1AAAA

No. 2 Red Wing 16, No. 3 Northfield 6: Red Wing didn't look good last week in the rain, cold and wind. But the weather is nice today, so Newman will do enough and the defense will carry the Wingers to victory.

SECTION 1AAA

No. 1 Lourdes 20, No. 5 Stewartville 19: The Eagles get their revenge. Sorry Tigers!

No. 3 Kasson-Mantorville 28, No. 2 P-E-M 17, : Winner of this game is a state-title contender. This is a great wrestling rivalry, so I hate Feldy for doing this to me ... but I'm going with the KoMets.

SECTION 1AA

No. 3 Zumbrota-Mazeppa 14, No. 2 Chatfield 13:This would be a huge upset, but I have to get crazy to catch Feldy. ZM survived a scare last week. Let's hope it motivates them.

SECTION 1A

No. 2 Fillmore Central 21, No. 3 Southland 7: Fillmore knows it can beat the Rebels. They'll do it again.

SECTION 1 9-MAN

No. 3 Mabel-Canton 26, No. 2 Grand Meadow 24, : This one is a no-brainer ... I always do the opposite when Feldy is picking Nine-Man games. LOL. Go M-C!

October 27, 2011

Phersy and Fatis Show: 10-27-11

PHERSY: The Phersy and Fatis Show is back ... we recap last weekend's series at Wisconsin Dells and then talk about Friday's game at Isanti and Saturday's 7 p.m. tilt at the Rec Center against the Maple Grove Energy.

#LEGGO

 (Sorry about earlier link ... uploaded wrong interview)

PhersyandFatisShow102711



 

 

H.S. Hockey | Changes made to Kiwanis field; should bigger changes come?

Posted by: Feldman

I know football playoffs are in full swing, but we're exactly 18 days away from the opening of boys high school hockey practice, so I'm starting to think ahead already. OK, I started to think ahead to hockey season weeks, er, months ago.

A couple of quick things today -- first, a list; second, a question for high school hockey fans in the area.

Here is the list of teams competing in this year's Kiwanis Hockey Festival at the Graham Arena Complex, the week between Christmas and New Year's. A couple of noticeable changes jump out at me. First, two-time defending Class AA bracket champion Brainerd is not in the field this year. Second, it has been replaced in the AA bracket by Eau Claire Memorial, which was the runner-up in the Class A bracket last season. Defending Class A tournament champ New Ulm is back. Here are both fields, though the teams are listed in no particular order, as I haven't seen a bracket yet:

Class AA -- Century, JM, Mayo, Fargo (ND) South, Prior Lake, Eastview, Eau Claire (Wis) Memorial, New Richmond.

Class A -- Lourdes, Dodge County, Albert Lea, Northfield, St. Michael-Albertville, New Ulm, Richfield, Sioux Falls (S.D.).

Now, this leads me to my big question for area hockey fans: Is it time the Kiwanis tournament cut down to eight teams?

I know there's no easy answer to this one. There are pros and cons to keeping two divisions or cutting down to one, and, believe me, I'm well aware of the politics that are involved should they cut down to an eight-team tournament, meaning all four Rochester teams would have the possibility of facing one another. 

I also don't have knowledge of the financial aspect of dropping to eight teams; in other words, would the local Kiwanis chapter earn less money to donate to local charities if it eliminated eight teams, thus eliminating the ticket revenue from those teams' fans?

On the flip side, it's eight less teams to house for three nights, 12 less games to pay officials for and one less rink to rent for three days (they could still have a JV tournament, just run it in Graham IV, where the Class A field now plays).

The upside to cutting to eight teams? For one, you'd have a Rochester team in every game on opening day, and the field would stronger. There are teams that make playing in this tournament a tradition -- Fargo South, New Richmond (which has even brought its band often in previous years), Albert Lea. And Eau Claire Memorial was a very nice addition to the Class A field last year; it's too bad there's no potential rematch this year with them and Lourdes, or them and New Ulm.

Staying at 16 teams, with an A and a AA bracket, preserves tradition and gives local hockey fans a chance to see some teams they wouldn't otherwise see during the season. Personally, it's one of my favorite times of the year, spending three days at Graham, bouncing back and forth from rink to rink. And it's a well-run tournament; the organizers have it down-pat. It's a lot of work to keep 16 teams (actually 24, when you count the JV tourney), officials and volunteers organized for three days.

Anyhow, Rochester-area hockey fans, I want your thoughts on this. Feel free to post them here on the blog or e-mail me ([email protected]). I won't print or post your name or any comments you send, if you don't want me to. I'm just curious as to how local hockey fans feel.

October 25, 2011

High school football picks | Section quarterfinals

FELDY: Do I even need to pick on Phersy anymore? No, I don't, even though he lost two more games to me last week. I'll do my best Denny Green and take the high road. Phersy only has three weeks left to make up a five-game deficit; I'm 41-15 after a 6-1 week last Wednesday. Phersy is 36-20 after going a mediocre 4-3. I'll let him pick first this week, but I don't feel sorry enough for him to give him any freebies. Here we go ...

SECTION 1AAAAA
Century (4-4) at JM (6-2)
Lakeville South (6-2) at Mayo (6-2)

SECTION 1AAA
Stewartville (5-3) at Byron (6-2)
Lake City (6-2) at Kasson-Mantorville (6-2)

SECTION 1AA
Winona Cotter (2-6) at Lewiston-Altura (4-4)

SECTION 1A
Kingsland (3-5) at Goodhue (5-3)

SECTION 1 9-MAN
Houston (4-4) at Lanesboro (5-3)

•••••••

PHERSY: Whoa, Feldy showing some compassion ... that's crazy talk. Yeah, yeah ... Feldy, why don't you tell our fan what my text message said right after I made last week's picks. I knew I was going down, hard. Oh well. I guess all I can do is press again this week ... and pray it's upset central. #leggo

SECTION 1AAAAA

John Marshall 35, Century 20: I don't think the rematch will be as close. Kirsch takes control.

Lakeville South 45, Mayo 21: I dare ya Feldy ...

SECTION 1AAA

Byron 35, Stewartville 27: The Tigers will be motivated after their one-point loss to the Bears early in the season. However, these are two teams headed in different directions. The Bears have won five of their last six, while the Tigers have dropped two straight.

Kasson-Mantorville 31, Lake City 30: The KoMets survive a scare from the upstart Tigers. That said, I have this strange feeling Lake City will be uber motivated after they weren't mentioned in the Section 1AAA football preview.

SECTION 1AA

Winona Cotter 27, Lewiston-Altura 20: This is a scary game. I'll take Cotter in the upset after its huge win over Goodhue last week.

SECTION 1A

Goodhue 21, Kingsland 13: Come on Feldy? I can't go against G-Force, even if the loss to Cotter scares me. I'll stick with the Purple.

SECTION 1 9-MAN

Lanesboro 35, Houston 34: Feldy, you wouldn't kick those Houston kids in the shorts, would you? ... No, this game scares me because Lanesboro has dropped two straight. But that 17-point win over Houston early in the season is hard to overlook.

* * *

SECTION 1AAAAA
JM 28, Century 20: Rockets had a big scare put into them last week. They're pumped for a home playoff game for the first time in seven years and they'll pull through. Century always is tough this time of year, so Panthers keep it close.
South 34, Mayo 27: Can't do it, Phersy. South's offense is exactly the type that gives Mayo (and almost every other team, for that matter) fits. The Spartans had their best defensive effort of the season last week but I'm concerned about how they'll fare against the Cougars' pass-happy offense.

SECTION 1AAA
Stewartville 23, Byron 20: As you said, Phersy, two teams headed in different directions here, but Stewy knows it can hang with Byron. This one might come down to whoever has the ball last.
K-M 33, Lake City 21: K-M's just playing too well. Lake City is a HVL divisional champ, though, so the KoMets better not look ahead to a possible matchup with P-E-M on Saturday.

SECTION 1AA
Lewiston-Altura 44, Cotter 38: I like your pick, Phersy. Hard to argue with a QB (Cotter's) who threw 7 TD passes last week. But L-A is a competitive team; two of its four losses came by one score. I'll take the Cards at home.

SECTION 1A
Goodhue 18, Kingsland 12: While Goodhue's D slipped last week, its offense kept clicking. Kingsland just hasn't shown the ability in the second half of the season to put a lot of points up, averaging less than 10 per game over the past four games.

SECTION 1 9-MAN
Houston 61, Mabel-Canton 60: I say it every week, but I have no ability to pick nine-man games. I flipped a coin on this one. Houston was "heads."

October 18, 2011

HS Football Picks: Week 8

PHERSY: Feldy, plain and simple, we were both bad last week. The good news for you is I didn't gain any ground as we both went 4-3. Not good, not good dude. We should probably try to be better this week, don't you think? Actually, you probably don't care as long as I don't gain any ground. I'm in a good spot this week, though, with you picking first ... I'm going to press, maybe even go Costanza on you and do the opposite. Feldy is now 35-14, while I'm 32-17.

#LEGGO

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Albert Lea (1-6) vs. Austin (0-7)

HIAWATHA VALLEY LEAGUE

Kasson-Mantorville (5-2) at Stewartville (5-2)

Lake City (5-2) at Zumbrota-Mazeppa (4-3)

THREE RIVERS CONFERENCE

Wabasha-Kellogg (1-6) at St. Charles (1-6)

Caledonia (6-1) at Southland (6-1)

Kingsland (2-5) at Rushford-Peterson (2-5)

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Mabel-Canton (4-3) at Lanesboro (5-2)

• • •

FELDY: This is the part of the season where I panic and make a mess of my good start. I'm not gonna cough this one up to Phersy, though. He'll probably make a mess of his start, too.

BIG NINE
Albert Lea 23, Austin 20: Phersy, did you know Albert Lea has one win this year, and it came against a team that has one win — against a Class AAA team? How will that affect these teams' QRF rankings? (please refer to our Twitter timeline from Tuesday night if you're wondering what in the world I'm talking about).

HVL
K-M 28, Stewartville 24: Stewy's big loss last week makes me wonder if that's a trend or a mirage with the Tigers. Either way, they'll be facing a KoMets team that's ticked about a last-second loss to Lourdes. I'll take K-M in a close one.

Lake City 33, Z-M 28: I'm going with another road team here. Lake City keeps up its momentum from a big win against Goodhue last week.

TRC
St. Charles 37, W-K 20: I picked against the Saints two weeks ago and it came back to bite me. I'll take the Saints for a big win on their home turf this week.

Caledonia 16, Southland 12: The Warriors got a big win at home last week, against Fillmore Central. They get another on the road this week, at Adams.

Kingsland 20, R-P 18: The Knights continue to play well after a near-win against Chatfield last week.

SEC
Lanesboro 44, M-C 43: Since I obviously have no clue of how to pick Nine-Man games, I'm gonna go with the Burros in a shootout. EEEE-AWWWW! (Is that the sound a Burro makes?)

•••••

PHERSY: OK Feldy, it's time for me to get crazy. I'm three games behind, so I need to make some wild picks. Here we go ...

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Austin 19, Albert Lea 13: Nobody comes into Art Hass Stadium and pushes us around ... OK, everybody in the last two years has, but the Packers snap their losing streak tonight. The myriad injuries could be Austin's downfall, however, I think the Albert Lea coach gave the Packers just enough bulletin-board material to push them to victory.

HIAWATHA VALLEY LEAGUE

Stewartville 14, Kasson-Mantorville 7: I said I'd never bet against Broc Berge and Co., but then they let me down last week. I'd like to pick the KoMets, but since Feldy went that direction, I feel forced to go with the Tigers.

Zumbrota-Mazeppa 25, Lake City 20: Lake City is one of the region's great stories. After years of struggling, the Tigers finally have things pointed in the right direction. But I'll take Willue Rauen's young squad.

THREE RIVERS CONFERENCE

St. Charles 21, Wabasha-Kellogg 12: I've been betting on the Saints for a while now, and it finally paid off last week. They're not a terrible football team, and they'll continue momentum heading into the postseason. You don't want them as your first-round section opponent.

Caledonia 27, Southland 13: Caledonia has improved every week, and I don't see them turning back now. Southland's in a bit of a must-win situation, though, and can't afford another loss before the postseason. Tough call.

Kingsland 21, Rushford-Peterson 20: Kingsland is another team that's better than their record. They've stuck with many of the top teams in the conference. R-P hasn't done much since that two-game winning streak.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Mabel-Canton 40, Lanesboro 30: It's Nine-man ... why not. Plus I always find it best to do the opposite of Feldy when it comes to the SEC.

October 15, 2011

Phersy and Fatis Show: Saturday edition

Nick07_thumb
PHERSY:
Hey yo ... I won't waste your time. It's game day, and the Ice Hawks are in the middle of a three-game weekend.

Coach Fatis breaks down the current Ice Hawks injuries, who will be in net tonight, the power-play struggles and many other things in this week's show.

ENJOY! And Go HAWKS!

 

PhersyandFatisShow10:15:11



 

October 14, 2011

H.S. Football Picks | Week 7

FELDY: Phersy cheated and actually gained a game on me last week. No more freebies for him. I have to preserve my 3-game lead; I'm 31-11, Phersy is 28-14. Lots of good matchups to pick from this week, so let's go:

BIG NINE
Rochester Mayo (5-1) at Rochester JM (4-2)

HVL
Lourdes (5-1) at Kasson-Mantorville (5-1)
Winona Cotter (1-5) at Kenyon-Wanamingo (2-4)
Hayfield (0-6) at Pine Island (0-6)

THREE RIVERS
Fillmore Central (6-0) at Caledonia (5-1)

SOUTHEAST
Lanesboro (5-1) at Grand Meadow (6-0)

MISSOTA
Red Wing (5-1) at Shakopee (6-0)

•••

PHERSY: Feldy ... don't look now ... we comin!!!!!!! The annual Phersy rally is on, baby! 

BIG NINE

Rochester Mayo 34, Rochester JM 21: There's a part of me that knows Feldy's Spartans love to shoot themselves in the foot. But if they can hold onto the ball, they'll win this game. And I've said it before: Proell is the best RB in the Big Nine.

HVL

Kasson-Mantorville 26, Lourdes 19: I learned my lesson last week. Never, ever bet against Broc Berge and Co. At anything. KoMets get a huge HVL win over their rivals from the big city.

Kenyon-Wanamingo 32, Winona Cotter 30: The Knights aren't as bad as their record. And Feldy, what do I always say about wrestlers? I'll take Oakley McLain for the victory.

Pine Island 13, Hayfield 7: Pine Island plays in the tougher half of the HVL against the bigger schools, so we'll give them the nod. Either way someone is getting a W.

THREE RIVERS

Fillmore Central 12, Caledonia 3: Feldy, Fillmore proved a lot to me last week. They're legit. And these are two of the best defenses around. But I like FC to break through with another huge win, this time on the road.

SOUTHEAST

Grand Meadow 30, Lanesboro 12: I just can't see the Burros going into Grand Meadow and knocking off the Larks. Lanesboro has been putting up huge points, scoring 40 or more for four straight weeks. But those huge point outputs were against bad teams. GM is good. Really good.

MISSOTA

Shakopee 21, Red Wing 0: This is the week the Wingers are finally exposed. They're an average football team in a bad conference and an even worse section. That said, their defense is legit, and they have one of the top defensive lines I've watched this season.

•••

FELDY: I can see five or six of these games really going either way. Unfortunately, I agree with Phersy on most of these games.

BIG 9
Mayo 28, JM 23: This is a gut-check for Mayo more than JM, because the Spartans have to show they can rebound after their first loss of the season. Will the Mayo players realize that, in the grand scheme of seeding for the postseason, last week's loss isn't nearly as important as a win this week? If they can put that West game behind them, they'll win tonight.

HVL
Kasson-Mantorville 31, Lourdes 20: Have to agree with you on this one, Phersy. The KoMets are just too deep.

Kenyon-Wanamingo 33, Cotter 21: Cotter has put up some points in recent weeks, but they've given up a lot, too. Knights get their third win of the season here.

Pine Island 27, Hayfield 24: I really hate to keep agreeing with Phersy, but Hayfield has lost all of its games by at least two scores. Then again, the Panthers haven't either, but, as Phersy said, they've played a tougher schedule. Give P.I. the 3-point homefield advantage in this one.

THREE RIVERS

Caledonia 17, Fillmore Central 14: I love the way Fillmore is playing right now, and agree that the Falcons proved a lot last week by shutting out Southland (plus, I think they have the best uniforms I've seen in the area). But, that said, Caledonia rarely loses at home. Yes, I know they lost at home to PEM in the opener this year, but no opponent has come within 20 points of the Warriors since then.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE
Lanesboro 36, Grand Meadow 32
: This could be the best game of Week 7 in southern Minny. Both teams are playing well, but I'll go with the Burros at home to extend their win streak to five games.

MISSOTA CONFERENCE
Shakopee 34, Red Wing 6: Thought maybe I could get Phersy to bite on this one and pick his Wingers here, but his explanation says it all. Shakopee's the superior team.

October 13, 2011

Pro Hockey | Good start for Stuarts

Posted by: Feldman

Some NHL teams have already played four or five games.

The Winnipeg Jets have played one.

Come on, NHL! Fans in The Peg have been dying to have NHL hockey of their own for a decade and a half and they get just four of their first 15 games at home?! Ah well, I think Jets fans are OK with that, or, at least they will be when they have a stretch of 13 out of 15 games at home between Nov. 29-Dec. 31.

Plus, they opened their inaugural (can we call it that? I'm going to) season at home on Sunday, and Rochester native Mark Stuart, a d-man for the Jets, became a part of history/answer to a trivia question. Stuart assisted on the Jets' first goal, their only goal of the game, in a 5-1 loss to Montreal.

Stuart's point shot was stopped by Carey Price, but Nik Antropov buried the rebound. (By the way, if you're looking ahead, Stuart and the Jets make their only trip to the Xcel Center on Thursday, Feb. 16, to face the Wild in a 7 p.m. game).

The Jets play their second game of the season tonight at Chicago at 7:30 p.m. It will be the first time that Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, a Winnipeg native, gets to play against the Jets. It will also mark a return to Chicago for Roseau native Dustin Byfuglien, a key member of the Blackhawks' run to the Stanley Cup two years ago. Byfuglien participated in Shjon Podein's charity golf tournament at Somerby in Byron this past summer. He's a very laid-back guy off the ice, great to talk to and spent seemingly more time posing for pictures and signing autographs than he did playing golf.

• Another Stuart, Mark's brother, Colin, had a good start to his season with the Rochester (N.Y.) Americans, the AHL affiliate of the Buffalo Sabres. Colin scored one of the Americans' two goals in a 5-2 season-opening loss to Hamilton on Saturday. He also led the team with eight shots on goal, so clearly he's being looked at by the coaches as a guy they need to count on for scoring.

Also, if you click on the link I provided in the previous paragraph, it takes you to the box score of the Rochester-Hamilton game. Notice who the backup goalie is for the Americans? Former Mayo standout Jeff Jakaitis.

It actually looked late last week like Jakaitis might start the Americans' opener. He didn't, but the Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle did a short piece on his hockey travels, and briefly mentions that he and Stuart are both from another Rochester.

Rochester plays its second game of the season, its home opener, at 6:05 p.m. Central Time tonight, against the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins.

October 06, 2011

Phersy and Fatis Show: Welcome back, Hawks fans

PHERSY: Yeah, it's about that time ... Ice Hawks coach Nick Fatis stopped by the Foxfield One Studios today to sit down for the latest and greatest edition of The Phersy and Fatis Show. Nick07_thumb

We have been away for some time. But we're back now. Hopefully I can catch up with coach on a semi-regular basis throughout the season for these audio updates.

There's a lot going on with the team as they head into this weekend's game up at Edina. Injuries left and right. So, tune in ... #leggo

 

PhersyandFatisShow10:6:2011



 

HS Football Picks: Week 6

PHERSY: Well Feldy, we both went 5-2 last week. That sounds good, but it's actually bad news for me. I'm trying to play catch-up, so 5-2 isn't going to cut it.

Last week's games leave Feldy with a stellar record of 27-8. I'm now 23-12. If the rally doesn't start this week, I guess Feldy will be wrapping up his first title since we started doing picks. I'm going to go throw up now.

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Rochester Mayo (5-0) at Mankato West (5-0)

HIAWATHA VALLEY LEAGUE

Kasson-Mantorville (4-1) at Byron (4-1)

THREE RIVERS CONFERENCE

Dover-Eyota (1-4) at St. Charles (0-5)

Southland (5-0) at Fillmore Central (5-0)

Chatfield (2-3) at Rushford-Peterson (2-3)

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Grand Meadow (4-1) at Spring Grove (5-0)

Glenville-Emmons (2-3) at Mabel-Canton (2-3)

* * *

FELDY: Lots of great matchups this week. No time to waste today, here we go ...

Mayo 38, West 35: This is the toughest test of the season so far for both of these teams. Mayo's 5-0 record is nice. If it wants to be considered a legit contender for the Big 9 and Section 1AAAAA titles, it can show it in a big game on the road.

K-M 28, Byron 22: K-M's offense is rolling. Byron's 'D' has been pretty good against good competition. It's a toss-up.

D-E 28, St. Charles 18: Eagles get win No. 2.

Southland 33, Fillmore Central 25: The first big test for the Falcons this season. Hard to pick against 'em on their home turf, but Southland's running game is going strong.

Chatfield 31, R-P 20: Chatfield has three losses this season, but look at who they came to: Caledonia, PEM, Southland. The Gophers are probably better than their 2-3 record indicates.

Spring Grove 23, Grand Meadow 14: Spring Grove's D has allowed 30 points ALL SEASON. Do you know how tough that is to do in nine-man football? Incredible.

Mabel-Canton 44, Glenville-Emmons 20: Cougars hold serve on their home field and run their winning streak to three.

•••

PHERSY: This comeback starts right ... MEOW!!!

West 42, Mayo 30: My concern with Mayo is that it commits too many mental mistakes. That said, I think Alexander Proell is the best running back in the Big Nine; his vision and footwork are incredible. But West still has the best QB in the conference, and Phil Nelson will step up in a big way tonight.

Byron 22, Kasson-Mantorville 21: Man, I want to go the other way on this one. Two words for you: BROC BERGE. I can't imagine seeing that beast running at me ... just get out of the way. That said, this is a HUGE rivalry game. The Bears will be ready. If it was in Kasson, I'd pick the KoMets.

St. Charles 18, Dover-Eyota 15: Picking against Feldy ... and this will be a very, very tight game. Scores against common opponents are close. But I like the Saints.

Southland 30, Fillmore Central 22: I'll call this now: The Rebels are a Class A title contender.

Chatfield 24, R-P 14: I agree with Feldy ... the Gophers are much better than their record would indicate. Still hard to pick against RP's tradition, but I like Chatfield.

Spring Grove 33, Grand Meadow 13: Spring Grove's D is legit, and I can't figure out Grand Meadow. If GM is healthy, this game will be closer.

Mabel-Canton 14, Glenville-Emmons 13: Barn-burner ... and no faith in my ability to pick nine-man games.