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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!