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33 posts categorized "Football"

October 10, 2013

High School Football Picks | Week 7

FELDY: As usual, Phersy and I tried to gain some separation from one another in Week 6 by picking four games differently. As usual, nothing was settled. We both went 4-3. I'm still holding a slim two-game lead, at 29-13, while Phersy is 27-15.

Some good games on tap again this week. Phersy gets to pick first. Here are this week's games:

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Rochester Mayo (4-2) at Winona (2-4)

SFA RED DIVISION

Lake City (3-3) at Plainview-Elgin-Millville (4-2)

Rochester Lourdes (5-1) at Kasson-Mantorville (6-0)

Byron (2-4) at La Crescent (1-5)

SFA WHITE DIVISION

Pine Island (4-2) at Zumbrota-Mazeppa (4-2)

SFA BLUE DIVISION

Rushford-Peterson (4-2) at Wabasha-Kellogg (3-3)

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Spring Grove (6-0) at Grand Meadow (5-1)

* * * * * * * * * 

PHERSY: Yeah Feldy I went too far out on a limb last week. And it didn't pay off. I'm going to keep it short and sweet this week because I'm on the move ... gotta get down to Albert Lea for tailgating. :)

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Rochester Mayo 21, Winona 13: Man, Winona is a juicy underdog against the banged-up Spartans. But I think they still get it done. Plus, Winona always gives Mayo trouble. But I gotta stick with Sparty.

SFA RED DIVISION

Lake City 27, Plainview-Elgin-Millville 16: Feldy, this is a sucker game. PEM with a better record and at home ... but I'm going with the team that is playing better right now.

Kasson-Mantorville 27, Rochester Lourdes 21: The Eagles have the best coach in the conference, but KM has way more talent. Their dominant offensive and defensive lines will control the game, and freshman QB Brady Berge gets better every week.

Byron 44, La Crescent 22: Byron is getting healthy. The Bears have their QB back now, and they'll roll.

SFA WHITE DIVISION

Pine Island 20, Zumbrota-Mazeppa 6: I'm loving road teams this week. Another tossup game.

SFA BLUE DIVISION

Rushford-Peterson 40, Wabasha-Kellogg 28: Am I missing something here?

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Spring Grove 42, Grand Meadow 35: This game is going to be fun ... wish I could be there.

* * * * * * * * * 

FELDY: Lots of good ones this week, let's see if I can put a little more distance between me and Phersy.

BIG NINE
Mayo 27, Winona 20: The Winhawks have a way of playing the Spartans tough. Plus, who knows what Mayo's mindset is actually like after losing to Austin last week for the first time in nine years. It was an unexpected loss, but was it a wakeup call or a game that starts the Spartans on a tailspin?

SFA RED
P-E-M 29, Lake City 28: Yes, Lake City is playing very well right now. P-E-M hasn't given up more than 20 points in a game, though, except to an outstanding K-M team. LC's Elliot Cox will give the Bulldogs all they can handle, but P-E-M sneaks one out on its home field.

K-M 24, Lourdes 20: I went back-and-forth on this one about two dozen times. I'm still not convinced of who I should pick to win. Lourdes' defense has been outstanding this season, but K-M has been so good along the line on both sides of the ball. The KoMets big guys hide diminutive QB Brady Berge really well. How about, the team with the ball last wins. I'll go with K-M on its home field.

La Crescent 33, Byron 28: La Crescent has played pretty well against the top teams in the division. With its QB back and the team getting healthier, Byron's 'O' will put up some more points, but I'll take the Lancers in a mild upset.

SFA WHITE
Pine Island 32, Z-M 21: P.I. is 4-1 in the division with the only blemish a 6-point loss to a very good Triton team. Z-M's offense has been solid when it's had all of its top players, but I just like this P.I. team this season. Sorry in advance for the jinx, Panthers fans.

SFA BLUE
Rushford-Peterson 34, Wabasha-Kellogg 21: R-P is 4-2, W-K is 3-3. But R-P is better than that record indicates, with its two losses coming to two of the top teams in the state, Chatfield and Caledonia. The Trojans win this one by two scores.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE
Grand Meadow 34, Spring Grove 31: I'm banking on the SuperLarks being ticked about last week's loss to Lanesboro and ready to prove they're still one of the top 10 teams in the state.

September 27, 2013

High School Football picks | Week 5

FELDY: Last week was a tricky week. Neither Phersy nor I saw Austin beating Winona or Mankato East winning for the first time in a couple of years. I still managed to pick up a game on Phersy; I'm 20-8 overall, he's 16-12. Lots of good games this week that could go either way. Here are the games to watch this week. Phersy picks first:

BIG NINE CONFERENCE
Rochester JM (3-1) at Rochester Mayo (3-1)
Albert Lea (0-4) at Rochester Century (1-3)

SFA RED
Plainview-Elgin-Millville (3-1) at Kasson-Mantorville (4-0)
Rochester Lourdes (3-1) at Byron (2-2)

SFA BLUE
Rushford-Peterson (4-0) at Chatfield (4-1)

SFA WHITE
Pine Island (3-1) at Triton (3-1)
St. Charles (1-3) at Kenyon-Wanamingo (1-3)

* * * * *

PHERSY: Yeah, this is getting tough ...

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Rochester Mayo 28, Rochester JM 22: This will be another classic in a long line of great games between these two schools. I've put a lot of stock in the Spartans this season, and hopefully, they continue moving in the right direction after the big win over Faribault.

Albert Lea 7, Rochester Century 6: Yep, I'm calling the upset. Injuries have ravaged an already thin Panthers team, and they have WRs playing quarterback.

SFA RED

Kasson-Mantorville 35, Plainview-Elgin-Millville 28: This is the best game of the week. KM has stumbled a bit, but the KoMets have survived to remain unbeaten. They'll get another tough test this week.

Rochester Lourdes 24, Byron 13: Lourdes bounced back last week after its first loss of the season. They have enough firepower to run past a dinged-up Byron club.

SFA BLUE

Chatfield 20, Rushford-Peterson 0: The Gophers' lone loss is a one-pointer to Caledonia. They've also had three consecutive shutouts. RP has a great defense, too, but the Gophers hold on.

SFA WHITE

Triton 24, Pine Island 16: This is a tough game to pick, but I'll go with the Cobras at home.

Kenyon-Wanamingo 40, St. Charles 39: Flip a coin ... I'll go with the home team.

* * * * *

FELDY: Lots of tough choices this week. Might have to toss a coin a few times...

BIG NINE

Mayo 24, JM 20: Mayo is finding its identity, starting to figure exactly what works for it and what doesn't. Plus, its line is improving each week, which will be crucial against a strong Rockets team. JM gets LB/QB Kaeleb Stangler back this week, which will be a huge boost. He'll give Mayo problems on both sides of the ball. This game is likely to determine the No. 2 seed in the Section 1AAAAA playoffs. Mayo wins this one -- but only if it can eliminate the penalties and mental mistakes that allowed Faribault to stay in the game last week.

Century 14, Albert Lea 8: Sounds like the Panthers will have a QB healthy enough to play this week. And there's some pride involved in this one; Century doesn't want to let Albert Lea get its first win of the year on the Panthers' home field. 

SFA RED

Kasson-Mantorville 29, P-E-M 26: P-E-M is a 1-point loss to Rochester Lourdes away from being undefeated. The Bulldogs will be the KoMets' toughest test yet, but they'll pass it -- in a close one -- on their home turf.

Lourdes 24, Byron 16: What a stretch for Byron -- P-E-M, Stewartville and Lourdes in consecutive weeks. This SFA Red Division is difficult every week. The Bears get up for this rivalry game, though, and they'll give Lourdes a battle, but the Eagles' defense will hold off Byron in the end.

SFA BLUE

Chatfield 23, R-P 7: R-P is a strong team, unbeaten through four weeks, but Chatfield is borderline elite this season -- bringing a 4-1 record into the game only because of a one-point loss to Caledonia in a Zero Week game. The Gophers' defense hasn't allowed a point in September.

SFA WHITE

Pine Island 19, Triton 17: Pine Island has scored 98 points in the past three weeks; Triton has allowed 7 in that same span. Something has to give. This is as big a game as the P.I. program has had for some time. I think they'll be up for it physically and emotionally and I'll take the Panthers in what some might consider a mild upset.

St. Charles 28, Kenyon-Wanamingo 24: I flip-flopped a few times on this one, so the coin settled it: The Saints get their second win of the season, their first on the road.

September 13, 2013

High School Football Picks | Week 3

FELDY: There are a couple of really big early-season games this week, none bigger than No. 1 Owatonna at No. 2 Mankato West in a game that could decide the Big 9 Conference champ. Phersy went 4-3 last week and is 8-6 overall; I was 6-1 and improved to 11-3.

Phersy picks first this week, so here are the games we'll predict in Week 3:

THIS WEEK'S GAMES

BIG 9 CONFERENCE
Owatonna (2-0) at Mankato West (2-0)
Winona (0-2) at Rochester Century (1-1) 

SFA
Plainview-Elgin-Millville (1-1) at Byron (2-0)
Stewartville (2-0) at Lourdes (2-0)
Cannon Falls (1-1) at La Crescent (1-1)
Lewiston-Altura (0-2) at Triton (1-1)

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE
Mabel-Canton (1-1) at Lanesboro (1-1) 

*****

PHERSY: I hate picking second; you always pick a few just to be different. At least that's my excuse for stinking last week. I have no excuse this week ...

BIG 9 CONFERENCE

Owatonna 40, Mankato West 21: I know it's in Mankato, but I'll take Huskies to win big in a battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2. Owatonna is a more balanced team, and West doesn't have as many offensive weapons this season (after Claussen, there's a big dropoff at receiver).

Century 20, Winona 6: Battle of the bottom half of the Big Nine. Century doesn't have much, but Winona is really down.

SFA

Byron 15, Plainview-Elgin-Millville 8: The Bulldogs look like one of the better defensive teams in the SFA. But Byron will do just enough.

Stewartville 26, Lourdes 21: Stewartville is coming off of an impressive victory over Lake City, while Lourdes beat PEM by a point. Maybe this is a sucker game? Lourdes has the tools, but I love that Stewartville passing game.

La Crescent 28, Cannon Falls 14: La Crescent is back. It lost a close game to K-M last week, but the Lancers already have a win over Triton and they look much improved. Cannon Falls has great line play, but the Bombers need some skill players to step up.

Triton 19, Lewiston-Altura 6: This might be a better game than people think...

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Lanesboro 34, Mabel-Canton 33: This might be the game of the week. But I learned my lesson. I'm not betting against Niko Anderson again. He's a monster on both sides of the ball.

* * *

FELDY: Lots of tough games this week. Maybe Phersy will be back in this thing come Week 4...

BIG NINE

Owatonna 35, West 21: Not only is this a matchup of the top two teams in the state, it's also likely a battle for the Big 9 title and, dare we say, a possible preview of the Class AAAAA state title game? The Huskies are just too good in every phase, though. They prove it tonight.

Winona 23, Century 12: The Winhawks have had a really tough start to the season, having to face Rochester JM and Owatonna in the first two weeks. They'll rebound this week against a Century team that struggled to get much going up front against Mayo last week.

SFA

P-E-M 18, Byron 15: P-E-M showed just how good it is defensively a week ago, when it limited a potent Lourdes offense to one touchdown in a 10-9 loss. The 'Dogs will try to slow down another strong offense (Byron averages 34 points per game through two weeks) this week, on the road. 

Lourdes 27, Stewartville 24: This isn't a bad upset special on your part, Phersy, picking Stewie to beat Lourdes, especially based off how they played last week. I think Lourdes received an early-season wake-up call, though. It doesn't matter how talented you are, you can't let down in practice or on game day, especially in an SFA Red Division that is strong from top to bottom. This is the Eagles' home opener; they'll go up by a couple scores in the third quarter and hold off a very good Stewie team in the fourth.

La Crescent 33, Cannon Falls 23: The Lancers pushed a really good Kasson-Mantorville team to the end last week at K-M. The Lancers return home this week and get a two-score win against the Bombers.

Lewiston-Altura 21, Triton 14: I went back and forth on this one before deciding on L-A in a slight upset. Sure, it's Triton's first home game and the Cobras are coming off a big win at Cotter last week. L-A played well in its opening loss to P-E-M despite the 26-9 score. The Cards are still searching for their first win; I think they get it this week.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Lanesboro 38, Mabel-Canton 30: The Burros get back on track after a tough loss to a top-10 team last week (Spring Grove). I still think Lanesboro shows up as the third-best team in a really good SEC, behind No. 8 Spring Grove and No. 2 Grand Meadow.

September 06, 2013

High School Football Picks | Week 2

FELDY: Well, Phersy, even though we picked three games differently in Week 1, we're still only separated by one game. My pick of Lanesboro to beat Houston was the difference between us last week. So, I'll take a 5-2 record into this week, while you're 4-3. Prepare to be down by at least four games after this week. Or up by four.

This week's games:

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Rochester Century (1-0) at Rochester Mayo (0-1)

SOUTHERN FOOTBALL ALLIANCE

Chatfield (1-1) at Goodhue (1-1)

Lake City (1-0) at Stewartville (1-0)

Lourdes (1-0) at P-E-M (1-0)

Hayfield (2-0) at Fillmore Central (0-1)

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

LeRoy-Ostrander (1-0) at Grand Meadow (1-0)

Lanesboro (1-0) at Spring Grove (1-0)

• • •

FELDY: I'm going to pick first this week, then next week, I'll pick the games again, but Phersy will pick first, to get our rotation back on track. Here we go ...

BIG NINE

Mayo 30, Century 23: Mayo had a reality check last week against Owatonna, the best team in the conference the section, and one of the best in the state. Century enters with confidence and play care-free; truth be told, expectations are higher for the Spartans this season than the Panthers. With Century's balance on offense, this one will be closer than we might think.

SFA

Chatfield 35, Goodhue 21: The Gophers are one of the best teams in the state, with a one-point loss to powerhouse Caledonia the only blemish on their record. This is no knock on Goodhue; Chatty's just that good this season.

Lake City 38, Stewartville 28: Lake City had an offensive explo ... wait, Elliot Cox just scored again. The Tigers had an offensive explosion last week in a 56-12 win against St. Charles. Cox, a senior RB, put up video game-like numbers (137 rush yds, 102 rec. yds, 5 TDs) in the victory. He'll keep hitting the 'X' and 'Y' buttons repeatedly this week.

Lourdes 31, P-E-M 22: P-E-M had a very nice opening win last week against L-A, but Lourdes is so deep and talented, it'll be tough for anyone to knock off the Eagles in the regular season.

Fillmore Central 21, Hayfield 20: The Vikings are off to a solid start and they'll still play good football, but the Falcons will edge em this week to pick up their first win.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Grand Meadow 45, LeRoy-Ostrander 27: The Superlarks looked dominant last week, blowing out Lyle/Pacelli early. L-O got off to a nice start, with a convincing 46-6 win against Glenville-Emmons. The Larks will win this one on their home turf with a big opening half once again.

Spring Grove 38, Lanesboro 32: Can Spring Grove slow down the Niko Anderson Express? Can Lanesboro stop Spring Grove's high-scoring offense? This one could be a track meet; I'll take the home club in a close one.

• • • • •

PHERSY:Yeah, my inside source in the Nine-man community completely failed me last week. I told him, Niko, Niko, Niko! And he gave me some kind of bologna about Niko playing nose tackle and it hurting them. I'm never listening to that joker again!

Either way, I'm sure I'll erase the deficit quickly.

BIG NINE

Mayo 39, Century 7: OK everyone calm down about Mayo's blowout loss to Owatonna last week. They trailed by less than a touchdown at half. And Owatonna is darn good. I still think Mayo runs the table during the rest of its games. Sparty rolls this week.

SFA

Chatfield 28, Goodhue 15: Goodhue is in the process of rebuilding, and the Wildcats are a year away from contending for a conference title. But not tonight. Look for Jake Neis to roll up big yardage behind that fantastic offensive line.

Lake City 26, Stewartville 20: Yes, Elliot Cox is good, but how about Will Balow? He's a monster, on the mat and on the football field. He will lead the way as LC powers past Stewartville.

Lourdes 34, P-E-M 13: PEM is rebuilding, and the Bulldogs are probably going to have a tough time competing this year in a brutal conference. Lourdes just reloads. Look for the Eagles to continue their dominance.

Hayfield 13, Fillmore Central 7: The Vikings have me convinced. They're a legit contender for the No. 2 spot in the Blue after two impressive wins, including topping an improving Goodhue team. The Hayfield defense will keep it low-scoring and they will make a late play to win it.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

LeRoy-Ostrander 29, Grand Meadow 27: UPSET OF THE WEEK! I said I wouldn't listen to my Nine-man guy again, but I lied. If this doesn't happen, I'm blaming him. And maybe TPing his house.

Spring Grove 30, Lanesboro 22: Can Spring Grove slow down the Niko Anderson Express? Yes. I bet against Niko once ... I probably shouldn't do it again. But Grove is a darn balanced team, and it handled a solid Mabel-Canton team last week.

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 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 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.

September 30, 2011

H.S. Football Picks | Week 5

FELDY: Phersy proved last week once again that he is totally average. Not that there's anything wrong with that. After another 6-1 week, I hold a 4-game lead over Phersy. I'm 22-6, Phersy is 18-10. That could easily flip this week. Not a ton of great matchups on the schedule, but we picked some games that should at least be close. Here we go: 

BIG 9

Albert Lea (0-4) at Winona (1-3) 

HVL

La Crescent (3-1) at K-M (3-1)

Lake City (3-1) at Stewartville (3-1)

THREE RIVERS

Southland (4-0) at Chatfield (2-2)

Fillmore Central (4-0) at Kingsland (2-2)

SEC

Houston (2-2) at Grand Meadow (3-1)

Mabel-Canton (1-3) at LeRoy-Ostrander (1-3)

•••

PHERSY: Well, if there's anything I should have learned from our previous years of doing this is that you should never press and pick against what you're really thinking just to play catch-up. And if there's another thing, it's that I play the underdog role well and I'll probably still come back and beat Feldy.

LEGGO!!

BIG 9

Albert Lea 13, Winona 6: Whoa, this one is tough Feldy. But the Winhawks have scored a total of six points combined the last three weeks. And they're giving up 50 a game in that stretch. This one could go either way, but I'll go with the Tigers to mess up seeding in Section 1AAAA

HVL

La Crescent 35, K-M 28: So, the new QB at Kasson-Mantorville can play a little bit. He was huge last week against Z-M. That said, the Lancers beat a tough Cannon Falls team handily last week. And the Bombers handed K-M their lone loss. Have a feeling Feldy will go the other way on this one.

Stewartville 35, Lake City 21: The Tigers proved a lot to me last week. They're a legit contender in this conference. And a win over the Eagles will do a great deal for their confidence. Hopefully, that doesn't spell letdown against the Tigers.

THREE RIVERS

Southland 30, Chatfield 21: This one might be a little deceiving on paper. But Chatfield's two losses are to Caledonia and PEM, so it's not a bad squad. That said, I love what Shawn Kennedy has built down at Southland.

Fillmore Central 40, Kingsland 21: This is another trap game; Feldy's trying to get me to bite. But Fillmore Central is the real deal and can hang 40 on just about anybody.

SEC

Houston 28, Grand Meadow 27: Seriously, flip a coin in the SEC this year. Grand Meadow falls to Mabel-Canton last week??? I don't get it. When in doubt, pick Houston.

Mabel-Canton 27, LeRoy-Ostrander 20: M-C has all the momentum after that huge win last week. Meanwhile, LO has lost three straight since a win over L/P. That said, nothing would surprise me in the SEC.

•••

FELDY: If I beat Phersy again this week, maybe I'll turn my picks over to Toddler Feldy next week. She'd probably do better than me, anyway.

Big 9
Winona 18, Albert Lea 13: I agree, Phersy, this one could really go either way. I think Winona may have found something with its passing game in the second half against Mayo last week. It wasn't overwhelming, but the Winhawks moved the ball a couple of times, which they have to see as a positive.

HVL
K-M 33, La Crescent 30: The Lancers can score. They can also give up points. Gimme the KoMets on their home turf.

Stewartville 31, Lake City 27: Again, I agree with you, Phersy, that Lake City has found some confidence and turned things around from recent seasons. That said, Stewartville is playing exceptionally well right now.

TRC
Chatfield 28, Southland 25 (OT): As Phersy said, Chatty's two losses are to outstanding teams. The Gophs are better than their 2-2 record shows. Southland seems to always be hovering around the 7-1/8-0 mark when they enter the playoffs. This might be their one "L" in the regular season.

Fillmore Central 35, Kingsland 23: Phersy was supposed to go with the Knights here. The Falcons are a team to watch in the TRC. If they win this one, they'll be 5-0. Time for people around the state to take notice.

SEC
Grand Meadow 36, Houston 30: As I said last week, I can't pick a Houston game correctly (even though I did finally pick their game correctly last week). For that matter, I can't pick a nine-man game correctly most of the time. Still, my gut says the Larks bounce back this week from a tough loss to Mabel-Canton last week.

Mabel-Canton 34, LeRoy-Ostrander 19: The Cougars keep their momentum going against L-O, which is averaging less than 12 points per game.

September 16, 2011

High school football picks, Week 3

FELDY: After a strong start in Week 1, Phersy and I both reverted to our normal form -- completely average -- in Week 2, as we both went 4-3, even though Phersy tried to spread the gap by picking drastically different than I did. Anyhow, we're both 10-4 heading into Week 3. Some nice games on the schedule this week. Here are the games we're picking. Phersy gets to choose first this week, and I'm sure he'll be wrong on most of these games.

BIG NINE
Rochester John Marshall at Owatonna

HVL
Lake City at Triton
Byron at Stewartville
Kenyon-Wanamingo at Zumbrota-Mazeppa

THREE RIVERS
Fillmore Central at Lewiston-Altura
Rushford-Peterson at Wabasha-Kellogg

SOUTHEAST
Lanesboro at Houston

•••••

PHERSY: Yeah Feldy, turns out we're not good. And of course you go and choose a bunch of tough games this week. Jerk!

We're running behind, so just scores for me this week Feldy ...

Leggo ...

BIG NINE

Owatonna 35, John Marshall 28: After seeing West last week, I feel the Huskies are the best team in the Big Nine. They'll grind it at JM. Kirsch is a beast, but I'm going with O-Town.

HVL

Triton 27, Lake City 26

Byron 41, Stewartville 37

Zumbrota-Mazeppa 27, Kenyon-Wanamingo 7

THREE RIVERS

Lewiston-Altura 17, Fillmore Central 16.

Rushford-Peterson 20, Wabasha-Kellogg 13

SOUTHEAST

Houston 41, Lanesboro 29

* * *

FELDY: All right, Phersy must be in a hurry this week. No analysis of his picks.

BIG NINE
Owatonna 30, JM 27
: JM has only allowed 76 yards on the ground through two games. They face a much tougher opponent this week. Like the rest of the coaches and players in the Big Nine, I'm anxious to see what this JM team is all about against a quality opponent. If the Rockets go on the road and win this one, they have to be looked as the second- or third-best team in the Big Nine.

HVL
Lake City 28, Triton 22: Lake City nearly knocked off a very good Kasson-Mantorville team in Week 1. The Tigers then snapped a 21-game losing streak in Week 2. This would've been considered an upset in recent years, but not anymore.

Stewartville 25, Byron 23: This is the toughest one of the week for me. Byron outperformed Lourdes last week, but a couple of big plays cost the Bears. Stewartville has put up two very good wins so far, winning at Z-M and at La Crescent. Now the Tigers come home and face another difficult test. They're a confident bunch, though, so give me Stewy at home.

Zumbrota-Mazeppa 27, Kenyon-Wanamingo 21: K-W has to be a confident group after beating Triton last week, but so is Z-M after a 32-point win against Cotter. I'll take the Cougs with their home-field advantage.

TRC
Fillmore Central 37, Lewiston-Altura 27
: Fillmore's offense has been very good; it's defense spectacular so far. L-A will give the Falcons their toughest test yet.

Rushford-Peterson 18, Wabasha-Kellogg 12: R-P's offense has put up just 6 points through two games. Time for R-P to do a little more scoring.

SEC

Lanesboro 33, Houston 30: I'm told Lanesboro is getting at least one key player back from a suspension this week. That will be the difference in this one.

September 02, 2011

NFL | Taking a stab at the #Vikings 53-man roster

FELDY: ESPN 1500's Tom Pelissero gave his best guess earlier today at how the Minnesota Vikings final roster will shake out. Tom, a former co-worker of Phersy's, by the way (insert your favorite Sid Hartman "close personal friend" reference here) is with the team on a daily basis and clearly has a better understanding of who should make the team and who shouldn't.

But, there are so many "bubble" players this year, that there are toss-ups at almost every position, so I'll give this a whack, too, to see if we at Faceoff can guess who won't be a Viking by late Saturday afternoon.

Pelissero has Rochester's Marcus Sherels making the team, which would make sense considering he has outplayed several of the team's CBs who are also on the bubble. That said, NFL teams place a high value on players they drafted. Sherels was not drafted and, despite his strong play in the preseason, has been stuck behind some of these other guys (Asher Allen comes to mind) on the depth chart. With all of the teams in need of CB help due to injury, or just lack of consistent players, I have to believe Sherels will have a job in the NFL somewhere this season.

Elsewhere on the roster, with DT Kevin Williams being suspended for the first two games of the season, the Vikings will actually have to make one less cut than other teams. Suspended players do not count toward a team's roster total.

Anyway, here we go:

Quarterbacks: Donovan McNabb, Joe Webb, Christian Ponder. Comments: I'm going out on a limb here.

Running backs: A.P., Toby Gerhart, Lorenzo Booker, Ryan D'Imperio (FB). Comments: D'Imperio could be a cut, depending on how many tight ends the Vikings want to keep. I'd keep D'Imperio over Jeff Dugan. D'Imperio gives you a younger body who can block and play special teams. Dugan's special-teams upside isn't enough, to me, to keep him over a young guy like D'Imperio. And, there's no chance Dugan is a part of the passing game. Rookie Caleb King will certainly land on the practice squad, if another team doesn't snap him up first.

Tight ends: Visanthe Shiancoe, Jim Kleinsasser, Kyle Rudolph. Comments: This leaves Dugan and rookie Allen Reisner (undrafted, from Iowa) on the outside. Reisner, like King at running back, is an ideal practice squad guy, unless another team signs him to their 53-man, which is possible. He had a very good preseason, but is stuck behind three really good players. As for Dugan, see my comments in the RB's section. If he makes the team, it's because the coaches like his special teams value more than D'Imperio's. In that case, Dugan could be used at times as a blocking fullback.

Receivers: Percy Harvin, Bernard Berrian, Michael Jenkins, Devin Aromashodu, Jaymar Johnson. Comments: Johnson didn't do anything to single himself out as the No. 1 choice to be the punt returner ahead of Sherels, but Sherels probably didn't do enough, either. Johnson had a decent game at receiver on Thursday and will come much cheaper than Greg Camarillo, who has nearly a $1.8 million cap hit. On a team that is pushed up against the salary cap, that could be a deciding factor. Aromashodu was good on special teams in the preseason and made a few nice catches, so he likely sticks. Emmanuel Arceneaux and Juaquin Iglesias performed well in camp, but not well enough to say definitively that they belong on the roster.

Offensive line: Steve Hutchinson, John Sullivan, Anthony Herrera, Charlie Johnson, Phil Loadholt, Jon Cooper, DeMarcus Love, Ryan Cook, Chris DeGeare. Comments: This group could change if the Vikings find a player they like better on the waiver wire. Cook, from many reports, appears to be only an option at the three interior positions now, after playing as a tackle most often during his first few seasons in MInnesota. Love is raw, but likely wouldn't make it through waivers and onto the practice squad. Waiving draft pick Brandon Fusco (a center from Slippery Rock) is a risk, too, but he's not ready to occupy a place on the 53-man roster yet.

Defensive backs: Husain Abdullah, Jamarca Sanford, Tyrell Johnson, Eric Frampton, Mistral Raymond, Antoine Winfield, Cedric Griffin, Chris Cook, Brandon Burton, Asher Allen, Marcus Sherels. Comments: This could group, too, could be shaken up, based on who might become available in free agency. If Sherels is going to be the punt returner, he moves ahead of Burton, and possibly even Allen, on the list of CBs. I'd put him ahead of Allen now, but coaches and personnel men in the NFL put a ton of stock in players they drafted, especially in the early rounds. Allen was drafted in the third round in 2009. Sherels is an undrafted free agent. Hopefully, for Sherels' sake, the whole draft pick thing doesn't matter as much as I think it does. He deserves to be on the team. ... Now, I have 11 DBs making the team, including five safeties. That's a lot, but I don't know how the Vikes cut draft pick Mistral Raymond, and Eric Frampton is a tremendous special teams player.

Linebackers: E.J. Henderson, Chad Greenway, Erin Henderson, Heath Farwell, Kenny Onatolu, Ross Homan, Larry Dean. Comments: Dean may have played his way off the roster on Thursday, but the suspension to Williams gives the Vikings one more roster spot, for at least two weeks, and Dean may be the beneficiary. He did enough in the first three weeks to warrant serious consideration for a spot on the 53. The Vikings like Homan's potential too much to let him go, and Onatolu and Farwell are special teams aces. This list assumes Jasper Brinkley lands on I.R. and it leaves out David Herron, a veteran who was only with the team for a couple of weeks this preseason. Herron could well make the team in place of Dean, or they both could be cut.

Defensive linemen: Jared Allen, Kevin Wlliams, Remi Ayodele, Brian Robison, Everson Griffen, Adrian Awasom, LeTroy Guion, Fred Evans, Christian Ballard. Comments: Some of the team's toughest cuts may come here, with Stylez White and rookie D'Aundre Reed left on the outside. Griffen could be considered a linebacker, too, after getting some work there on Thursday, but after just one week of practicing (part-time) at LB, is he ready to play that spot against No. 1 offenses? And, can he cover slot receivers or tight ends? It's one thing to do it against the Texans backups, but what if he got matched up against Vincent Jackson, Antonio Gates or Malcom Floyd in week 1? That's why I'll leave him at DE for now. And I'm betting they'll need him to sub for Robison far more than they're letting on. Guion will probably start alongside Ayodele in Williams' absence. Awasom was too good in the preseason to not have earned a spot on the 53, and Ballard could eventually out-perform his draft position. Evans could be a question mark here, though he'll likely stick around to add depth with Williams out.

Specialists: Ryan Longwell (K), Chris Kluwe (P), Cullen Loeffler (LS). Comments: duh.