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32 posts categorized "High school football picks"

October 15, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PICKS: Week 8

PHERSY: Whoa, that went left in a hurry. Feldy cleaned my clock last week, essentially ending my season.This will be bad with Feldy winning two years in a row after being blanked for so long. Let's get crazy this week Feldy. Maybe you could pick an upset or two :-)

After my disastrous week (3-4), I sink to 30-19. Gross. Feldy lit it up last week, going 6-1, which makes him 35-14. Five games back ... and the worst week of games I've seen to date. This is brutal.

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Mankato West (6-1) at Rochester Mayo (5-2)

Winona (2-5) at Albert Lea (0-7)

SFA BLUE

Wabasha-Kellogg (3-4) at Hayfield (3-4)

Southland (1-6) at Fillmore Central (3-4)

SFA RED

La Crescent (2-5) at Lake City (2-5)

PEM (5-2) at Stewartville (6-1)

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Houston (3-4) at Lanesboro (6-1)

* * * * 

FELDY: I'll hold off on patting myself on the back, as my history is very Vikings-like. I just might hook the field goal wide right and let Phersy right back into this. 

BIG NINE

Mayo 28, Mankato West 27: I'll take the upset here; banking on West continuing to trend downward after a bad second half against Faribault last week. 

Winona 34, Albert Lea 14: This is assuming Albert Lea can convert the PATs. Otherwise, 34-12.

SFA BLUE

Wabasha-Kellogg 25, Hayfield 20: W-K played a good Rushford-Peterson team really tough last week, with the difference being an R-P defensive TD. Both of these teams wins are against Kingsland, Goodhue and Southland, so comparing scores is useless. This should be a good ballgame; I like the way the Falcons are playing, so let's go with em on the road.

Fillmore Central 20, Southland 6: I'll take the Falcons' D against a Southland offense that is struggling to score. The Rebels have been shut out twice and scored 8 points or less in four of their six losses.

SFA RED

La Crescent 31, Lake City 24: Lake City really missed Elliot Cox last week. Not sure if he's back this week, so I'll take the Lancers to pull the mild upset.

Stewartville 21, P-E-M 18: This is a big test for both teams heading into the postseason. P-E-M could be a spoiler here, ruining Stewartville's shot at a share of the division title. But this is a game where Stewy needs to show what it's made of, a great opponent to face heading into the playoffs. I think the Tigers have enough to be a very tough P-E-M club.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Lanesboro 54, Houston 48: Don't let the records of these teams fool you; Lanesboro only beat Houston by 2 points in the season opener. The Burros want a share of the conference crown and they want the highest seed possible in the postseason. Niko Anderson continues to pile up TDs and the Burros win.

******

PHERSY: Disclaimer: I don't believe most of these picks. But I'm desperate...

BIG NINE

Mankato West 37, Mayo 21: If this was the NFL, West would be resting starters. But everyone knows Esch will run up the score on anyone at any time and he is more concerned about records. 

Albert Lea 14, Winona 13: Gross game. But again, I need some miracles.

SFA BLUE

Wabasha-Kellogg 26, Hayfield 23: WK is the better team.

Southland 6, Fillmore Central 0: Do you believe in miracles? yes, yes!!!

SFA RED

Lake City 21, La Crescent 13: Banking on Cox coming back ... and even then, it'll be an uphill battle. But, go Tigers!

P-E-M 30, Stewartville 20: Meh, I need some upsets...

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Houston 18, Lanesboro 14: Yeah, I'd like to go for the win outright in this one ... so, yeah, let's do it.

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.

October 04, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PICKS: Week 6

PHERSY: Finally, I went in the right direction last week, picking up a game on Feldy. I'm still way behind, but at least it was a start. The bad news is Feldy picks first this week, and you know what that means ... I'll be pressing!!

Anyway, I went 6-1 last week, while Feldy went 5-2. That means I'm now 22-13 and Feldy is 25-10.

Here we go:

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Faribault (4-1) at John Marshall (3-2)

SFA BLUE

Wabasha-Kellogg (3-2) at Fillmore Central (2-3)

Goodhue (1-4) at Southland (1-5)

SFA RED

Lake City (2-3) at Byron (2-3)

Cannon Falls (2-3) at P-E-M (3-2)

Kasson-Mantorville (5-0) at Stewartville (5-0)

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Grand Meadow (5-0) at Lanesboro (4-1)

* * *

FELDY: Here we go...

BIG NINE
JM 23, Faribault 20: JM's pass defense was impressive against Mayo last week. If the Rockets can play that type of 'D' again, they'll keep Faribault's top offensive weapons in check.

SFA BLUE
Fillmore Central 28, Wabasha-Kellogg 21: Fillmore Central has faced two of the best teams in the state the past two weeks, losing to Chatfield and Caledonia. The Falcons other loss was a one-point setback to Rushford-Peterson, which was undefeated until losing to Chatfield last week. I'll take the Falcons on their home turf.

Southland 20, Goodhue 16: Both of these teams' lone wins came against a struggling Kingsland team. Both teams have struggled to score this season, so it's a toss-up. I'll take the Rebels at home.

SFA RED
Lake City 31, Byron 20: Lake City's Elliot Cox has been difficult for opposing defenses to contain this season. Cox and the Tigers get back to .500 against a Byron team that's battled some injuries and has struggled to score against three top-notch opponents over the past three weeks -- P-E-M, Stewartville and Lourdes.

P-E-M 30, Cannon Falls 21: P-E-M's losses have come to a pair of state-ranked teams, Rochester Lourdes (by one point) and Class AAAA school Kasson-Mantorville (40-26). The Bulldogs hand the Bombers their third consecutive setback.

Stewartville 28, K-M 27: The game of the week in southeastern Minnesota, for sure. K-M has played in more big games in recent seasons, but Stewartville keeps passing every test set in front of it. This week the Tigers face their biggest test of the season -- and pass, but by the slimmest of margins.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE
Grand Meadow 42, Lanesboro 33: Grand Meadow wins a shootout against a very good Lanesboro team and set up a showdown of two unbeatens next week when G.M. plays host to Spring Grove.

**********

PHERSY: I'll keep it short and sweet:

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Faribault 13, John Marshall 7: This might be the game of the week. The Rockets will be motivated after the loss to Mayo, but I think Faribault will make fewer mistakes.

SFA BLUE

Wabasha-Kellogg 20, Fillmore Central 18: WK received votes this week in the state polls. That's far-fetched, but it's a team heading in the right direction.

Goodhue 13, Southland 6: I just have to believe in G-force.

SFA RED

Lake City 23, Byron 13: The Bears will get healthy at some point and be a dangerous team once again. But the Tigers have enough and they're better than their record indicates.

P-E-M 27, Cannon Falls 20: This will be a barn-burner. CF's offensive and defensive lines are fantastic, but PEM isn't too bad there either. This will come down to the final play.

Kasson-Mantorville 13, Stewartville 12: If the weather is nasty as expected, I feel that favors KM. If it was sunny and nice out, I'd be picking the Tigers. But I'll roll with the KoMets in the mud.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Grand Meadow 24, Lanesboro 12: Man, I'd love to call for the upset. And this is a good situation for Lanesboro as the weather should slow down that dangerous GM offense. It won't be enough, though.

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 20, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PICKS: Week 4

PHERSY: Well Feldy, we both struggled last week, and that means I'm still way behind. We have to stop picking the tough games and give ourselves a week of easy games to make our records look better. Feldy's at 15-6 and I'm now an ugly 12-9. Gross.

Let's do this Feldy...

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Austin (0-3) at Winona (1-2)

Faribault (3-0) at Mayo (2-1)

Mankato West (2-1) at John Marshall (3-0)

Mankato East (0-3) at Albert Lea (0-3)

SFA BLUE

Wabasha-Kellogg (1-2) at Goodhue (1-3)

SFA RED

Byron (2-1) at Stewartville (3-0)

SFA WHITE

Kenyon-Wanamingo (1-2) at Lewiston-Altura (0-3)

****

FELDY: Not mincing words this week, let's get right to it...

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Winona 35, Austin 20: Winhawks return home with some confidence after big road win at Century last week.

Mayo 28, Faribault 21: This is a good matchup for Mayo at this point, and it won't be an easy 'W.' Spartans can't afford to look ahead to next week's showdown against JM.

West 37, JM 23: The Scarlets took the No. 1 team in the state down to the final second last week. They bounce back with a nice road win at JM.

Albert Lea 33, East 16: Not much to say about this one. Albert Lea is just better.

SFA BLUE

Wabasha-Kellogg 24, Goodhue 22: Both teams have beaten up on Kingsland and lost to Caledonia and Chatfield. So this should be a pretty even matchup. Right?

SFA RED

Stewartville 27, Byron 24: I flip-flopped about a dozen times on this one and finally decided to let Toddler Feldy pick by pointing at a team's name. So don't come at me if you win, Byron fans. E-mail my 20-month-old.

SFA WHITE

Lewiston-Altura 31, Kenyon-Wanamingo 21: I guess I'll keep picking the Cards until they win one. So, c'mon, L-A. Win this one.

_________

PHERSY: Good call Feldy...rock and roll.

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Winona 30, Austin 21: Winhawks have a legitimate quarterback. I would have gone the other way with this one, but after seeing what Winona did to Century last night, I know the Packers will need a huge effort to pull off a road win.

Mayo 26, Faribault 14: The Falcons finally run into some competition this week. Mayo is better on both sides of the ball.

West 28, JM 27: This will be a better game than people think ... JM has plenty of weapons, and its defensive line is very solid.

Albert Lea 23, East 6: Look way...

SFA BLUE

Goodhue 14, Wabasha-Kellogg 8: G-Force is in the house!

SFA RED

Stewartville 34, Byron 14: If you're not impressed with Stewy yet...get there. The Tigers are the real deal. This would be a better game, but Byron is really banged up.

SFA WHITE

Lewiston-Altura 21, Kenyon-Wanamingo 20: Barn-burner ... I wanted to go with the Knights. But couldn't pull the trigger. LA is better than its record.

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.

August 30, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PICKS: Week 1

PHERSY: We're back, baby!!!!

It's been far too long since I've posted on this Faceoff blog thing.  But now with the Ice Hawks coming up and Feldy and I both back on our regular beats (I'm picking up Gophers football, too...which should provide more content), the blog will be much more active over the coming months. So, stay tuned!

We kick things off with our usual high school football picks.

Last season, I trailed all season, then rallied to come back and make things even, only to fall short during the state semifinals and state finals. Feldy held a one-game lead into the finals, and he picked up another game in the last round, earning the two-game victory.

It's the first time he's won our picks in 48 years. So, congrats to Feldy. It won't happen again..

Feldy is busy this morning, so I'll be picking the games and making picks first (doesn't seem fair, does it?) ... next week, he'll pick the games and I'll again pick first, so we can get things back to normal.

Let's go!

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Mayo at Owatonna

Austin at Faribault

Mankato East at Century

SFA BLUE DIVISION

Fillmore Central at Rushford-Peterson

SFA CROSSOVER

Triton at La Crescent

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Lanesboro at Houston

Glenville-Emmons at LeRoy-Ostrander

***

PHERSY'S PICKS...

BIG NINE CONFERENCE

Mayo 31, Owatonna 26: Yep, upset baby! I love the Spartans this year, with a defense I think can be the best in the Big Nine, led by Tommy Fjelsted. They love what they've seen out of new QB Jay Alston, too. I worry about the running game, but the passing game will be just fine with Michael Michalak stepping up as the new No. 1 receiver. They have big lines, and I have no trouble calling the upset in Week 1.

Austin 37, Faribault 32: Yep, that's another upset. The Packers are much better this season, with almost all of their starters returning, including all the skill-position guys. Also, look for Zach Wessels to be one of the Big Nine's best receivers this season. If the defense steps up, this team can have a winning record this season. Meanwhile, Faribault lost Riley Jandro and pretty much everyone else. They return QB Danny Ehlers and a couple of big tight ends step in, but the Falcons are rebuilding. ... It's a big-time swing game for the Packers. It should tell us where their season is heading.

Century 16, Mankato East 12: Ugh, I'll take the Panthers at home, I guess. Alex Crawford is gone and the Panthers lost their starting QB this week. They have a solid line, though, and they can grind one out and extend East's 11-game losing streak.

SFA BLUE DIVISION

Rushford-Peterson 20, Fillmore Central 15: Fillmore will be much improved this season. Andy Love and Tom Henry lead the Falcons, and they're wrestlers...so that's a good start. But R-P was so close so often last season, and it returns plenty of skill, too. Cole Kingsley and Tom Vix are a great running combo, and RP has one of the better lines in the conference. The Trjoans win a slobber-knocker.

SFA CROSSOVER

La Crescent 19, Triton 7: What, another upset? I guess I'm crazy this week. La Crescent will not win much (if at all) once division play starts in the Red (yeah, they're in there with Lourdes, PEM, Byron, Stewartville, Lake City, KM and Cannon Falls...good luck with that). It's probably their one chance to win a game, so the Lancers must make it work. Triton will go the other direction. It won't lose much (if at all) during the White Division schedule. It should be a good game either way.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Houston 41, Lanesboro 29: The Hurricanes have a massive senior class and they have Christian Sires. He'll be one of the best QBs in the SEC this season as the Hurricanes look to spread the offense out. Lanesboro is tough, though with a much different style. Niko Anderson could have a MONSTER year. Can Anderson grind out a win? Yeah, but I'll take Houston's spread this week.

LeRoy-Ostrander 35, Glenville-Emmons 21: Tough game to pick Feldy, because I think both teams will be much improved. Nate and Jace Bunne lead L-O, though ... and those two will be tough to beat. I think LO is a team to watch in the SEC. And that Bunne name will be in the paper a bunch this season.

 

* * * * * * * * * *

FELDY: fffffffffffffffttt ... fffffffffffffffffffttt ... just blowing the cobwebs off the Faceoff blog before I tell Phersy why he's wrong on a bunch of games and right on some others. Maybe that's just my arrogance after beating Phersy last year. Or maybe it's just me hoping I don't go 0-7 on a group of games that is difficult to pick. Either way, I'm just glad to have high school football back. Opening Friday is one of the best days of the year! Let's do this:

BIG NINE

Mayo 38, Owatonna 35: Phersy sniped my "upset" pick here. I thought this might be the only time all regular season I would pick against Mayo, but I'm buying what the Spartans' locker room has sold me in preseason camp. Phersy nailed it: junior Jay Alston looks like another in a really impressive string of QBs, he has a nice group of receivers (and, yes, Michalak will be a strong target, but don't sleep on TE Matt Rogers, who looked like a beast down the stretch last year). Owatonna is replacing a lot of skill guys, too, but the Huskies will have the best line in the conference again. 

Faribault 41, Austin 30: Yep, Phersy's Packers will be improved this season. Yep, Faribault will be down from where it was a year ago. But the Falcons have a solid QB, junior Danny Ehlers, back and he has two big targets that could give Austin fits -- tight ends Kallan Hart (6-foot-5) and Devin Jandro (6-6). Austin's O will be better than a year ago, but it's D gave up 40 or more points in its final five games last season. That's not something that gets completely turned around overnight.

Century 27, East 15: I agree with you again, Phersy, that Century's line will be the difference here. The Panthers are still feeling things out at the QB and RB spots, and it sounds like we could see multiple guys play at those positions tonight. I like the Panthers' line a lot, though. They have good size and some experience, which will be a key as the season goes on. 

SFA BLUE

R-P 33, Fillmore Central 23: R-P is going in a good direction. It went 6-4 last season, lost to Class AA state champ Caledonia by one score and was a touchdown away from reaching the Section 1A final. The Trojans have a couple of talented skill guys back and a few brick wall-types up front to pave the way. Fillmore Central will be better than its 2-7 record of a year ago, but this is a tough task for the Falcons, to go on the road in the season opener and face a really good R-P team, an R-P team that is already 1-0 after a nice win at Southland last week.

SFA CROSSOVER

Triton 28, La Crescent 21: La Crescent should be better this season than it was last year, and it should be competitive in the SFA Red, but Triton has 23 letterwinners back from a 7-3 team. And the Cobras have a coach, Don Henderson, who knows how to get the best out of his players.

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Lanesboro 34, Houston 31: Like Phersy, I did my share of research on both of these teams and how improved they'll be. Then I realized the last time I picked a nine-man game correctly was, I think, prior to the Metrodome being built. So, I'll wing it and take the Burros and Niko Anderson to grind out a close one with a tough rushing attack.

LeRoy-Ostrander 33, Glenville-Emmons 16: In a season opener with two teams that could be closely matched, I'll take the team with the returning QB (Jace Bunne) and RBs (Nate Bunne, Travis Raddatz). 

November 20, 2012

High School Football Picks: State finals

PHERSY: Well, Feldy has a one-game lead now ... so I'm in trouble. He's also informed me of his picks, so, yeah. Honestly, I'm just going for a tie here. Yuck.

Class AAAAA

Owatonna vs. Totino-Grace

Class AAA

Rochester Lourdes vs. Blue Earth Area

Class AA

Caledonia vs. Moose Lake-Willow River

•••

Class AAAAA

Totino-Grace 47, Owatonna 20: Good season Huskies...for real.

Class AAA

Rochester Lourdes 67, Blue Earth Area 2: BEA is an old conference foe for me, so BEAT THE BUCS!!! I don't need to hear any high school and college buddies talking about Blue Earth winning a state title. So Lourdes, please get this done...by a lot of points.

Class AA

Moose Lake-Willow River 27, Caledonia 20: This is simply to force a tie. I really think Caledonia wins yet another state title, but I need to not lose this year. It's all I've got :-(

• • •

FELDY: Phersy forgot to post the Nine-Man game, but it's a wash since we're both picking Grand Meadow to win, something like 135-14. OK, maybe not that much, but we like the Larks.

CLASS AAAAA
Totino-Grace 36, Owatonna 28: I got to see this Owatonna team in person twice this year. It was a truly fun team to watch. But Totino has beaten up on some pretty good teams and I think it wins a close one here.

CLASS AAA
Lourdes 30, BEA 12: The Eagles survived a scare in the state semis. No scare this time, just a championship trophy.

CLASS AA
Caledonia 24, ML-WR 8: Caledonia's defense re-emerges this week. The Warriors' dynasty rolls on.

November 09, 2012

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PICKS: State quarterfinals

PHERSY: Well Feldy, I'm coming back...slowly. I picked up another game in the standings last week, going 4-3 while Feldy went 3-4. That leaves me with an overall record of 50-27, while Feldy is 52-25. It's the state tournament, baby!

NINE-MAN

Mountain Lake Area (9-2) vs. Grand Meadow (10-1).

CLASS AA

Sibley East (9-1) vs. Caledonia (10-0)

CLASS AAA

Jordan (4-7) vs. Rochester Lourdes (11-0)

CLASS AAAA

Hutchinson (10-0) vs. Kasson-Mantorville (9-1)

CLASS AAAAA

Mankato West (4-6) vs. Owatonna (10-0)

***

PHERSY: We'll jump right into my picks ...

NINE-MAN

Grand Meadow 42, Mountain Lake Area 28: GM is a battle-tested team, and it plays great defense. They also run the ball well, so I think they control this game from start to finish.

CLASS AA

Caledonia 35, Sibley East 12: The Warriors have become one of the best football programs in the state. Nobody is slowing down this train, especially now that they have their full lineup available.

CLASS AAA

Rochester Lourdes 50, Jordan 2: I have a bone to pick here ... Jordan knocked us out of the section basketball tournament my senior year. So, yeah, I don't like the Hubmen. Oh yeah, and Lourdes is good.

CLASS AAAA

Hutchinson 35, Kasson-Mantorville 28: I guess I didn't learn my lesson last week. But I believe the KoMets' ride ends this week.

CLASS AAAAA

Owatonna 37, Mankato West 30: What a great game ... it's about time they meet. West survived in OT last week, while Owatonna rolled into state again. The Huskies have an offense that can run and throw this year, so they're dangerous.

* * * * *

NINE-MAN
Grand Meadow 36, Mountain Lake 24: The Larks have a short roadie to this one, at Rochester Regional Sports Stadium. Mountain Lake has close to three hours on the bus. Not that that will be the difference in this one. G.M. beat an outstanding Spring Grove team last week and will carry that momentum over.

CLASS AA
Caledonia 30, Sibley East 8: I feel like I say this every week, but give me Caledonia's defense against any team in Class AA football. The Warriors roll in this one.

CLASS AAA
Lourdes 28, Jordan 16: What's a Hubman? The rest of the state won't find out this year. Eagles notch another victory on their way to a state title.

CLASS AAAA
K-M 31, Hutchinson 30: I won't doubt the KoMets again after that beatdown they gave Faribault last week.

CLASS AAAAA
West 35, Owatonna 32: West is gonna have to score in bunches to win this game. The Scarlets might be the team from the Big Nine Conference best equipped to do that.