We’re in the middle of September, but it feels more like July with temperatures in the 80s and humidity returning to the Twin Cities.
We’re also two weeks into the high school football season, and so far there have been few surprises across the landscape. Last week, we got a fairly rare opportunity of a No. 1 vs. No. 2 match-up in the regular season as Eden Prairie hosted Lakeville North. The Eagles cruised to a 41-13 win over the Panthers.
It’s a big week for many football teams. Some are 2-0, looking to stay undefeated and gain confidence for the back half of the regular season. For others who haven’t had the immediate success, it’s an opportunity to bounce back while it’s still early in the season.
This week, we feature four games between unbeaten teams. Here’s a look at some of the top match-ups.
Maple Grove (2-0) at Minnetonka (2-0)
A pair of west metro powers and unbeaten Class 6A teams meet Friday night in a top-10 match-up as No. 8-ranked Minnetonka hosts No. 5-ranked Maple Grove. It’s our Featured Game for WCCO-TV’s High School Sports Rally. It’ll be the first road game of the season for the Crimson after home victories over rival Osseo 28-7 and Prior Lake 9-6.
The Crimson are led by running back Evan Hull, who is averaging 134 yards on the ground in two games and has one touchdown.
The Skippers have had a pair of dominant victories, beating Eagan 42-7 in their opener and rival Wayzata 21-6 last week. Minnetonka is led by quarterback Aaron Syverson, who is a threat to run or pass. He has 285 yards passing, 265 rushing and three touchdowns over two games.
Maple Grove has won the last two meetings between the two programs. Last year, the Crimson claimed a 45-14 win over the Skippers.
Rocori (2-0) at Becker (2-0)
It’s a top-10 match-up north of the Twin Cities metro Friday night as a pair of Class 4A powers meet. No. 7-ranked Becker hosts No. 6-ranked Rocori. The two teams haven’t face each other since the 2014 state playoffs, and it’s Becker’s first home game of the season after wins at Chisago Lakes and Princeton to start the fall season.
The Bulldogs are scoring in bunches this year, with 56 points in each of their first two games. They’re led by quarterback Josh Fobbe, just a sophomore, who has 445 passing yards and 11 touchdowns in two games. Running back Sidney Boros has more than 300 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns, and Lucas Dertinger is the go-to receiver with 117 yards and five scores.
Rocori has done it more with defense, allowing just 15 total points in its first two games. But they’ll run the ball, and they’ll likely run it a lot with Matt Koshiol. The junior has more than 300 rushing yards and two scores on the season. It should be a great match-up between perennial state powers.
Champlin Park (2-0) at St. Michael-Albertville (2-0)
One of the bigger surprises of the football season so far might be St. Michael-Albertville and its move up to Class 6A. Not only have the Knights moved up to the biggest class in the state, they’ve started the season with a pair of road victories. STMA won at Mounds View 45-21, then followed it up last week with a 40-20 win at then No. 3-ranked Blaine.
The Knights are led by the potent running back duo of Mitch Kartes and Desean Phillips. Kartes, who will play football at North Dakota State, has 260 yards rushing and five touchdowns in two games. Phillips has 220 yards and five scores.
The Rebels, ranked No. 7 in 6A, have been equally as impressive in their first two games. Champlin Park beat East Ridge 34-13 in its opener and followed it last week by beating Anoka 42-13. The Tornadoes are led by Ernest Worjloh’s 283 rushing yards and four scores.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s (2-0) at DeLaSalle (2-0)
It should be an interesting match-up Friday night when a pair of unbeaten meet in Minneapolis as DeLaSalle hosts Benilde-St. Margaret’s. The Islanders score points, and they score a lot of them. They’re averaging more than 44 points per game on the season in two victories. The offensive attack is led by Sage Booker, who has 400 yards rushing and five touchdowns.
The Red Knights are 2-0 and it’s largely due to their defense. They’re allowing just seven points per game, and shut out Orono last week.
The two teams met in Week 4 last season, a 28-22 overtime victory for the Red Knights.
Tune into WCCO-TV’s High School Sports Rally at about 10:20 p.m. Friday as Mike Max, Frank Vascellaro and David McCoy will have all the action covered.