No. 1 EP the heavy favorite in 6A
by Nick Clark
Sun POST Newspapers
The high school football playoffs begin this week with plenty of intrigue.
The hope is that it lasts through the Prep Bowl.
In most of the tournaments that will conclude that day, there appears to be an excellent chance that happens. That is, just about everywhere but Class 6A.
Eden Prairie has positioned itself to win what would be a ninth state championship after putting together a regular season in which the Eagles were rarely threatened in compiling a perfect 7-0 record after closing out the fall with lopsided victories over Minnetonka (28-7), Wayzata (49-14) and Hopkins (37-0).
That probably doesn’t leave much hope for Armstrong, which on the heels of an 0-8 regular season, will visit the Eagles in the opening round of the Class 6A, Section 6 playoffs at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25.
The other three Section 6 quarterfinal games to be played that night feature Wayzata (5-2) playing host to Hopkins (2-6), Minnetonka (5-3) visiting Edina (4-4) and Prior Lake (6-2) hosting Shakopee (5-3).
The four winners of those games will cross over to face the Section 5 winners next week. The four quarterfinal games in Section 5 will also be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, and they feature some testy match-ups.
Top-seeded Maple Grove (8-0) plays host to Anoka (1-7) in a rematch of the Crimson’s 24-7 Week 5 victory. Totino-Grace (6-2) gets Coon Rapids (3-5) at home. Those two teams played in Week 1, with the Eagles winning 23-12.
On the other side of the bracket, Blaine (6-2) and Centennial (4-4) renew their storied rivalry just two weeks after the Bengals defeated the Cougars 42-20, and longtime head-butters Osseo (7-1) and Champlin Park (3-5) will meet as well.
The Orioles and Rebels will be playing for the first time since Osseo snuck out a 26-21 victory at Champlin Park on a last-second hail marry back on Oct. 14 of 2011.
The Class 5A playoffs will have Robbinsdale Cooper competing in Section 4. The Hawks (5-3) were seeded fifth, meaning they visited Spring Lake Park (5-3) Oct. 22. The two teams met earlier this year, with Spring Lake Park winning 41-20 in Week 4. The winner this time will earn a chance to play at top-seeded Mahtomedi at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.
Park Center (2-6) is also playing in a lower classification. The Pirates will compete in the Class 4A, Section 6 playoff beginning Oct. 22 with a visit to Fridley (4-4).
The winner will play at top-seeded DeLaSalle at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.
Blake, St Anthony and Benilde-St. Margaret’s make up the rest of the bracket.
Brooklyn Center (2-6) will play in Class 2A, Section 4, where the Centaurs will open up visiting Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (4-4) Oct. 22.
St. Agnes was the top seed in the tournament. Minneapolis Edison, Maple Lake, Spectrum, Concordia Academy-Roseville and St. Paul Humboldt are also in the field.
Breck will open its postseason with a rematch from the final game of the regular season, as the Mustangs head to Providence Academy hoping to avenge a 24-6 loss to the Lions from last Wednesday.
The winner of that game will play at top-seeded Glencoe-Silver Lake at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.
Watertown-Mayer received a bye on the other side of the bracket, and will play either Rockford or Minneapolis Patrick Henry Saturday afternoon.
Contact Nick Clark at [email protected]