Yep, I know it’s Friday night, but I will be doing this without looking at the scores basically. My own honest opinion.
The game of the week is Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan at Canistota. Talk about a match-up, including the fact that Canistota-Bridgewater played as a team last year. No doubt this is the best match-up in the state. Hopefully it turns out that way. The preview will be below.
11AA: 1 through 3 stays the same with SF Washington getting all nine first place votes and 45 in all. SF O’Gorman moved up to 4th, as Rapid City Stevens fell to fifth, and is in a tie with the team that beat them, Sioux Falls Lincoln. Pierre is also receiving vottes this week at 4-3.
#5 Rapid City Stevens (5-2) at #1 Sioux Falls Washington (7-0) – This is not the game for Rapid City Stevens’ defense to be struggling. SF Lincoln put up 33 on the Raiders last week, and Washington’s offense is better then that. The Warriors have only scored under 38 points once, 21 against Roosevelt. The good news is that Stevens’ offense might be able to keep them in the game here, but the 10 points against Roosevelt and 15 against Pierre is a concern.
Prediction – I have to go with Washington here. The offense is just too good for Rapid City Stevens’ defense, even if last week was a hiccup for the Raiders. Plus, Washington does have a pretty good defense. It’s just too much of a mountain for the Raiders to climb over.
11A: Despite a scare from Dakota Valley, Dell Rapids claims the top spot with eight first place votes and 32 total. Harrisburg moved up to second with one first-place vote and 26 total. Sisseton fell to third since both West Central and Canton, fo urth and fifth respectively, both lost. St. Thomas More moved back into the rankings at fourth, and WC fell to fifth. Canton is receiving votes.
#1 Dell Rapids (6-0) at #5 West Central (4-2) – Talk about a game to get a tough read on. Dell Rapids’ defense had been pretty good all year long, even against Tri-Valley and Canton, but gave up 34 points to Dakota Valley last week. The thing is, Tri-Valley and Canton’s offenses aren’t that good, so maybe the Quarries’ defense isn’t as good as thought. But for West Central, they have lost to both teams that were actually good, with one of the game at home to Harrisburg. Plus, both good teams held West Central to 19 and 13. The Trojans defense is good, so they have that going for them.
Prediction – I am going to give Dell Rapids the benefit of the doubt from last week and go with the Quarriers. I think their defense steps up in a close game, and West Central continues to resemble a team that is a shell of its former championship self.
#2 Harrisburg (5-1) at Luverne, MN (6-0) – Harrisburg has been blowing opponents out the last three weeks, but it was against sub-par opponents. The Tigers defense, the last time they faced a tough test, gave up 34 points to decent Tri-Valley offense. Harrisburg has to face a lot tougher opponent this week in Luverne, a team with a very stout defense.
Prediction – I think Luverne’s defense is too much for Harrisburg to deal with here. For the second straight week, I am going with the Minnesota team. Harrisburg hasn’t been facing the quality opponents lately and the Tigers are brought back down to Earth.
11B: Everything stayed almost the same. Tri-Valley is the clear 2 team after being tied with Flandreau, who is at 3. The Mustangs did receive a first-place vote this week and has 32 points. Wagner has the other 8 first-place votes and 40 points. Bon Homme is receiving votes again, along with five other teams. Seriously, how is Elk Point-Jefferson receiving votes…
Receiving votes Platte-Geddes/Dakota Christian (5-1) at #2 Tri-Valley (4-2) – Tri-Valley with two losses and is ranked second? Well it’s because the Mustangs have faced the toughest schedule in maybe the state. Tri-Valley finally got to face a team that wasn’t that great, Tea Area, and blew them out 33-3. The Tri-Valley defense is stingy as always, but the offense does stall from time to time. PGDC is looking to round into form after a 34-0 week 2 loss to Bon Homme. That’s the Black Panthers only loss, but avoided losses against McCook Central-Montrose (9-6) and Miller (14-7). Plus last week PGDC edged Parkston last week 21-15. It seems the Black Panthers have had problems getting past mediocre opponents. The defense seems decent, but it’s been against mediocre offensives as well. Plus the PGDC offense isn’t quite clicking yet.
Prediction – I think Tri-Valley controls this game from the start. PGDC has faced a lot of weak teams and really didn’t beat them convincingly. Tri-Valley has faced too many good teams to falter here.
Receiving votes Elk Point-Jefferson (4-2) at #4 Garretson (5-1) – Elk Point-Jefferson has only scored six combined points in the last two weeks against Dakota Valley and Wagner. Things don’t get any easier for the Huskies, who face a tough Garretson defense. The Blue Dragons’s defense has been solid and the worst game was 21 points against Flandreau, who is a pretty good team. The Garretson defense has also struggled a bit against good defenses, and EPJ has a good defense, so that poses a bit of a problem.
Prediction – I give Garretson the edge in defense and being at home. This game will be close I think, but I don’t think EPJ has a good enough offense to get by Garretson. I do think they crack the 3-point barrier though.
Miller (3-3) at receiving votes Winner (6-1) – Miller got spanked by Mobridge-Pollock last week 42-0 and it doesn’t get any easier against Winner. The Warriors defense isn’t as good as last year, but Winner does have back-to-back shutouts the last two weeks. Plus Winner’s offense is still good. Miller has struggled to score points this year against even semi-decent teams.
Prediction – For the second week in a row, Miller gets blown out. Winner rolls over Miller, who is hoping to break Winner’s shut-out streak.
9AA: Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan remains number one and picks up a first place vote with 8 and 44 points. Chester Area went from 2nd to receiving votes, and Howard went from 5th to receiving votes. Herreid-Shelby Area moved into the rankings at fourth and even picked up a first-place vote. Okay…. Viborg-Hurley moved up from 3rd to 2nd, and Philip from 4th to 3rd. Leola-Frederick moves into the rankings at 5th. Lemmon-McIntosh is also receiving votes.
#1 Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan (5-1) at 9B #1 Canistota (6-0) – Talk about a rivalry game. Canistota and Bridgewater were a team last year. Now that has switched, and Bridgewater formed with a pretty good Emery/Ethan team. The move hasn’t slowed either one down in the match-up of the week. Both teams have knocked off their share of teams, have put up a ton of points and has a pretty good defense. Both teams played Hanson, with BEE losing and Canistota winning. Canistota has given up a total of 28 points. BEE has a good defense like I said, but has given 20 points or more three times.
Prediction – I think Canistota’s offense is way too much for Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan. Canistota puts up a lot of points here, and it’s defense is the X-factor here. It’s just better than BEE’s. I do think BEE is able to put up some points though, maybe about 20.
#2 Viborg-Hurley (5-1) at Irene-Wakonda (5-1) – Irene-Wakonda is 5-1? Cool. But the one decent team the Eagles faced, Corsica-Stickney, they lost 54-0. The Eagles did stay with Alcester-Hudson 14-8, which is probably the second best team they have faced. Viborg-Hurley has the high-powered offense and even scored 29 points against a pretty good Avon defense.
Prediction – This is the type of team Viborg-Hurley beats up on. I think this one is a lopsided score for the Viborg-Hurley. Sorry Irene-Wakonda. Hey, the playoffs are almost here.
#3 Philip (5-1) at 9A #2 Harding County (6-0) – Harding County hasn’t scored under 45 points in a game all year and has only given up 14 points all year. This ist he first ranked opponent Harding County has faced all year. In fact, I think this is the first team that is even receiving votes. Philip’s one loss is to Wall, who Harding County ripped. Philip has given up at least 20 points in its last three games. Philip has the ability to score some points.
Prediction – I think Harding County gets the win. Philip isn’t as good as the record indicates, and gives up points, which is bad against an good offense like Harding County. The Wall game might have showed the difference between the two teams.
#4 Herreid-Shelby Area (6-0) at 9A #5 Sully Buttes (5-1) – Sully Buttes is coming off a tough 30-20 loss to Gettysburg, a team that Herreid-Shelby Area beat. Both teams can put up some points, and H-SA also gave up 30 to Gettysburg, but scored 38. Both teams also really beat up on McLaughlin.
Prediction – This could easily turn into a shoot-out. I think Herreid-Shelby Area’s offense is a bit better, and the defense for both teams is about the same. I have no confidence behind this pick, but I like Herreid-Shelby Area a bit better.
#5 Leola-Frederick (6-0) at Eureka-Bowdle (5-1) – Leola-Frederick climbed into the top five this past week, and has been good at putting up points, but really hasn’t faced a big challenge yet. In fact, Eureka-Bowdle is the toughest team they have faced so far. Eureka-Bowdle’s one loss is to Sully Buttes, and they only gave up 12 points. They also beat a good Gettysburg team on the road.
Prediction – I am going to go with the home team. Eureka-Bowdle can put up points, and I think the defense is there to shut down Leola-Frederick. E/B has faced a tougher schedule too to prepare for this game. Leola-Frederick just hasn’t faced anyone to convince me yet.
9A: Hanson climbs back on top from 3rd place with 39 points and four first-place votes. Harding County went from 4th to 2nd with the other four first-place votes and 33 points. Avon went from 5th to third after beating formerly top-ranked Corsica-Stickney, who is now 4th. Sully Buttes fell from 2nd to 5th.
#1 Hanson (6-1) at Mount Vernon (3-3) – Once again, the defending champs are number one. Hanson’s defense did have a bit of a hiccup against Howard by giving up 26, but it has been great all year, giving up just 20 to Canistota. Plus, the Beavers can put up some points. Mount Vernon has been up and down, but got blown out by Chester Area and took a loss to White Lake/Plankinton. They have beat up on a lot of mediocre to bad opponents.
Prediction – I think Hanson blows out Mount Vernon on the road. Mount Vernon struggles against good teams this year so far, well the two they have faced.
9B: The voters finally wised up and gave Canistota all nine first-place votes after just five last week. Canistota has 38 points as well. Dell Rapids St. Mary is second, followed by Hitchcock-Tulare and Waverly-South Shore. Colome is back in the rankings at 5th as Grant-Deuel falls to receiving votes along with the team it lost to, Gettysburg.
#5 Colome (5-1) at Kadoka Area (4-2) – Colome has been able to put up some points, with the exception of 8 points against Corsica-Stickney. The defense has been good, with again, the exception of 34 points against Corsica-Stickney. Kadoka Area’s offense has been up and down, mostly up against bad opponents. They are coming off a 33-14 road loss to White River, and the defense has had a couple of bad games.
Prediction – Colome picks up the road win here, as its able to score some points on Kadoka Area. I think Colome also keep Kadoka Area under 20. Kind of hard to get a read on both teams, but I am confident in Colome.