Eden Prairie (11-1, 3-1 in the Lake Conference) at Wayzata (12-0, 4-0 in the Lake Conference)
- Antonio Ford, Wayzata Running Back: Ford has supplied the Trojan’s running game with a lot of horsepower throughout most of the season. He continues to shine in his role as a low, tough runner, who, when cornered, turns into a human battering ram, fighting for extra yardage. When fellow running back Erik Roti went out a couple weeks ago with an ankle injury, Ford stepped up and has shown that he can carry a heavy load. His toughness is going to be tested one more time against Eden Prairie.
- Andrew Larson, Eden Prairie Running Back: Larson’s production this year puts him in the top tier of ball carriers in the state. His physical running style makes him hard to bring down. That, coupled with the Eagles’ notorious, smash-mouth football style, means Larson is capable of going off on opponents for big yardage. So far he has rolled through defenses on the way to the prep bowl. He will have a big challenge once again as he tries to run through a tough Trojan defense.
The Trojans win if…
They play mistake-free football and play tough in the trenches. Eden Prairie’s approach to the game isn’t a secret. They are going to pound you like a school bully that didn’t get breakfast. So the Trojans will need to come with their shoes tied, ready and willing to run through a brick wall when called upon. They proved to everyone that they can do it by shutting down the Eagles in their previous matchup. If they play their best ball defensively, they will be going home as repeat state champions.
The Eagles win if…
They can force their style of play on Wayzata and not turn the ball over. If the Eagles can execute their brute style of offense against a smaller Wayzata defense, they have a good chance at winning the game. But they will need to hang onto the ball and not turn it over. They got beat at their own game against the Trojans earlier in the season. They will have to play tougher and bigger than they have all season in order to avenge their only loss this year.
- Mitch Underhill, Wayzata Running back: Underhill tweaked his knee in the opening game against Prior Lake. An MRI revealed a torn ACL. He will be out for the remainder of the season.
- Ryan Poppitz, Wayzata: Poppitz suffered a torn meniscus in his knee against Champlin Park. He will be out for the remainder of the season.
Time: 7 p.m.
Sept. 1 at Prior Lake (W, 47-20)
Sept. 9 at Eagan (W, 28-7)
Sept. 16 vs. Anoka (W, 44-21)
Sept. 23 vs. Carmel Catholic (University of Dubuque) (W, 33-27)
Sept. 30 vs. Minnetonka (W, 35-7)
Oct. 6 at Edina (W, 28-6)
Oct. 14 at Hopkins (W, 40-20)
Oct. 19 vs. Eden Prairie (W, 9-0)
Oct. 29 vs. Champlin Park (W, 21-14)
Nov. 4 vs. Osseo (W, 30-7)
Nov. 12 vs. Moorhead (W, 49-14)
Nov. 19 vs. Cretin-Derham Hall (W, 42-0)
Nov. 25 vs. Eden Prairie