High school football: Saturday state quarterfinal predictions

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Here are a couple of Saturday’s top high school football playoff games involving East Metro teams:


St. Thomas Academy (8-2) vs. Owatonna (8-2), at Woodbury H.S., 12 p.m.

This is the same round that the Cadets lost to Mahtomedi in overtime a year ago. Oh, and it’s on the same field. So St. Thomas Academy should lack no motivation to come out and score a little vengeance, even if it’s against an unfamiliar foe. Both programs breezed through their respective sections. Owatonna has a strong passing game, which will give St. Thomas Academy’s defense a chance to show it is a better unit than it showed during the regular season. OUR PICK: St. Thomas Academy 30, Owatonna 28

Mahtomedi (6-4) vs. Chanhassen (10-0), at Apple Valley H.S., 1 p.m.

Chanhassen sports one of the state’s top players in do-it-all star Maxwell Woods, who has run for 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns. The Storm cemented their current place as the top team in Class 5A with their thrilling victory over Mankato West in the section final. Of course, the top team all fall doesn’t always lift the trophy at season’s end. And the Class 5A state tournament is generally one of the toughest to navigate unscathed. Mahtomedi has been up and down this season, but it has played well of late and could be finding its stride. OUR PICK: Chanhassen 35, Mahtomedi 14

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