Four Minnesota state football champions will be crowned today. Underway is the nine-man championship: Houston (13-0) vs. Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley (13-0). Our two prep football experts take a look at how the teams match up.
John Millea says: Everyone had an eye on Kittson County Central after the Bearcats knocked off Stephen-Argyle in the Section 8 playoffs. But then Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley upset the apple cart further by beating the Bearcats 8-7 in the state semifinals. This is an extremely tough game to predict, with both Houston and C-G-B recording one blowout and one narrow escape in the state tournament. Houston is known for scoring early and often, and that’s why I’m leaning toward the Hurricanes today.
• Pick: Houston 23, C-G-B 18.
Jim Paulsen says: How low under the radar can an undefeated team fly? Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley has done everything asked of it, beating all comers, yet still it gets little respect. Sure, the Wolverines are not flashy – they have no 1,000-yard rusher, and stingy defense is their calling card – but they’ve shown resiliency and a penchant for winning tough games. If the Wolverines can hang with Houston early, they should be in great shape to pull things out at the end.
• Pick: C-G-B 33, Houston 23