There is a very good chance that the best football game to be played anywhere in Minnesota this weekend, will be taking place right here in St. Cloud, at SCSU's Husky Stadium.  I'm referring to a high school game Saturday night - the Class 4A Section 8 Championship Game - which matches Sartell-St. Stephen vs. Rocori.

It's a huge game locally.  It's an important game in each of these communities.  And legitimate arguments can be made on both sides, as to who will win.

For Sartell, it was a disappointing regular season.  The Sabres finished with a record of (2-6), but the record itself, is deceiving.  Sartell lost three games this season, by one point each.  Can you imagine watching your favorite team lose three one point games, during an eight game season?  They lost another game by a field goal - with a little luck, the record could have been (6-2), instead of (2-6).

But that doesn't matter much now, as the Sabres have won two straight playoff games on the road, and have a ton of momentum.  Remember, most of these players were on last year's team that was the conference Champion, and two years ago Sartell was undefeated going into the state championship game, which they lost at the Metrodome.  Plus, Sabres Coach John Ross, is considered by many to be the best in the area.

Sartell-St. Stephen has two dynamic players on offense, and they will need them both to be flawless if they are going to beat Rocori.  QB Blake Guggenberger was the Central Lakes Conference's 'Player of the Year' last season, and is dangerous as a passer and a runner.  He is smart, and accurate, keeping the Sabres offense well balanced.  RB Eric McAfee is ultra quick, and the Sabres will try to get him the ball on the perimeter, with sweeps and screen passes.

The Sabres "D" is OK, but may prove to be this team's Achilles heel.  They gave up 28 points to Rocori in the first match-up, a 28-14 loss.

As far as the Spartans are concerned - everything is just rollin' along perfectly right now.  The best player in the league this year, is their QB - Nate Meyer.  Meyer is in control of an offense that is explosive, experienced, and unpredictable.  The offensive line is dominating, and the combination of; Meyer (QB), Sam Moriarity (RB), Sean Terres (WR), and Christian Pedroza (WR), is as good as you will find anywhere in the state, on any level.

The Spartans defense is often overlooked, but they are solid, and clutch.  Rocori has been great at taking the ball away from opposing offenses, and has also been good at forcing a lot of "3rd and long" situations.  In the last meeting between these two teams, Rocori was able to put a lot of pressure on Guggenberger, keeping the Sabres offense out of sync all night long.

The Spartans have had issues, at times this season, with holding on to the football.  Fumbled exchanges and bad snaps from center, have not really hurt the Spartans yet - but those kind of things can't happen in what is sure to be a close football game.

So, who will win?  I cannot say, but being the voice of Rocori football, I am obviously a bit biased.  This time around, unlike in years past, Rocori has the better record - and more importantly - the better team.  But that does not always equal a victory on game day.

And as we all know, the football gods are very fickle!


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