Jason Williamson, RB – Owatonna (at Northfield)
Williamson has been the bell cow for a Huskies offense that’s averaged more than 52 points per game. He’s rushed for 80 yards or more in each of Owatonna’s six contests, including a school-record 343 against Rochester Century, with 19 total rushing touchdowns.
The 190-pound junior’s production comes with two opposing caveats: his achievements have mostly been in the first three quarters of every game, and the Huskies opponents have a combined record of 11-25 (.305).
That changes on Friday. The top-ranked Huskies travel to No. 7 Northfield for a battle of unbeaten teams. Williamson rushed for six touchdowns in two wins over the Raiders last season, and you can bet he’ll be motivated for more success in his team’s first true test of the fall.
Antonio Montero, RB/LB – Eden Prairie (vs Minnetonka)
Montero has been the leader of the Eagles defense since the beginning of 2016. He’s turned into a reliable short-yardage running back this fall, rushing for 11 touchdowns in the first six contests.
Montero and the Eagles defense have still not allowed first-quarter points this season and the 215-pounder is a big reason why. Only one team — Lakeville North — scored in double digits against the Red-and-Black, and the Panthers second touchdown came late in the fourth quarter.
No. 1 Eden Prairie will need Montero’s services on both sides of the ball, as well as a punter and kicker on special teams, to keep its record perfect on Friday against Minnetonka.
Matt Koshiol, RB – Rocori (vs Hutchinson)
Koshiol is the face of a prolific running attack that’s paced Rocori’s offense this fall. That’s a slight philosophy change for the Spartans, which have been predicated on a strong passing game under coach Mike Rowe.
The junior is a mix of speed and power out of the backfield. He’s averaging more than 100 yards and a touchdown per game this fall, including a season-high 198 against St. Cloud Apollo.
Koshiol has had a couple sub-par games too, most notably against Becker in Week 3. The Spartans escaped with a victory in that contest, but Andy Rostberg and the Tigers will likely try to mimic the Bulldogs defense to force quarterback Mason Primus to beat his team through the air.
Zach Myhre, RB/LB – Grand Meadow (at Spring Grove)
The Superlarks haven’t been as dominant in 2017 as they were the past four years, but there’s been zero drop off in the performance of Myhre.
In just six games, he’s racked up 1,163 rushing yards, 19 touchdowns and a yards-per-carry rate over 10 – all improvements from what he totaled last season in 13 games. A three-year starter at linebacker, he’s also one of the leading tacklers on defense again for a unit allowing only 13.1 points per game.
A win over No. 1 Spring Grove would throw seeding into disarray in Section 1, 9-Man. Can Myhre get enough from his teammates on both sides of the ball and upset the Lions on the road?
Evan Hull, RB – Maple Grove (vs Edina)
The Crimson’s path to a top-seed in Class 6A is to win out. That means upsetting No. 3 Edina on senior night, and it will take a great performance from their junior running back to do it.
Hull’s been one of the most impressive juniors in the metro area, rushing for at least 129 yards in every game this fall. He’ll likely go over 1,000 yards against the Hornets, which have surrendered an average of only 66.7 rush yards per game.
Hull’s 35-carry, 130-yard performance in last week’s slugfest against Lakeville North helped upset the Panthers. A similar output at home on Friday might give Matt Lombardi’s crew its second-straight victory over a top-four opponent.