No. 1 Omaha South (22-0) vs. No. 3 Omaha Creighton Prep (17-3), 7:45 p.m.
Before the tournament, I picked South to win this game 3-2 and I'm sticking with that. But let me tell you all the reasons I could be wrong, not only with the winner, but a high-scoring prediction. Prep has looked the part of two-time defending champion in both games at state. It opened the tournament with five first-half goals against Lincoln Pius X, overwhelming the Thunderbolts. The Junior Jays followed that up with an instant classic overtime victory against second-ranked Grand Island in the semifinals. Simply, Prep is playing its best soccer of the season, a scary proposition for most teams. Not South. The Packers have stood up to the Prep attack twice already this season. Expect there to be nerves early. They will be playing for a state title after all. But in both previous meetings, the settling-in period was short and the level of play jumped a couple of notches before halftime. As much as I'd like to predict a barn-burner (the two combined for 15 goals in four state matches), the one goal in 200 minutes of soccer between the two this year tells a different story. Two players to watch are South's Michael Jaime and Alex Prusa of Prep. Jaime entered the tournament as the state leader in goals, but hasn't found the back of the net through the first two rounds. He'll shift from the front, to the middle, to the back depending on where the Packers need him. Prusa is a midfielder by trade but can strike from just about anywhere, as he showed with his game-winner Friday.
Our pick: South 3, Prep 2
No. 1 Omaha Skutt (19-1) vs. No. 3 South Sioux City (15-2), 5 p.m.
Battle of the Birds, take two. The conference rivals will settle things in Class B for the second straight season. Last year's final was one to remember. South Sioux City netted an equalizer with less than five minutes to play. Skutt answered a minute later and won 3-2 for its fifth title since 2003. Don't be surprised if today's match comes down to the wire, too. The SkyHawks won the regular-season meeting 2-0 for the River Cities Conference tournament crown, part of 37 straight wins in matches against Class B competition. They've faced most of the top teams during that stretch, including three wins against South Sioux City. The Cardinals are a much-improved bunch from the one Skutt saw in late April. During the last 2½ weeks, South Sioux coach Marla Grier said, her team has gotten the chance to practice and compete outdoors more than it had for the majority of the season. The touch is coming, she said. How the Cardinals' possession game, which spreads the wealth, fares against a pesky Skutt defense may be the key to the match. Three South Sioux City players have double-digit goal totals. Martin Hurtado, the team's second-leading scorer, has found the back of the net in each of the two state matches.
Our pick: Omaha Skutt 2, South Sioux City 1
— Nick Rubek