The Rick, Week 11 – 2018

By Rick Notari, BDFN

@TheBigBlueDevil

(1189-325 overall, .785 winning percentage)

 

Playoff time!

It’s Week 11 here in Northeast PA and that means only one thing – its playoff time. Twenty-eight of the 37 teams that make up District 2 will play an 11th game. And while purest like The Rick think that’s an awful lot of playoff teams, remember, it wasn’t too long ago that the majority of teams played an 11 game schedule. So while it’s not really great to have all of those teams in the playoffs from a competitive standpoint, it’s fine to allow the kids who work year round to play 10 football games to get an extra one as a bonus.

Only three Lackawanna Football Conference teams did not make the post-season, while six from the Wyoming Valley Conference packed up their gear. Next year the percentage will be less with the three Wilkes-Barre schools combining into one. But we will get more into that in the coming weeks.

Right before the season started, The Rick ventured into the world of prognostication by picking every game on the ten-week schedule and then surmising from those picks who would win divisions and districts. In a rare event, The Rick only picked three of the seven divisional winners in the preseason – Wyoming Area, Valley View and Old Forge. The same is said for the mid-season picks of the divisional winners – Wyoming Area, Valley View and Lakeland.

So while The Rick’s overall picks weren’t great, my individuals weren’t so bad. I was able to accurately pick five teams right on the mark with correct predictions of their season record. The Rick was exact in foreseeing the records of Lakeland (7-3), Riverside (6-4), Carbondale (3-7), Berwick (8-2), and Crestwood 2-8).

The Rick was within one game of predicting the season records of ten other teams. Abington Heights, Western Wayne, Old Forge, Holy Cross, Montrose, Hazleton, Lake-Lehman, Hanover, Holy Redeemer, Tunkhannock were all one game better or one game worst than what The Rick predicted.

On the other side, there were four teams The Rick was totally wrong about – Wallenpaupack, Mid Valley, Nanticoke, and Coughlin. The Rick saw Mid Valley and Coughlin having much better records than turned out, while I believe Wallenpaupack and Nanticoke would be much worse than they turned out.

There were another six teams where The Rick was wrong by a three-game margin. North Pocono, Delaware Valley, Valley View, Susquehanna, Williamsport, and Northwest had seasons that all played out differently than what I predicted. For the record, I had all six teams with winning records in the preseason. DV, VV, and Susquehanna all surpassed my expectations. North Pocono, Williamsport and Northwest fell below my expectations.


Final Rating

Ok. Here’s this final Rickter Scale for the season. Again, this was a living, mathematical experiment that for the most part paid off. There were a few instances where teams who had similar or better records were ranked behind a team that beat, so The Rick will have to figure that out in the off season. Otherwise, I think our inaugural scale is a fair assessment of which teams would win if they faced each other on the field, and which teams did win when they competed head to head.

WEEK 10 RICKTER SCALE…. Record Rating LR
1. Valley View (10-0) 47.25 1
2. Dallas (9-1) 42.25 2
3. Berwick (8-2) 40.00 3
4. Wallenpaupack (7-3) 39.25 3
5. Delaware Valley (7-3) 38.75 6
6. Scranton Prep (9-1) 38.50 5
7. North Pocono (6-4) 32.75 6
8. Wyoming Area (10-0) 32.50 9
9. Valley West (5-5) 30.50 11
10. West Scranton (6-4) 30.00 8
11. Williamsport (5-5) 28.75 10
12. Hazleton Area (5-5) 27.75 12
13. Lackawanna Trail (9-1) 23.25 13
Teams to Watch: Western Wayne (22.75), Dunmore (22.25), Lakeland (22.00), Nanticoke (22.00), Pittston Area (21.50), Meyers (21.00), Old Forge (20.00), Lake-Lehman (20.00).

Now let’s pick some games….

 

THE RICK’S PICKS (45-20)

May their first child is a masculine child (Class 6A) 6-4

District 2/4 Subregional Championship

If The Rick had his way, Scranton (1-9) would not be in the post-season and Delaware Valley (7-3) would get a bye this week with Williamsport (5-5) travelling to Hazleton Area to take on the Cougars (5-5). Instead, the Warriors host the Knights on Friday night after holding them off in Week 10, 28-20. Scranton actually led heading into the fourth quarter, but don’t expect Delaware Valley to take their first round opponent lightly this week. Williamsport has lost three straight and are sputtering into its matchup with Hazleton Area, which has won three straight. There always seems to be an upset in the Class 6A playoffs but it won’t happen this week. The Rick likes Delaware Valley to take the crown next week over Hazleton Area.

Delaware Valley 34, Scranton 24

Hazleton Area 33, Williamsport 28

 

The Luca Brasi (Class 5A) 8-2

District 2/11 Subregional Championship

Southern Lehigh at Wallenpaupack

Two teams on winning streets enter the District 2/11 Subregional playoffs looking for more on Friday night. Southern Lehigh (7-3) has won six consecutive games after starting the season 1-3. The wins are plenty, but the competition has been against smaller schools, some of whom have not been that successful this season. Wallenpaupack (7-3) is on a five-game winning streak after starting 2-3. Three of those five victories for the Buckhorns came on the road. So when the District 2 Class 5A champ returns home this Friday, things may come easier for the No. 2 seed. The other half of this bracket features No. 1 East Stroudsburg South hosting Pocono Mountain East. The two met earlier in the season with South taking a 28-21 decision over East. The Rick sticks with chalk all the way through. Look for ES South to take the title next week.

Wallenpaupack 27, Southern Lehigh 21

ES South 22, PM east 12

 

Don’t ask me about my business (Class 4A) 9-3

District 2 Class 4A Championship

Again, as per The Rick rules, Abington Heights (2-8), Honesdale (3-7) and Pittston Area (4-6) should have been eliminated due to record. Instead, they will be eliminated this week when they take on Valley View (10-0), Dallas (9-1) and Berwick (8-2), respectively. We should have North Pocono (6-4) at Dallas and West Scranton (6-4) at Berwick in what would be two NEW and interesting matchups. But we will get three rematches which saw the higher seeds win convincingly in the regular-season. OK, enough of my belly-achin’. The Rick is going to take the top three seeds to win in Week 11 with North Pocono pulling off an upset. West Scranton’s loss to Honesdale last week bothers me in that while the Hornets played tough all season, the Invaders had made some in roads and looked like they could be a tough out. Well that’s how they looked before last week anyway. When this tournament wraps up in Week 13, The Rick sees Valley View winning it all – over Berwick.

Valley View 48, Abington Heights 12

Dallas 47, Honesdale 20

Berwick 37, Pittston Area 13

North Pocono 28, West Scranton 27

 

Leave the gun, take the cannoli (Class 3A) 8-5

District 2 Class 3A Championship

A majority of this bracket is all good for The Rick. Only GAR (1-9) and Hanover Area (3-7) should be home, while the other six teams proved during the year they were good enough to earn a playoff berth. All that said everyone is waiting for Scranton Prep (9-1) and Wyoming Area (10-0) to meet in the title game in Week 13. It seems as if all of NEPA has been waiting for that matchup since we kicked off in August. There are two interesting matchups before we get to the final. Meyers (7-3) plays at Western Wayne (5-5) on Friday night, and a more-than-likely Lakeland (7-3) at Wyoming Area semifinal looms in Week 12. Lake-Lehman (6-4) may have something to say in the first round, but The Rick is gonna chalk the talk.

Scranton Prep 45, GAR 0

Western Wayne 20, Meyers 18

Lakeland 31, Lake-Lehman 21

Wyoming Area 50, Hanover Area 13

 

Going to the mattresses (Class 2A) 6-4

District 2 Class 2A Championship

I am not sure exactly what to think about the Class 2A. Sure Dunmore (7-3) is the favorite even though I talked myself into picking them over Lakeland last week and they lost. HA! The Bucks will bounce back as the other contenders in this bracket just don’t seem to have enough after what they have shown through 10 weeks. There is a really interesting game though in this bracket. Susquehanna (6-4) returns to Taylor this week to take on Riverside (6-4). Despite beating the Vikings head-to-head just last week at Veterans Memorial Stadium, the Sabers make the road trip again in search of the double dip. Susquehanna jumped up 28-3 after returning the second-half kickoff for a TD, but Riverside rallied to within 28-26 and was within a failed two-point conversion of tying a game they eventually lost, 35-26. The Rick maybe crazy, but I don’t see the Sabers getting it done twice. Carbondale (3-7) travels to Dunmore in the other semifinal.

Dunmore 37, Carbondale 12

Riverside 37, Susquehanna 31

 

I ain’t no bandleader (Class 1A) 8-2

District 2/1 Subregional Championship

The Rick is going to wax a little nostalgia here. Lackawanna Trail (9-1) hosts Old Forge (8-2) for the second time this season, and for the sixth time in the District 2 playoff game. It will be the first time the Lions host the Blue Devils with the title on the line. Trail is 5-0 in home playoff games against Old Forge. However, back in 1988, the Blue Devils did clinch the Suburban Conference title with a victory at Tunnel Hill over the Lions. Old Forge does have three post-season wins over Lackawanna Trail – all coming at Old Forge Veterans Memorial Stadium – including two title victories in the past three years. The Blue Devils also clinched their first Suburban crown in 1987 against the Lions with a victory in Old Forge. The Blue Devils defeated the Lions earlier this season at Trail in what proved to be the LFC Division IV championship game. That’s a lot of playoff history there! And don’t forget the 31 years of league and division battles. Old Forge leads the series 23-18 and has won 13 of the last 14. Trail won 15 of the previous 16 games. This game is sure to be a dandy. The winner faces either Jenkintown or Bristol, who meet for the District 1 title tomorrow night.  The Drakes beat the Warriors earlier in the season on a late field goal, 24-21.

Old Forge 28, Lackawanna Trail 20

Jenkintown 24, Bristol 21

 

Time to settle all family business (113-14)

Nanticoke over Hamburg

Top 10 Hardest Schedules (Per The Rickter Scale)

For fun, to give you an idea if how hard a team’s schedule is, I am going to post every week the top 10 hardest schedules based on the Rickter Scale. The OR is the combined record of a team’s opponents.

TOP 10 TOUGHEST SCHEDULES
RANK TEAM RECORD RATING OR LW
1t. Abington Heights (2-8) 6.00 (63-37) 3
1t. Scranton (1-9) 6.00 (62-38) 3
2t. Western Wayne (5-5) 5.75 (60-40) 3
2t. Mid Valley (1-9) 5.75 (60-40) 3
2t. Honesdale (3-7) 5.75 (59-41) 3
6. Pittston Area (4-6) 5.50 (52-38) 1
7t. Coughlin (0-10) 5.25 (49-31) 1
7t. Valley View (10-0) 5.25 (56-44) 10
7t. Lakeland (7-3) 5.25 (53-47) NR
7t. Dunmore (7-3) 5.25 (54-46) 10

TOP 5 EASIEST SCHEDULES
RANK TEAM RECORD RATING OR
1. Wyoming Area (10-0) 2.50 (32-68)
2. Meyers (7-3) 3.00 (37-63)
3. Tunkhannock (3-7) 3.25 (34-65)
4. Lackawanna Trail (9-1) 3.25 (41-59)
5. Holy Cross (2-8) 3.50 (40-60)