The Rick, Week 2 – 2018

By Rick Notari, BDFN

@TheBigBlueDevil

(1048-295 overall, .780 winning percentage)

 

The Rick had his best opening week ever!  That’s right, a 17-4 mark to start the season. And three of those four losses were UPSETS according to The Rick. The only non-upset was Delaware Valley’s loss to Pennridge (PA).

Since their rise to power, the Warriors have traveled south in search of an opening week challenge. And last week they were not disappointed, as an uphill battle was made even tougher by crucial special teams’ mistakes. Look for DV to bounce back this week as they return to Northeastern PA when they host the team that may have won the biggest upset of Week 1.

West Scranton beat North Pocono convincingly on Friday night at Scranton Memorial Stadium. Word of the upset travelled quickly across Lackawanna County as the Invaders made a statement on opening night. The Rickter Scale had the Trojans ranked 14 spots ahead of West to open the season. So much for The Rick’s new rating system. Well, we’ll see how the season plays out, but right now there is a lot of excitement on Luzerne Street.

The two other upsets for The Rick may not have looked like upsets on paper, were certainly upsets in my mind. First, Crestwood beat back Coughlin. The Comets were ranked 15 spots behind Coughlin on The Rickter Scale yet were able to beat the Crusaders, 21-14. Secondly, Holy Cross stopped a 25-game losing streak by beating Holy Redeemer, 14-12. Those Crusaders were ranked one spot ahead of the Royals on the preseason Rickter Rankings, but to snap a losing streak of that magnitude, on the road, after trailing, 12-0, at the half, is nothing short of a Drinker Street Miracle in The Rick’s eyes.

So The Rickter Scale served its purpose for Week 1. It’ll be a work in progress until we get a few more games under our proverbial belts. Remember, it’s just for fun (wink, wink), so bear with us.

Maybe this move to Yuma won’t be so bad. Now if I could just track down Nick Papagiorgio….

 

THE RICK’S PICKS (5-1)

May their first child is a masculine child (Class 6A) 1-0

Valley West at Hazleton Area

Sparky Wolk may just be the best high school football name in the WVC this year. Heck, it might be the best name in a long time. And if you ask people in Hazleton, Sparky Wolk just might be their best quarterback in a long time. Wolk has led a resurgence that has seen Hazleton Area win four of their last five games, dating back to last season. Valley West had a nice win in the opener against Scranton and is actually ranked ahead of the Cougars on The Rickter Scale, but The Rick feels the energy in Hazleton.

Hazleton Area 27, Valley West 12

 

The Luca Brasi (Class 5A) 1-0

Honesdale at Wallenpaupack

The Wayne-Pike Shrine Bowl has shown itself to be a classic at the most unexpected times. However, The Rick doesn’t see it that way this year. Wallenpaupack is coming off a tough loss to Valley View and is eager to show they will be a team at the top of the scale when all is said and done this season. Honesdale lost a sloppy, one-score game to Lakeland last week at home and while they look to have size and athletic ability, they have yet to figure out a way to put it to efficient use. The Rick likes the team at The Lake this weekend.

Wallenpaupack 27, Honesdale 8

 

Don’t ask me about my business (Class 4A) 0-1

Dallas at Crestwood

The only Godfather Game that The Rick predicted wrong last week was this one. Full of talented youth, Dallas put a beat-down on Tunkhannock to open the season behind five touchdown passes from Michael Starbuck. Crestwood started 2018 off right with a nice win over Coughlin. Now the Comets open the home season with a visit from the Mountaineers. Dallas looks too strong in this one. But don’t just bet the house on the visitors. Expect a close affair until the Mountaineers put it away late.

Dallas 37, Crestwood 21

 

Leave the gun, take the cannoli (Class 3A) 1-0

North Pocono at Western Wayne

The Rick loves to embellish his picks with phrases like “season-making game” and “can turn its season around” when talking about games in Week 2. Well here goes. North Pocono can make or break its season this week with a win or loss at Western Wayne. North Pocono suffered what was probably the most disappointing loss of the first week of action. But the Trojans can turn its season around with a win this week, which could set up two more wins and a 3-1 record before they host Delaware Valley in Week 5. However, a loss and 0-2 can easily become 0-4 with the Warriors coming to town. On the other side, a huge win in Week 1 followed by a win on Friday night would easily set up the Wildcats for a 5-0 – and maybe even a 6-0 – start before they face the gauntlet of their schedule on the back half. Even though they fell five spots in the ratings, The Rick is sticking with North Pocono.

North Pocono 20, Western Wayne 14

 

Going to the mattresses (Class 2A) 1-0

Lackawanna Trail at Susquehanna

The best game involving a 2A team this weekend has Susquehanna hosting Lackawanna Trail. Both teams won in Week 1. The Lions ran roughshod all over Northwest, while the Sabers hit the 33 Pool by outscoring Wilkes-Barre GAR. Trail is banking on making it to Week 11 in senior QB Nathan Rolka’s last season under center. Susquehanna has some experience back but there will be no bump in the road for the Lions this week.

Trail 31, Susquehanna 20

 

I ain’t no bandleader (Class 1A) 1-0

Old Forge at Lakeland

This small-school matchup could be a candidate for Game of The Week when all is said and done.  Previous to their RailRiders Bowl matchups the past two seasons, Old Forge and Lakeland played two classic games with the Blue Devils winning both, 7-0 and 27-24 in 2014 and 2015 respectively. Despite the notion and these two teams are long-time rivals, the fact is this will only be the 13th matchup in the storied history of both schools. You know The Rick likes the number 13.

Old Forge 16, Lakeland 13

 

Time to settle all family business (12-3)

Valley View over Abington Heights

Delaware Valley over West Scranton

Prep over Scranton

Riverside over Carbondale

Dunmore over Mid Valley

Holy Cross over Montrose

Berwick over Pittston Area

Wyoming Area over Coughlin

GAR over Holy Redeemer

Lake-Lehman over Hanover Area

Nanticoke over Tunkhannock

Meyers over Northwest

Williamsport over Altoona

WEEK 1 RICKTER SCALE…. Record Rating LR
1. Williamsport (1-0) 49.75 2
2. Delaware Valley (0-1) 48.00 1
3. Berwick (1-0) 44.25 4
4. Valley West (1-0) 43.50 5
5. Valley View (1-0) 39.00 6
6. Hazleton Area (1-0) 37.00 7
7. West Scranton (1-0) 37.00 17
8. North Pocono (0-1) 36.75 3
9. Dallas (1-0) 35.25 8
10. Scranton Prep (1-0) 32.50 9
11. Pittston Area (1-0) 31.25 10
12. Wyoming Area (1-0) 27.50 12
13. Lakeland (1-0) 26.00 13

Teams to Watch: Western Wayne, Dunmore, Riverside, Old Forge, Trail, Northwest, Crestwood