The Rick, Week 3 – 2018

By Rick Notari, BDFN


(1064-298 overall, .781 winning percentage)


Despite a great record for the second consecutive week, The Rick has gone into hiding after some poor information passed along by him to the proper authorities. So from the home office in Yuma, Paul Richards takes over the picks this week.

Before we let Paul select some games, The Rick wants to point out that his rating system seems to need some tinkering for next season. Either that, or they will not be released until after Week 4 in 2019. But for this season we are going to continue with some on the fly ratings for the first few weeks. I think by next week The Rickter Scale will have enough hard data to be a true indicator of a team’s strength.

Looking at this week’s Rickter Scale, the Top 13 have remained the same. There has been some movement in the ratings, but no new teams have cracked the scale. Delaware Valley returns to the top spot with Valley West moving up two spots after its big win at Hazleton Area.

Berwick stays at No. 3 while Williamsport drops three spots after a curious blowout loss to Altoona. Valley View remains No. 4, and North Pocono moves up to No. 6 after getting on track with a win over West. Dallas and Prep move up two spots each to seventh and eighth respectively after each winning in Week 2. West and Hazleton both drop after losing. The Cougars had the biggest drop, falling four spots to tenth.

Wyoming Area and Pittston Area flipped spots from the previous week. Remember, The Rickter Scale takes into consideration the win/loss percentage of all a team’s opponents, coupled with the size of the school they record victories against. Naturally, a bigger school may be ranked ahead of a smaller school because of size of the opponents on their schedule alone.

Ok. Here’s this week’s Rickter Scale, followed by Paul Richards debut picking games….

1. Delaware Valley (1-1) 51.00 2
2. Valley West (2-0) 49.50 4
3. Berwick (2-0) 48.25 3
4. Williamsport (1-1) 43.75 1
5. Valley View (2-0) 43.00 5
6. North Pocono (1-1) 40.75 8
7. Dallas Area (2-0) 39.25 9
8. Scranton Prep (2-0) 38.50 10
9. West Scranton (1-1) 33.00 7
10. Hazleton Area (1-1) 32.00 6
11. Wyoming Area (2-0) 31.50 12
12. Pittston Area (1-1) 27.25 11
13. Lakeland (2-0) 27.00 13

Teams to Watch: Dunmore, Riverside, Lackawanna Trail, Western Wayne, Lake-Lehman, Old Forge, Wilkes-Barre Meyers.


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

Hazleton Area at Dallas

Hazleton Area saw its rally cut short last week, while Dallas continued to roll. This week, the seventh-rated Mountaineers face their first real challenge of the young season when they host the 10th rated Cougars. Hazleton had trouble stopping the run against Valley West in Week 2, while Dallas attacked Crestwood mostly on the ground after going full air-raid against Tunkhannock in Week 1. That looks like a bad combination for the Cougars, but remember, the Mounts are a 4A school facing a 6A. This will be a huge win for either team in the Back Mountain. Paul Richards gives the nod to Hazleton.

Hazleton Area 23, Dallas 21


The Luca Brasi (Class 5A) 1-1

Crestwood at Valley West

This game has produced some great performances in years past, so fans have circled the Crestwood/Valley West game this decade as one they didn’t want to miss. Crestwood is coming off a tough loss to a maturing Dallas squad while No. 2 rated Valley West beat back Hazleton Area in a bit of an upset in Joe Maddon’s hometown last weekend. The Comets went away from their ground-and-pound machine last week as quarterback Chase Passman threw 25 passes against Dallas. The Spartans went to the ground as Connor Caranvan toted the rock 29 times for 270 yards. Somewhat of flipped personalities for these clubs kind of like The Rick and Paul Richards. PR likes Valley West.

Valley West 28, Crestwood 19


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

Valley View at West Scranton

West Scranton’s victory over North Pocono in Week 1 turned many heads up and down the valley. It just wasn’t the win by the Invaders, it was the way they won and the amount they won by. Week 2 saw the No. 9 rated West Siders travel to Delaware Valley and give the Warriors are they could handle. Now they return home to face No. 5 rated Valley View – its quite the gauntlet for the Invaders to start the season – and it doesn’t get easier with road trips to Lakeland and Scranton Prep to complete September. The back end of the schedule is much friendlier for the Invaders and if they can steal another win before the calendar turns to October, and stay healthy, they could find themselves in great position in November to compete for a ‘ship…. Or is it a Chip? I can’t keep up with these kids and their lingo. But I can keep up with the Cougars. My man S-Mac tells me this Valley View team is the real deal, and I know he would never steer me wrong. I like what West is doing so far, but Paul Richards likes the View from Yuma Valley!

Valley View 27, West Scranton 17


Leave the gun, take the cannoli (Class 3A) 2-0

Meyers at Lake-Lehman

One piece of advice The Rick gave to Paul Richards was to not pick any WVC games because they are always the toughest to pick – especially at the 3A classification. Looks like Paul ignored The Rick. Meyers travels to the Back Mountain to take on Lake-Lehman at the Black Hole. The Mohawks lost a tough opener to upstart Riverside in overtime in Week 1 before creaming Northwest last week in South Wilkes-Barre. The road is typically not kind to the Wilkes-Barre triumphant, but the Black Knights’ first victory over the season came on the road at winless Hanover Area – a tough place to play – after losing at home to Western Wayne in Week 1. What does all this mean? Who knows! Paul Richards will take Meyers in this one.

Meyers 34, Lake-Lehman 26


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

Lakeland at Riverside

Whoa Nellie! We have the makings of a humdinger in Taylor on Friday night. Unbeaten Lakeland at Unbeaten Riverside! The 13th rated Chiefs have gone back to old-school Lakeland football the first two weeks, pounding the ball on the ground with the quick-tough running of sophomore Giovanni Spataro behind a well-disciplined, strong offensive line. On defense, the Chiefs are built on toughness, quickness and sure tackling, two traits that have been missing from Chapman Lake the past few seasons. However, Lakeland may only be the SECOND biggest surprise in LFC Division III. That’s because the Vikings are back playing Harryball and Riverside is 2-0 for the first time in a long time. Balance has returned as the Vikes threw it 38 times in Week 1, and pounded the football in Week 2. However, the Riverside run defense will have to improve this week if it wants to give their gunslinger coach a chance when they have the football.  Paul Richards says, “Close early, not late.”

Lakeland 34, Riverside 21


I ain’t no bandleader (Class 1A) 1-1

Holy Cross at Mid Valley

Injuries have besieged Mid Valley this season in the first two weeks. The schedule hasn’t helped either as they’ve faced two of the top teams in the area to start the season in Wyoming Area and Dunmore. The Spartans look to get healthy this week, but it won’t be easy as undefeated Holy Cross – YES, UNDEFEATED HOLY CROSS – comes to town full of confidence and emotion has they look to remain unblemished on the gridiron. The Crusaders, on the other end of the spectrum from Mid Valley, have opened the season against Holy Redeemer and Montrose – not exactly the Warriors and Bucks. Don’t fool yourself football fans, this is one of the less publicized rivalries in the LFC. Emotions will run high. I am not sure if it will rival the schools’ ‘Sleeping with the Fishes’ game from a few years ago, but it should be a good one. Once again from Yuma, Paul Richards screams, ‘SPARTA!’

Mid Valley 29, Holy Cross 13


Time to settle all family business (24-4)

Prep over Abington Heights

Delaware Valley over Wallenpaupack

Honesdale over Western Wayne

North Pocono over Scranton

Dunmore over Carbondale Area

Trail over Montrose

Old Forge over Susquehanna

Berwick over Williamsport

Coughlin over Nanticoke

GAR over Hanover

Mahanoy Area over Holy Redeemer

Wyoming Area over Northwest

Pittston Area over Tunkhannock