The Rick, Week 6 – 2018

By Rick Notari, BDFN

@TheBigBlueDevil

(1108-311 overall, .780 winning percentage)

Groundhog Day

There is a scene in the movie Groundhog Day where Bill Murray professes to the groundhog to, “Don’t drive angry….” The Rick is not sure if the boys from Dunmore or Scranton Prep ever saw that movie, because boy, did they ever play angry this week.

Coming off two crushing defeats – both of which this prognosticator thought could be the end for both teams – the Bucks and Cavaliers sent statements to their remaining opponents, and to their forthcoming opponents in the district playoffs – ‘Don’t make them angry. You won’t like them when they are angry.”

Dunmore put a shellacking on an up-and-coming Riverside squad one week after losing to Lackawanna Trail for the first time ever, and Prep dismantled a West Scranton team looking to put itself in position to carve out a winning campaign one week after getting beat back by Valley View. Needless to say, both teams had to have one helluva a week of practice.

The Rick extends apologies to both squads for losing faith before the halfway point of the season.

Yes, it is the halfway point of the season. How has it come to this? It’s not even October and yet we are entering Week 6? The PIAA really needs to do something about this. Teams shouldn’t be playing their sixth game before the calendar turns 10 months old. I get that we don’t want to extend the season into Christmas, but maybe if less teams made the district playoffs, then we could play a normal schedule like in the past.

Here is an idea, the top two teams in each class make the District 2 playoffs and if there are 2-4 teams worthy enough to make the post-season, they can play for the Eastern Conference title. It will make the EC more meaningful, have the majority of football games played in the fall, and send the teams with losing records home for the offseason.

Speaking of the halfway mark and the postseason, traditionally The Rick looks back on his pre-season prognostications and revisits them prior to Week 6. As you will see, some have changed, while others remain the same….

WVC 1: Preseason: Williamsport, Week 6: Williamsport

WVC 2: Preseason: Berwick, Week 6: Berwick

WVC 3: Preseason: Wyoming Area, Week 6: Wyoming Area

 

LFC 1: Preseason: Delaware Valley, Week 6: North Pocono

LFC 2: Preseason: Valley View, Week 6: Valley View

LFC 3: Preseason: Dunmore, Week 6: Lakeland

LFC 4: Preseason: Old Forge, Week 6: Lackawanna Trail

 

D2 1A: Preseason: Old Forge, Week 6: Lackawanna Trail

D2 2A: Preseason: Dunmore, Week 6: Dunmore

D2 3A: Preseason: Scranton Prep, Week 6: Scranton Prep

D2 4A: Preseason: North Pocono, Week 6: Valley View

D2 5A: Preseason: Valley West, Week 6: Valley West

D2 6A: Preseason: Delaware Valley, Week 6: Hazleton Area

 

Ok. Here’s this week’s Rickter Scale before we pick some games.

The top two teams shuffled again as Dallas jumped over Berwick a week after the Dawgs jumped the Mounts. Dallas should remain unbeaten before they host No. 3 Valley View and travel to No. 2 Berwick in Week 8 & 9. The undefeated Cougars travel to Cripsin Field on Friday night to take on the unbeaten Dawgs. No. 4 North Pocono and No. 5 Scranton Prep each bumped up one spot with No.6 Valley West falling to spots after its loss to Dallas. No. 7 Western Wayne and No. 8 Williamsport each moved up a notch after victories, and No. 9 Pittston Area jumped two spots after beating Coughlin. No. 10 Wyoming Area and No. 13 Lake-Lehman held steady, but No. 11 Wallenpaupack fell four spots. No. 12 Lackawanna Trail is new to The Rickter Scale.

WEEK 5 RICKTER SCALE…. Record Rating LR
1. Dallas (5-0) 27.50 2
2. Berwick (5-0) 26.00 1
3. Valley View (5-0) 24.75 3
4. North Pocono (4-1) 23.25 5
5. Scranton Prep (4-1) 20.50 6
6. Valley West (3-2) 19.25 4
7. Western Wayne (4-1) 19.00 8
8. Williamsport (3-2) 18.00 9
9. Pittston Area (3-2) 17.00 11
10. Wyoming Area (5-0) 16.00 10
11. Wallenpaupack (2-3) 15.50 7
12. Lackawanna Trail (5-0) 13.75 NR
13. Lake-Lehman (4-1) 13.25 13

Teams to Watch: Hazleton Area (13.00), Lakeland (12.75), Susquehanna (12.50), Nanticoke (12.25), West Scranton (11.75), Old Forge (11.50), Dunmore, (11.00).

THE RICK’S PICKS (19-11)

May their first child is a masculine child (Class 6A) 2-3

Hazleton Area at Delaware Valley

Well it seems as if The Rick has something in common with both Hazleton Area and Delaware Valley – disappointing seasons. You see The Rick is 2-3 in this slot so far this season as are the Cougars and Warriors. Unfortunately only two of us can turn it around this week. Hazleton Area has shown it can put points on the board, while Delaware Valley has been better on the defensive side of the football to date. Defense typically wins out in these situations, but the Cougars look like the better team on paper with some close losses that could have easily been victories. Delaware Valley is a tough place to play, but the Warrior turf may just play into the hands of the Hazleton Area offense.

Hazleton Area 31, Delaware Valley 18

 

The Luca Brasi (Class 5A) 4-1

Wallenpaupack at Valley West

The in-season battle between District 2 Class 5A teams happens this week when Wallenpaupack travels to Kingston to take on Wyoming Valley West. The Buckhorns have played better as of late, while the Spartans have stumbled after starting out 3-0. Both teams right now are among the qualifiers for the District 2/11 Sub regional, but Valley West is in better position. This looks like a tossup to The Rick. So let’s go with the home Spartans.

Valley West 28, Wallenpaupack 22

 

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

Valley View at Berwick

The two most legendary programs in Northeastern PA meet up this week in the most intimidating venue in all of District 2. That’s right, Valley View travels to Crispin Field on Friday night to take on Berwick. And both teams are 5-0. The Cougars are led by a group of spectacular athletes playing behind what is undoubtedly the best and most experienced offensive line in the Lackawanna Football Conference.  The Dawgs sports one of District 2’s best defense and the top unit among the big schools in the WVC. But don’t let those high points fool you. Both teams are also good on the other side of the ball. The Rick would say this game would probably prove to be the best game in the district all season. Except they could meet again in the playoffs! If you plan on going, get to Crispin Field early. There is surely not to be a seat left in the house when these legends face off.

Valley View 22, Berwick 20

 

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

Wyoming Area at Lake-Lehman

Truth be told, this is the only WVC Division 3 game Wyoming Area could possibly lose this season. The greater truth? They won’t. The Warriors come into Week 6 having yet to be tested. Wyoming Area has steamrolled opponents in the first five weeks of the season to the tune of 221-35 – and average score of 44-7 per game. That’s blowout city! Lake-Lehman has won four straight after losing in the opening week to Western Wayne. The Black Knights host this contest and the Back Mountain’s Black Hole isn’t an easy place to play. But the Warriors are just playing too well right now to be upset.

Wyoming Area 44, Lake-Lehman 14

 

Going to the mattresses (Class 2A) 3-2

Montrose at Carbondale

When you are 0-5 and playing a team that is 0-5, you bet you are going to the mattresses. It’ll be Montrose’s last legitimate shot for a victory in 2018 when they travel to Carbondale – barring an apocalypse. The Meteors host Dunmore and Honesdale before ending the season at Riverside and Old Forge. The Chargers on the other hand had a front-loaded schedule and a win on Friday night could get them moving in the right direction to end the season as they finish by hosting arch-rival Lakeland and Susquehanna whole traveling to Holy Cross and Mid Valley. As former Carbondale Area Head Coach John Lasavage once said, “There are three million people in China who could care less about this game. But to us, it’s the Super Bowl.” It very well may be coach. It very well may be.

Carbondale 27, Montrose 26

 

I ain’t no bandleader (Class 1A) 4-1

Old Forge at Dunmore

The only thing The Rick smelled last week was the stink on his pick of Riverside over Dunmore. The Bucks manhandled the Vikings from start to finish in Taylor last Friday night. Now they return home looking to do the same to Old Forge. The Blue Devils finally got its running game going last week, albeit it was against Holy Cross. Old Forge will have to be able to run the football to set up the pass or Dunmore could repeat what they did to pass-happy Riverside. This game may turn into a shootout, however the defense WILL factor into this one at the end. The Rick rarely goes against The Family, but this week he was given an offer he couldn’t refuse.

Dunmore 33, Old Forge 21

 

Time to settle all family business (17-2)

Honesdale over Abington Heights

Prep over North Pocono

Williamsport over Scranton

Valley West over Wallenpaupack

West Scranton over Pittston Area

Lakeland over Western Wayne

Riverside over Holy Cross

Trail over Mid Valley

Meyers over Susquehanna

Dallas over Coughlin

Northwest over GAR

Hanover over Holy Redeemer

Tunkhannock over Towanda

 

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. And some more fun this week, the easiest five schedules follow.

TOP 10 TOUGHEST SCHEDULES
RANK TEAM RATING OR LW
1. Coughlin 5.50 (30-20) 1
2. Mid Valley 5.25 (30-20) 4
3t. Western Wayne 5.00 (30-20) 2
3t. Pittston Area 5.00 (29-21) 4
3t. Dunmore 5.00 (28-22) 10
3t. Crestwood 5.00 (29-21) 10
3t. Carbondale Area 5.00 (29-21) 4
8t. Abington Heights 4.75 (30-20) 2
8t. Valley View 4.75 (28-22) 10
8t. Honesdale 4.75 (27-23) 10
8t. West Scranton 4.75 (28-22) NR

4.50: Dallas (27-23), Scranton Prep (27-23), Hazleton Area (27-23), Northwest (26-24), Scranton (28-22), Hanover Area (26-24),

TOP 5 EASIEST SCHEDULES
RANK TEAM RATING OR
1. Wyoming Area 2.00 (17-33)
2t. Delaware Valley 2.50 (19-31)
2t. Tunkhannock 2.50 (18-31)
4t. Lackawanna Trail 2.75 (20-30)
4t. Holy Cross 2.75 (18-32)
4t. Meyers 2.75 (19-31)