The Rick, Week 8 – 2018

By Rick Notari, BDFN

@TheBigBlueDevil

(1140-317 overall, .782 winning percentage)

Fall feelings    

I can’t stop this feeling, deep inside of me…..

No, it’s not from my sixth cut of Revello’s Pizza today. It’s from another exciting football season. Especially since Friday night we will welcome our first truly fall evening of football – according to the weathermen – uh meteorologists – anyway.

There’s nothing like a crisp, fall Friday night when the leaves are turning colors and the home team hosts its biggest rival as both begin their ascent toward playoff season. So bundle up! Put on your coats and hats. Maybe bring a blanket to put on the cold, metal bleachers, and fill the Thermos with hot chocolate.

It finally feels like football season. And before you know it, the playoffs will be here!

If the playoffs started today?

6A: Scranton at Williamsport, Hazleton Area at Delaware Valley

5A: Valley West at Wallenpaupack

4A: Crestwood at Valley View, Nanticoke at Berwick, Pittston Area at Dallas, North Pocono at West

3A: GAR at Prep, Hanover Area at Wyoming Area. Meyers at Western Wayne, Lake-Lehman at Lakeland

2A: Mid Valley at Dunmore, Susquehanna at Riverside

1A: Old Forge at Lackawanna Trail

Ok. Here’s this week’s Rickter Scale. We have a No. 1-2 showdown in the Back Mountain with Dallas hosting Valley View. See below for more on that game. A few of our Top 13 teams dropped, and a few moved up. West Scranton moved back in the rankings to No. 10. So take a look and see if your team is here, and remember this is NOT an opinion poll. It is strictly based on a mathematical formula. If it wasn’t, Old Forge would be on top!

WEEK 8 RICKTER SCALE…. Record Rating LR
1. Dallas (7-0) 35.25 1
2. Valley View (7-0) 32.75 2
3. Berwick (6-1) 32.25 3
4. Scranton Prep (6-1) 28.50 4
5. Williamsport (5-2) 28.25 5
6. Wallenpaupack (4-3) 24.75 8                                                                                                                                                                                                                               7t. North Pocono (4-3) 24.00 6
7t. Valley West (4-3) 24.00 9
9t. Western Wayne (5-2) 22.25 7
9t. Wyoming Area (7-0) 22.25 10
11. West Scranton (4-3) 21.50 NR
12. Delaware Valley (4-3) 21.25 11
13. Pittston Area (3-4) 17.25 12

Teams to Watch: Lackawanna Trail (16.50), Nanticoke (16.50), Lake-Lehman (16.50), Dunmore (16.00), Lakeland (15.50), Riverside (14.75), Hazleton Area (14.00).

Now let’s pick some games….

THE RICK’S PICKS (28-14)

May their first child is a masculine child (Class 6A) 3-4

Williamsport at Delaware Valley

It seemingly looks like Friday night’s matchup between Williamsport and Delaware Valley will be replayed in a month when the District 2/4 Class 6A championship will be played. And this game could go a long way to determine where that game will be played. That will be important as the Warriors have only won once on the road, last week against downtrodden Abington Heights. Delaware Valley finishes at home against Valley West and on the road at Scranton while the Millionaires finish their home slate next week, hosting Wallenpaupack before finishing on the road against Valley West. Williamsport isn’t the same team without Minnesota-bound tailback Treyson Potts, but they can still put up points behind quarterback Joe Fagnano. Delaware Valley’s strength is its defense and it will need another good effort to slow down the Millionaires. The Rick expects the Warriors to come out and play.

Delaware Valley 28, Williamsport 24

 

The Luca Brasi (Class 5A) 5-2

Tunkhannock at Wallenpaupack

A proverbial trap game is on the schedule this week for Wallenpaupack. The Buckhorns are coming off of an emotional victory over North Pocono before hitting the road next week to take on Williamsport. A rebuilding Tunkhannock squad comes to The Lake after playing well last week against Crestwood. The Buckhorns cannot afford to slip up this week after digging themselves out of an early-season hole to get in position to host the D2 Class 5A title game. Coach Mark Watson has Wallenpaupack playing its best football of the season at the right time. Here come the Buckhorns….

Wallenpaupack 36, Tunkhannock 21

 

Don’t ask me about my business (Class 4A) 6-1

Valley View at Dallas

It’s another battle of unbeatens for Valley View as they travel into WVC territory again to take on undefeated Dallas in the Back Mountain on Friday night.  The Cougars are coming off of a tough victory over ever-improving Western Wayne while the Mountaineers have yet to be thoroughly tested this year.  Valley View is dynamic on both sides of the ball and are battle tested, having faced five teams with winning records. Dallas can also score points in bunches and features a strong defense. However the Mounts have faced only one team with a winning record all season – Valley West. Dallas starts the gauntlet Friday night and continues at Berwick next week before finishing at Lake-Lehman for the Old Shoe.  There has been a lot of social media chatter going on over this game so you know it’ll be a big one. One fan threatened to move to the other team’s home town if his team lost. The Rick doesn’t think he’ll need to find a realtor anytime soon.

Valley View 27, Dallas 17

 

Leave the gun, take the cannoli (Class 3A) 4-3

Prep at Pittston Area

West at Western Wayne

Two great games involving Class 3A teams this week, so why pick just one? Scranton Prep is on a roll since suffering its only loss of the season to Valley View. The Cavaliers are doing it with defense, having given up only four touchdowns in three games since allowing 27 against the Cougars. And don’t forget, Prep hadn’t allowed a point in three games before its trip to Peckville. Pittston Area hasn’t been playing bad, but Coach Nick Barbieri’s club needs to be more consistent if they want to make noise this late in the season. In the other game, Western Wayne hosts West Scranton. The game holds great importance for both teams. The Invaders are fresh off an emotional win over arch-rival Scranton in The Bell Game, while the Wildcats need to re-energize after a tough loss at Valley View. A win by West puts them in position to finish the season on a five-game winning streak and an opportunity to finish no worse than fourth in the D2 Class 4A playoffs. A bounce-back by Western Wayne assures them of a winning season and a chance for a home game in the District 2 Class 3A tournament.

Prep 35, Pittston Area 21

Western Wayne 20, West Scranton 13

 

Going to the mattresses (Class 2A) 5-2

Riverside at Old Forge

Old Forge has beaten Riverside in seven of their last eight meetings, starting with a victory in the District 2 Class 1A title game in 2011. Prior to that, the Vikings won six of eight games, including an upset of the Blue Devils in the 2009 district playoffs. This rivalry has featured those types of streaks throughout its 100-plus year history, a history which has Old Forge leading the series with 37 wins against 31 defeats to go with four ties. This year, the teams come into The Rivalry with matching 5-2 records and have four common opponents. Both have beaten Carbondale and Holy Cross, and both have lost to Lakeland and Dunmore. The Old Forge losses were on the road while Riverside has suffered both of its losses at home. While defense has typically been the staple of this storied rivalry, both teams feature star sophomore quarterbacks in Blue Devils signal caller Dante Lucarelli and Vikings passer Johnny Gilchrist. To say the duo likes to toss the pigskin around would be an understatement. In seven games, they gave combined to attempt 304 passes, completing 162 for 2,078 yards and 30 TDs. This won’t be your grandfather’s typical Old Forge-Riverside game. Expect some offensive fireworks. The Rick does.

Old Forge 37, Riverside 33

 

I ain’t no bandleader (Class 1A) 5-2

Lackawanna Trail at Hanover Area

Despite a tough loss at home last week, Lackawanna Trail is in full control of its playoff destiny as it travels to Hanover Area this week. The Lions loss to Old Forge last week only made things interesting when it comes to figuring out power ratings and such. Should Trail win out, they would still host the District 2 Class 1A game in Week 11. However, if the Hawkeyes – who have not been playing too bad as of late – could pull off an upset at Gayewski Memorial Stadium, a notorious tough place for opponents to play, it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities that Trail would have to travel to the Pizza Capital should the Blue Devils win out. The Lions haven’t had many problems with WVC opponents over the past few seasons, and The Rick doesn’t expect them to have any on Friday night.

Trail 22, Hanover Area 12

 

Time to settle all family business (80-13)

Valley West over Abington Heights

Honesdale over Montrose

North Pocono over Coughlin

Hazleton Area over Scranton

Carbondale over Holy Cross

Dunmore over Susquehanna

Lakeland over Nanticoke

Meyers over Mid Valley

Berwick over Crestwood

Lake-Lehman over GAR

Wyoming Area over Holy Redeemer

Northwest over Wyalusing

 

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
1. Mid Valley (1-6) 5.50 (41-29) 1
2t. Western Wayne (5-2) 5.25 (41-29) 2
2t. Carbondale Area (1-6) 5.25 (38-32) 4
2t. Honesdale (1-6) 5.25 (40-30) 5
2t. Scranton (1-6) 5.25 (41-29) 6
2t. Pittston Area (3-4) 5.25 (42-28) NR
7t. Coughlin (0-7) 5.00 (38-32) 3
7t. Dunmore (5-2) 5.00 (38-32) 7
7t. Abington Heights (1-6) 5.00 (42-28) 9
7t. GAR (1-6) 5.00 (38-32) 11
7t. Hazleton Area (2-5) 5.00 (40-30) NR

TOP 5 EASIEST SCHEDULES
RANK TEAM RECORD RATING OR
1. Wyoming Area (7-0) 2.25 (23-47)
2t. Tunkhannock (2-5) 3.00 (25-44)
2t. Holy Cross (2-5) 3.00 (25-44)
4t. Williamsport (5-2) 3.25 (28-42)
4t. Delaware Valley (4-3) 3.25 (28-42)