The Rick, Week 9 – 2018

By Rick Notari, BDFN

@TheBigBlueDevil

(1157-319 overall, .783 winning percentage)

A very interesting weekend

Many interesting matchups dot the schedule this week as high school football season enters the final stretch. Most of those games The Rick will dissect in his highlighted “Godfather Games.” But a few others deserved more than a mention in the “Settle All Business” section.

First and foremost, I see the Holy Cross v. Columbia Montour Vo-Tech game as an interesting contest. CMVT actually played Tuesday night in a makeup game and will host the Crusaders on Saturday. This is a winnable game for Holy Cross.

Next is Pittston Area at Crestwood. Can the Patriots lick their wounds and recover in time to gain some steam towards the Class 4A playoffs? Can the Comets grab a win and sneak into those same playoffs?

Finally, Honesdale at North Pocono. The Trojans have to make sure they do not look past Honesdale. Yes the Hornets only have two victories but they have played tough all season. An upset would help them erase what has otherwise been a forgettable season.

If the playoffs started today?

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

5A: Southern Lehigh at Wallenpaupack

4A: Abington Heights at Valley View, Nanticoke at Berwick, Pittston Area at Dallas, North Pocono at West Scranton

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

2A: Carbondale Area at Dunmore, Susquehanna at Riverside

1A: Old Forge at Lackawanna Trail

Ok. Here’s this week’s Rickter Scale. Finally, the Valley View Cougars have reached No. 1. I know the Cougar Crazies have been clamoring for this all season, and I told them patience would pay off and it has. Delaware Valley had the biggest move up in the scale, moving up five spots to No. 7 while the opponent they defeated last week, Williamsport, slid the farthest, three spots to No. 8.

WEEK 9 RICKTER SCALE….          Record Rating  LR

1.     Valley View                    (8-0)   37.75   2
2.     Berwick                          (7-1)   36.50   3
3.     Dallas                             (7-1)   35.25   1
4.     Scranton Prep                (7-1)   33.50   4
5.     Wallenpaupack              (5-3)   29.50   6
6.     North Pocono                 (5-3)   29.25   7
7.     Delaware Valley                         (5-3)   28.75   12
8.     Williamsport                  (5-3)   28.75   5
9.     West Scranton                (5-3)   26.50   11
10.  Wyoming Area                (8-0)   25.50   10
11.  Valley West                    (4-4)   24.00   8
12.  Western Wayne             (5-3)   23.00   9
13.  Hazleton Area                 (3-5)   20.25   NR

Teams to Watch: Lakeland (20.00), Lackawanna Trail (19.75), Lake-Lehman (19.50), Dunmore (18.25), Pittston Area (17.25), Nanticoke (16.25), Meyers (15.50).

Now let’s pick some games….

THE RICK’S PICKS (34-15)

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

Valley West at Delaware Valley

In this world of sports analytics we talk about trends. Now The Rick really doesn’t go for the numbers the sports geeks throw out there. The only trends The Rick knows about are Armani suits and John Madden shoes. BOOM! But I can also see that Valley West and Delaware Valley are headed in opposite directions. The Spartans are trending down. Valley West has lost four of five games after starting 3-0, and are in danger of missing the District 2/11 Subregional playoffs. The Warriors on the other hand are trending up, having won four of their last five games after beginning the season a very un-Delaware Valley like, 1-2. The corps from I-84 finishes with Scranton High, so a win in this game sets the Warriors up for a 7-3 season and more than likely the No. 1 seed in the District 2 6A tournament. The Rick wishes the fedora would become a trend again!

Delaware Valley 33, Valley West 21

 

The Luca Brasi (Class 5A) 6-2

Wallenpaupack at Williamsport

When I looked at the schedule this past summer, this was an easy game to pick. Now The Rick isn’t so sure. Williamsport fell apart last week at Delaware Valley in the type of game one would expect from previous Millionaires teams. But since Coach Chuck Crews has taken the helm, the boys from Billport have been a team that plays to the finish. Wallenpaupack on the other is playing its best football of the year and making all the famous prognosticators (not The Rick) look good on their preseason picks of a Buckhorn team that would be one to reckon with. This Rick honestly doesn’t know how Williamsport travels to our neck of the woods and expects kids to get off a bus and play well, and in turn believes the same about the Northern most LFC teams traveling to Williamsport. Despite that, The Rick is going with an upset in this one. Call me crazy, but maybe Carly Rae Jepsen will sing the National Anthem tomorrow night.

Wallenpaupack 21, Williamsport 16

 

Don’t ask me about my business (Class 4A) 7-1

Dallas at Berwick

A few weeks ago this matchup looked as if it would be played to determine the top seed in the District 2 Class 4A tournament. Or at least that’s what folks in the Wyoming Valley Conference thought. Instead, it looks as if Dallas at Berwick will be a prelude to a D2 semifinal, and who will get to travel to Peckville to face Valley View for a rematch in Week 13. The Mountaineers and Bulldogs have five common opponents, both losing to Valley View while each beating Pittston Area, Valley West, Hazleton Area and Crestwood. The Rick expects this matchup to be as even as the teams’ 7-1 records show. Dallas needs a bounce-back suffering its first loss of the season last week. But Berwick has gotten back on track after losing to the Cougars and have won two straight as the Dawgs gear up for the playoffs. The Rick actually flipped a coin for this one. Heads Dallas, tails Berwick. And tails never fails.

Berwick 29, Dallas 27

 

Leave the gun, take the cannoli (Class 3A) 5-4

Lakeland at Scranton Prep

Another possible playoff preview game, this one in District 2 Class 3A features Lakeland at Scranton Prep. The Chiefs were hot early, pasting Honesdale, Old Forge and Riverside in the first month. Then after a close loss to West Scranton, they kind of scuttled a little in their next three. But a very Lakeland-like performance last week against Nanticoke once again has Chiefs fans reminiscing about the glory days as they travel to Prep. The Cavaliers on the other hand have gotten better and better each week. Let by quarterback Leo O’Boyle, Prep has been nothing short of spectacular in seven of their eight games. Yes they struggled against Valley View, but who hasn’t? The Cavaliers face the two biggest contenders in their own class in the next two weeks, with Lakeland this week and Western Wayne next week. Two tough games for sure, but The Rick likes Ignatian Nation to stay atop its castle on Wyoming Avenue.

Prep 34, Lakeland 26

 

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

Dunmore at Western Wayne

An interesting game to say the least this week will take place at the Sharkey Rosetti Sports Complex where Western Wayne will host Dunmore. The Wildcats are coming off of a tough home loss to West Scranton and need to bounce back if they hope to secure a home playoff game in the upcoming District 2 Class 3A playoffs. The Bucks are in an interesting place as well. They end the season with two games on the road, and while they normally enter Week 9 with home field secured throughout the playoffs, Dunmore could face games on the road if they lose their last two. The Bucks travel to Lakeland next week to finish the regular-season. Before we get there however, we have a ball game to play Friday night, and The Rick thinks that those that just look at the schedule and see Western Wayne v. Dunmore and laugh, may not be laughing come Saturday morning.

Western Wayne 21, Dunmore 13

 

I ain’t no bandleader (Class 1A) 6-2

Lake-Lehman at Lackawanna Trail

Speaking of just looking at a schedule, an outsider would probably take a look at this game and see a Class 3A team at a Class 1A team. Easy win for the 3A right? However what they should see is a WVC team at an LFC team, and when that matchup has happened this year, it’s been the LFC team more often that not winning that game. So what happens when Lake-Lehman travels to Tunnel Hill to take on Lackawanna Trail? The Black Knights are looking to improve their playoff positioning so they can host a game at The Black Hole where they are tough to beat. The Lions are in need of a win so they can host the District 2 Class 1A championship game. A loss, and its likely Trail will have to travel to Old Forge to try and take the title away from the Blue Devils. The Rick doesn’t see that happening.

Lackawanna Trail 34, Lake-Lehman 21

 

Time to settle all family business (91-14)

West over Abington Heights

North Pocono over Honesdale

Valley View over Scranton

Susquehanna over Carbondale

Holy Cross over CMVT

Tunkhannock over Mid Valley

Riverside over Montrose

Old Forge over Northwest

Hazleton Area over Coughlin

Pittston Area over Crestwood

Nanticoke over GAR

Wyoming Area over Hanover Area

Meyers over Holy Redeemer

 

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.   Scranton                      (1-7)                 6.50     (49-31)   2
2t.  Honesdale                    (2-6)                 6.25     (48-32)   2
2t.  Abington Heights          (2-6)                 6.25     (50-30)   7
4.   Western Wayne            (5-3)                 6.00     (49-31)   2
5t.  Mid Valley                    (1-7)                 5.75     (47-33)   1
5t.  Valley View                  (8-0)                 5.75     (46-34)   NR
7t.  Scranton Prep              (7-1)                 5.50     (43-37)  NR
7t.  West Scranton              (5-3)                 5.50     (44-36)   NR
9t.  Carbondale Area           (2-6)                 5.25     (43-37)   2
9t.  Pittston Area                (3-5)                 5.25     (42-28)    2
9t. Dunmore                     (6-2)                 5.25     (38-32)   7
9t.  GAR                              (1-7)                 5.25     (38-32)   7
9t.  Hazleton Area               (3-5)                 5.25     (40-30)   7
9t. North Pocono               (5-3)                 5.25     (37-33)   NR
9t.  Hazleton Area               (3-5)                 5.25     (00-00)   NR

 

TOP 5 EASIEST SCHEDULES

RANK   TEAM                            RECORD            RATING   OR

1.   Wyoming Area              (8-0)                 2.50     (26-54)
2.   Tunkhannock                (2-6)                 2.75     (26-53)
3t. Holy Cross                     (2-6)                 3.50     (29-50)
3t.  Meyers                         (5-3)                 3.50     (31-49)
5t.  Williamsport                (5-3)                 3.75     (33-47)
5t.  Lackawanna Trail          (7-1)                 3.75     (34-46)