The Rick, Week 2 – 2020
By Rick Notari, BDFN
(1442-392 overall, .786 winning percentage)
The Black Hole
That loud chirping you heard last week in the Back Mountain wasn’t a bunch of Lake-Lehman fans mouthing off after its big win on Friday night. Instead it was the sound The Black Hole made when its high-powered offense and emerging defense crashed together to swallow up the sun formerly known as Berwick.
If The Rick hadn’t seen it with my own eyes – watching from the comfort of my home on the NPF Network video feed – The Rick wouldn’t have believed it. At one point in the first half, The Rick thought maybe the teams had switched uniforms before kickoff. The traditional bully on the block, Berwick, was being beaten at its own game.
The Black Knights defense was stout, flying around the gridiron, laying licks on the Dawgs. Berwick couldn’t move the ball in the first half! On the other side of the line of scrimmage, Lake-Lehman was sure and strong. The combination of quarterback Ethan Adams and all-purpose back Ryan Eiden were spectacular with the Black Knights version of an RPO-offense. Both are the real deal and will give defensive coordinators fits the remainder of the season.
Lake-Lehman looks ready to be more than just a contender this year.
The Rick is sorry but Berwick is out of the poll this week. Call it unfair. Call it a punishment. The Rick doesn’t care. The pre-season hype around this team was just that, hype. Now The Rick isn’t giving up hope on the Dawgs, but for this week, they drop out.
So who’s in? Williamsport makes its debut after a convincing victory over Nanticoke last week. And while Berwick is out, Lake-Lehman makes an unprecedented jump from No. 6 to No. 1 – that’s how impressed The Rick was with the Black Knights.
- Delaware Valley (0-0) 1
- Wilkes-Barre (1-0) 3
- Crestwood (1-0) 5
- Williamsport (1-0) NR
- Dallas (0-0) 4
- Valley West (0-1) 6
- Lake-Lehman (1-0) 6
- Wyoming Area (1-0) 1
- Lakeland (0-0) 2
- Prep (0-0) 3
- Dunmore (0-0) 4
- Old Forge (0-0) 5
THE RICK’S PICKS
May their first child is a masculine child (The Big Boys) 1-0
Hazleton Area at Wilkes-Barre Area
Our first true big-boy matchup comes in Week 2 as Hazleton travels to Wilkes-Barre for a date with the Wolfpack. The Cougars played tough last week at Crestwood in Coach Dennis Buchman’s debut but ended up on the wrong end of the decision. WBA won on a field goal at the buzzer. Coach Ciro Cinti didn’t think his second-year program played as well as they should have. That probably made for an interesting week of practice for the Wolfpack. This would have been another game for the fans to enjoy – if fans were allowed. The Rick is taking the Wolfpack because it’s lunch time as I write this, and well, The Rick is, hungry like the Wolf!
WBA 27, Hazleton Area 21
The Luca Brasi (Toughest Pick of The Week) 1-0
Academy of The New Church at Riverside
Academy of The New Church will travel to Taylor once again in 2020. The Lions beat Riverside at Veterans Memorial Stadium last season, but the Vikes may be ahead of the curve this season. Friday night will be ANC’s opener, while Riverside played last week at Wyoming Area and seemingly have been practicing since March. The Vikings didn’t look too bad last week despite struggling to put points on the board. A few less mental mistakes on offense, and last week’s result could have looked different. Expect Riverside’s young corps of receivers to take a step forward this week, but the game will be won up front. The Vikes need to give QB Johnny Gilchrist better protection. The Rick is going against The Family and predicting a small upset here.
Riverside 31, ANC 25
Don’t ask me about my business (No Rhyme or Reason) 0-1
Williamsport at Wyoming Area
The Rick also tuned into the Wyoming Area game last week and while the Warriors didn’t exactly struggle, The Rick thinks the defending champs are still a work in progress. They got good play from some young newcomers in all aspects of the game, but the team has a much more formidable opponent this week in Williamsport. The Millionaires played well last week against Nanticoke and have the weapons to match Wyoming Area. This pick could backfire on The Rick, but here goes….
Williamsport 28, Wyoming Area 17
Leave the gun, take the cannoli (Easiest Pick of The Week) 1-0
Nanticoke at Lake-Lehman
This game may start slow because heck, if The Rick’s team just beat Berwick, they’d have a three-day hangover from it as well. Otherwise, if the Lake-Lehman team that showed up last Friday night, shows up this Friday night, it’ll be another social distancing pizza party at The Grotto after the game!
Lake-Lehman 48, Nanticoke 14
Going to the mattresses (A Rivalry-type Game) 1-0
Valley West at Dallas
The Rick isn’t sure if this matchup is considered a border war but its close enough. Valley West travels to the Back Mountain to take on a rebuilding Dallas squad who had its game last week Corona-cancelled just hours before they were to take the field. Valley West fought off injury to lead WBA for the majority of the game before a last-second field goal knocked them off in the opener. This will be the Spartans second straight road game to open the season while the Mountaineers will have the comforts of home as it breaks in a new starting lineup. Look for a low-scoring affair in a game involving Valley West once again. The Rick will take Dallas in this one only because there is no way a team named Dallas loses twice in a one week.
Dallas 14, Valley West 12
I ain’t no bandleader (Give Some Respect) 0-0
Crestwood at Tunkhannock
Crestwood remains an under-the-radar club in District 2 and the WVC but that may not last for too much longer. The Comets have a not-as-easy-as-it-looks game at Tunkhannock tonight, but one it is most definitely favored in. If they can keep the Tigers high-octane offense and quarterback Jack Chilson in check, Crestwood could see itself on the way to a 4-0 start before a showdown with Wyoming Area in Week 5. But don’t count out Chilson and the Tigers. The senior quarterback has the ability to carry this team with his arm. Tunkhannock will not be a slouch this season, and will look to impress in its opener after being Corona-cancelled at Dallas last week. All that said, The Rick likes Big Red in this one.
Crestwood 28, Tunkhannock 20
Time to settle all Family business (3-0)
Berwick over Pittston Area
Hanover over Windber
Northwest over Montgomery
Pitt over Syracuse
Pittsburgh over Denver NEPA