The Rick, Week 5 – 2020
By Rick Notari, BDFN
(1480-399 overall, .788 winning percentage)
You may have seen earlier this week that Governor Wolf decided to relax his guidelines for spectator attendance at sporting events in the Commonwealth. Some of it makes sense, and none of it makes sense. Why this week?
The answers to that question could be found on social media with these believable but unbelievable theories:
- The Steelers and Eagles play on Sunday. The theorists say that this shows that it is strictly a political move, throwing the peasants of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia some spare change. And spare change it really will be as Heinz Field will only be allowed to hosts 5,500 (out of a possible 66,000) fans. Hopefully The Rick is one of them. Cross your fingers.
- The college football team in the middle of the state is getting ready to open its season and god-forbid none of the 107,000 cult members get to watch in person. That would cause the need for law and order! The Nittany Kittens will also only be allowed about 5,500 fans. They have two weeks how to determine who gets in. Akron. Akron. Akron.
- The biggest and best high school rivalry in the Commonwealth was played last week, so there are no more worries for big crowds at high school football games, especially in NEPA – which is quite a shame. The new guidelines should easily accommodate our local teams in allowing fans at games the rest of the way.
Now if you believe any of these theories, well that’s certainly your right. The Rick doesn’t know what to believe anymore. I am just happy there is high school football being played – whether it’s in front of fans or not. Kids and coaches are getting to do what they love to do. Whether anyone is watching shouldn’t have any bearing on that.
Western Wayne made its debut in the Small Six this week, landing at No. 3 after not being ranked. The other big move was North Pocono moving up two spots in No. 4 in the Big Six. Delaware Valley and Lake-Lehman both remain the No. 1 teams in the Big and Small sixes respectively. The Warriors last a close one to state power LaSalle College HS, while the Black Knights kicked Dallas back across 309 for the Old Shoe.
- Delaware Valley (0-1) 1
- Williamsport (4-0) 2
- Crestwood (4-0) 4
- North Pocono (1-0) 6
- Dallas (2-1) 3
- Wilkes-Barre (2-2) 5
- Lake-Lehman (4-0) 1
- Lakeland (1-0) 2
- Western Wayne (1-0) NR
- Prep (1-0) 3
- Wyoming Area (3-1) 4
- Old Forge (1-0) 6
THE RICK’S PICKS (36-6 overall, 15-3 Godfather Games)
May their first child is a masculine child (The Big Boys) 4-0
Berwick at Hazleton Area
This is a game that could make the short season for both teams. Hazleton Area is back where it started after two victories in the past two weeks to even its record. Berwick was off last week with a coronavirus induced bye. The Bulldogs are staring 1-3 in the face. A loss to the Cougars would all but end Berwick’s playoff hopes in what could be a truncated District 2 playoff format in Class 4A. The Rick is going with the upstart Cougars in the minor upset in this one.
Hazleton Area 20, Berwick 17
The Luca Brasi (Toughest Pick of The Week) 3-1
Wyoming Area at Crestwood
There is a big question in Mountaintop this Friday night. Which one of these teams is for real? Of the eight games played by both teams only one of them is against a team with a winning opponent, and that was a Wyoming Area loss to Williamsport. The other seven games are against Tunkhannock (2), Holy Redeemer (2), Nanticoke, Hazleton Area and Riverside. Those teams are a combined 3-14 on the season. So the Comets and Warriors haven’t exactly played strong competition with the exception of the Millionaires. Originally The Rick had Wyoming Area coming out on top in his pre-season picks. But the seasons have changed from summer to fall and so has The Rick’s mind.
Crestwood 23, Wyoming Area 21
Don’t ask me about my business (No Rhyme or Reason) 1-3
Tunkhannock at Nanticoke
As you can see The Rick hasn’t had much luck with this pick in the first four weeks of the season. The Rick was thinking about flipping a coin to see if that helps, but instead The Rick is going to close his eyes and just point at the computer monitor and see which team to pick. (The Rick points….. )
Nanticoke 28, Tunkhannock 24
Leave the gun, take the cannoli (Easiest Pick of The Week) 4-0
Lake-Lehman at Holy Redeemer
The Rick is impressed! Thoroughly!!! Lake-Lehman did something it probably hasn’t done in sometime. The Black Knights smashed Dallas. If you lived on George Street in Old Forge they would call it, “a shellacking.” Well, it won’t be any different this week. It just won’t be a surprise.
Lake Lehman 56, Holy Redeemer 6
Going to the mattresses (A Rivalry-type Game) 4-0
Scranton at West Scranton
The Battle for the Bell happens early this year – kinda. Unfortunately, West is without its starting QB this season so the shine of this event on the outside looking in isn’t as bright. But don’t tell the players on both teams that. The Knights and Invaders will be going to the mattresses this weekend. Both teams lost on opening night, so the quest for win No. 1 is a big one.
Scranton 33, West 27
I ain’t no bandleader (Give Some Respect) 4-0
Western Wayne at Scranton Prep
Long remembered as a certain ‘W’ on everyone’s schedule, Western Wayne continues to make strides in seeking respect for its rebuilt football program. This week is no different. The Wildcats travel to Valor Field (at Scranton Memorial Stadium) to take on Scranton Prep on Friday night in a matchup of Class 3A contenders. And while we await word on a playoff schedule or system in District 2 for this week, this game could determine who goes to the postseason and who doesn’t. The Cavaliers seemingly just reload. This year is no different. So while the ‘Cats look for program respect, The Prep is looking for this team’s respect. The Rick is jumping on the Zane Train in this one!
Western Wayne 24, Scranton Prep 20
Time to settle all Family business (21-3)
Williamsport over Valley West
Dallas over Pittston Area
Northwest over Muncy
Delaware Valley over Wallenpaupack
Valley View over Honesdale
North Pocono over Riverside
Dunmore over Mid Valley
Old Forge over Holy Cross
Lakeland over Wilkes-Barre (added 10/12)
Boston College over Pitt
Steelers over Eagles