The Rick, Week 6 – 2020
By Rick Notari, BDFN
(1493-403 overall, .788 winning percentage)
Yes, it is only Week 3 at half of the schools in District 2, but for the other half its Week 5. Plus, District 2 released its playoff plans on Thursday night just as The Rick found the new Springsteen album leaked online and Clayton Kershaw was about to throw his first pitch in the NLCS. So, if you know anything about The Rick, you know, I’m in a whirl of madness right now. So hey, let’s make some post-season predictions because, why not?
That’s what this column is about anyway – making picks.
D2 Class 1A: Holy Cross has opted out, leaving Old Forge to claim the crown – its first since 2017, but it’s ninth overall under Coach Mike Schuback. You really cannot blame the Crusaders for opting out after Saturday’s game against the Blue Devils, a game in which Old Forge scored a school-record 70 points. The Blue Devils will host its first post-season game, likely to be District 1’s Bristol High. Bristol is the only D1 Class 1A team to have played a game this year. The Warriors are 1-2 with a win last week against Kutztown. At the beginning of the year, Jenkintown looked to be the only other team playing Class 1A football in D1, but the Drakes have yet to play a game, and only have one scheduled for next weekend.
THE PICK: Old Forge (Duh)
D2 Class 2A: The power rating system will be used to determine the representative from the five LFC teams. Dunmore looks to have the best road to the top rating and the title. Although they end at Lakeland and at home with Riverside, so those two schools will have something to say about it. If the Vikings win out it would make for an interesting post-game at Dunmore with both teams waiting on the team mathematician to see who the champ is. And don’t forget about Northwest. The Rangers are still part of District 2, and while they look like they can finish 5-2, they are going to need some help to get the bid. The winner hosts the D12 champ in the first round of the PIAA and if you can find any info about any D12 team please tweet the link at The Rick.
THE PICK: (Duh Duh) Dunmore
D2 Class 3A: The top two teams according to the power rating system will meet in the first week of the post-season for the district championship. Currently, those two teams are Lake-Lehman and Lakeland. The Black Knights would travel to Chapman Lake to take on the Chiefs. That Tuesday night win against Class 6A Wilkes-Barre Area is going to go a long way. Don’t panic Scranton Prep fans. As good as Lake-Lehman has been this year, they have a big matchup with Wyoming Area this week and end the second an undefeated Crestwood. So, the road isn’t quite that easy. A win by the Warriors this week could set them up for a run to the title game. No matter what happens, we are going to have a solid title game, and a great consolation game – should they choose to play – between the two or three (Western Wayne is also in the mix) teams that do not qualify. The winner hosts the D3 champion the week following the title game. Right now, Boiling Springs and Wyomissing are the top two seeds.
THE PICK: (La-La-La) Lake-Lehman
D2 Class 4A: The same thing will happen in Class 4A that is happening in Class 3A. The Top 2 teams will get to play for the title. Right now, those two teams are the aforementioned Crestwood (5-0) and Dallas (3-1), but both teams have the toughest part of their collective schedules in front of them. That could leave an opening for Valley View, who doesn’t have an easy road themselves with trips to Western Wayne and Scranton Prep to end the season. Berwick already has three losses, but if the Dawgs can turn it around, they are home the final three weeks against good opponents which could boost their rating. Again, the teams that don’t make the playoffs could have a nice consolation schedule. The winner will face the D4 champion. The top seed is Jersey Shore.
THE RICK: Crestwood
D2 Class 5A: So, Wyoming Valley West is the District 2 champ. They are the only Class 5A team playing in District 2 and District 11, so the Spartans are the winners. The strange thing about this bracket is that because there is only one team, there won’t be a game in Week 11. And Valley West might not have a game in Week 10 because the Class 6A schools agreed to play a title game in Week 10. Wilkes-Barre Area is one of those 6A teams and they are supposed to play Valley West in Week 10. So that could leave the Spartans with two weeks off between games. They will be on the road in the state playoffs either facing the District 6 or District 10 champion.
THE RICK: Valley West
D2 Class 6A: The four Class 6A schools decided to skip the Week 10 regular-season game and take the top two rated teams and play a championship game. Those four schools are in a dead-heat race right now. Wilkes-Barre leads the way despite having a 2-3 record. Delaware Valley is two with Hazleton Area and Scranton three and four. The Wolfpack play at Berwick and host Pittston Area. The Warriors should win out and finish 3-1, and Hazleton could very will win out to finish 5-2. For the first time in a few years, the Class 6A race is going down to the wire. The winner travels to face either the District 4 or District 6 champ which could very well be Williamsport.
THE RICK: Delaware Valley
The Rick did a silly thing last week and dropped Dunmore back out of the poll in favor of Western Wayne. Well, the Bucks are back in and the Cats are out. But The Rick wasn’t the only thing to do a silly thing this past week! Wilkes-Barre was all set to make a major leap, but the Wolfpack forgot about a certain player who used to patrol the punt return lanes at WB Memorial Stadium. That certain player went by the moniker, “The Rocket”. One of the things The Rocket taught area football fans so long ago was that you never punt with the game on the line. If you did, he was going to make you pay!
- Delaware Valley (1-1) 1
- Williamsport (5-0) 2
- Crestwood (5-0) 3
- Dallas (3-1) 5
- Hazleton Area (3-2) NR
- Wilkes-Barre (2-3) 6
- Lake-Lehman (5-0) 1
- Prep (2-0) 4
- Lakeland (2-0) 2
- Wyoming Area (3-2) 5
- Old Forge (2-0) 6
- Dunmore (2-0) NR
THE RICK’S PICKS (53-8 overall, 19-5 Godfather Games)
May their first child is a masculine child (The Big Boys) 5-0
Delaware Valley at Scranton
This may not be one of the better games this week, but going into it on paper, maybe we get to see just how good Delaware Valley is. After a tough “Week 1” loss to LaSalle College High School, the Warriors struggled against Wallenpaupack in what some dub a rivalry game. So, The Rick will give DV the benefit of the doubt on that. They had a tough opening matchup and then had to travel to a “little-brother” type opponent. Wallenpaupack had everything to gain from a win over big, bad Del Val, so it could have been the case of, “Nothing to Lose” versus “Eh, it’s only….” Scranton on the other hand got spanked in Week 1 by Jekyll and Hyde North Pocono before keeping The Bell from a West Scranton last week. The Rick thinks we see the Delaware Valley team everyone expected to see last week.
Delaware Valley 38, Scranton 14
The Luca Brasi (Toughest Pick of The Week) 4-1
Wallenpaupack at North Pocono
Sooooo, what do we see here? Wallenpaupack is 0-2 but have given two of the better football programs in NEPA a run for their collective wallets in the first two weeks of the LIAA season. North Pocono looked to be a force early on, but the Trojans lost to previously winless Riverside at home last week. Not sure what to make of that, but it makes this the toughest game to pick this week. The Rick is probably going to regret this pick, but there have been mistakes at the lake made before.
Wallenpaupack 22, North Pocono 15
Don’t ask me about my business (No Rhyme or Reason) 1-4
Montrose at Holy Cross
The Rick is going to stick with an impossible game to pick – and doing it badly. I have watched both Montrose and Holy Cross in separate games on the NPF Network video stream, and what The Rick has seen is NOT must-see TV. The Rick needs a blessing from above, so let’s take the Crusaders this week!
Holy Cross 18, Montrose 15
Leave the gun, take the cannoli (Easiest Pick of The Week) 5-0
Scranton Prep at Mid Valley
Prep was every un-Prep like last week on offense as they used the passing game to whack Western Wayne. Look for the Cavaliers to establish the ground-and-pound this week against re-building Mid Valley. This could be a quick game as Prep has scored early and often in their first two games.
Prep 37, Mid Valley 7
Going to the mattresses (A Rivalry-type Game) 5-0
Lake-Lehman at Wyoming Area
Lake-Lehman has been waiting for this game all season. For the past few years, Wyoming Area has been the team to beat in the division with the Black Knights chasing them. But this looks like it’s the year Lake-Lehman moves ahead. It won’t be easy as the Warriors – defending state champions – are a proud group. They are also a pretty good football team. This could be the game of the year in the WVC. The Rick takes the Black Knights.
Lake-Lehman 27, Wyoming Area 20
I ain’t no bandleader (Give Some Respect) 4-1
Hazleton Area at Dallas
Hazleton Area has won three in a row, yet no one seems to really be talking about them as a contender in District 2’s biggest classification. The Cougars played tough in the opening two weeks and could easily be 5-0 with a bounce here or there. Now they travel to Dallas, who despite being 3-1, are looking for some respect themselves, after losing the Old Shoe Game in embarrassing fashion. The Mountaineers bounced back with a late-second win over Pittston Area last week, but they will need to be on their A-game if they want to win this one. The Rick likes what the Cougars have done so far this season.
Hazleton Area 23, Dallas 21
Time to settle all Family business (30-5)
Western Wayne over Honesdale
Valley View over West Scranton
Dunmore over Tunkhannock
Old Forge over Susquehanna
Lakeland over Riverside
Berwick over Wilkes-Barre
Williamsport over Pittston Area
Valley West over Nanticoke
Northwest over Line Mountain
Miami over Pitt
Steelers over Browns