The Rick, Week 3 – 2021
By Rick Notari, BDFN
(1578-434 overall, .786 winning percentage)
A First for Everything!
Call him the Lonesome Loser. That’s right, for the first time in his prognosticating profession, The Rick had a losing week picking games on the gridiron. Lucky for me, the prediction on the pitch that The Rick made for last Saturday (Old Forge’s 2-1 SOCCER win over Dunmore), got me to 9-9 on the week. Otherwise, I’d be out of a job!
On the bright side, at least my buddy Jeff Arthur and his Carbondale Area Chargers got The Rick through Saturday without him having to give up his column to Rob Heyen – the greatest football player to don the Green and Black of Holy Cross. Heyen, who also hails from the greatest borough in the Downvalley, originally didn’t offer anything if he lost the bet – which he did – but he suggested yesterday that I could don the cover of the 2021 JED Pool Supply calendar as payment for my winning selection. The Rick has never been a cover boy. Another first!
But here is a second.
It seems there is another columnist under the NPF Network umbrella that is taking shots at The Rick. This guy doesn’t even have a name! At least Mr. Robinson puts his moniker on his picks at NEPAsportsnation.com.
This sesquipedalian goes by “A Face in The Crowd.” His latest work knocks The Rick, The Family of Old Forge and all of those that do not prep for a solid night of Friday Night Lights. Not only does Mr. Face – who I will now refer to as Cliff Clavin – take shots at The Family, he also does it while looking down his nose as if he’s way up in the sky and us paisans are down closer to the ground!
Anyway, Cliff Clavin is pontificating this week with odiously, odiferous, olfactory, emanations. Capiche?
Ok. Time for the picks!
THE RICK’S PICKS (24-13)
An added attraction in 2021, throughout the season, we’ll be keeping score in our own friendly rivalry, matching picks with Consigliere Tom Robinson in his weekly feature on our partner website, NEPASportsNation.com. After two weeks, Mister Robinson has opened a three-game lead in the neighborhood rivalry, picking 10 Week 2 winners against The Rick’s eight.
Check out The Consigliere’s picks at www.nepasportsnation.com.
Here are The Rick’s picks for Week 3.
May their first child be a masculine child (The Big Boys) 1-1
Hazleton Area at Berwick
Not much to choose from this week in the Big Boy section of games, so let’s go to Crispin Field where the Bulldogs rose from the dead with a big win over Crestwood last week. Hazleton Area is looking for its first victory of the season. If the Cougars can come up big upfront, they should have the athletes to take this one. But there is something about last week’s victory that has The Rick believing in the magic once again.
Berwick 18, Hazleton Area 14
The Luca Brasi (Toughest Pick of The Week) 2-0
Wilkes-Barre Area at Dallas
There are a lot of games that could be squeezed into this slot this week, but let’s go with the one between a team who was on the wrong end of a heartbreaker and another who was on the right end. Wilkes-Barre Area rallied late against Wyoming Area last week only to fall short by a point. Dallas scored on a delay-called two-point conversion in overtime to take a one-point win over a Valley West team that was well-respected coming into the season. So where does this one go? The Mountaineers are typically tough at home. The Wolfpack have shown they play all four quarters. So, expect this one to go down to the wire too. The Rick is going opposite Coach Eaux this week!
Dallas 31, Wilkes-Barre 27
Don’t ask me about my business (No Rhyme or Reason) 1-1
Lake-Lehman at Dunmore
The Rick has been doing prognostications for about 10 years here at NPF. For the first time in that era, he was left in disbelief by a Dunmore team. Shocked is more like it. I haven’t seen Lake-Lehman play yet this year, but the Black Knights haven’t been eye-opening either according to reports. This game will be a battle. But not necessarily in a good way.
Dunmore 7, Lake-Lehman 6
Leave the gun, take the cannoli (No-Brainer Pick of The Week) 2-0
Nanticoke at Wyoming Area
Every year the WVC predictors tell us that this is the year Nanticoke turns the corner; this is the year the Trojans leave the basement. Well, The Rick has heard enough. Leave the Trojans, take the Warriors.
Wyoming Area 50, Nanticoke 0
Going to the mattresses (A Rivalry-type Game) 3-0
Scranton at West Scranton
The best game in Dunmore this weekend won’t be the Bucks and the Black Knights. Instead, The Bell Game will showcase the best football in Bucktown on Saturday afternoon after Scranton at West Scranton was moved there because of ongoing renovations to Scranton Memorial Stadium. The Knights have shown flashes of brilliance while the Invaders are clearly rebuilding. But throw records out the window in this one. It will all come down to City Pride here.
Scranton 33, West Scranton 24
I ain’t no bandleader (Give Some Respect) 0-2
Crestwood at Tunkhannock
The Rick fully expected this to be a battle of 2-0 teams battling for the WVC-2 lead and mounting respect for each of its programs. Instead, we have a faltering Crestwood squad and a Tunkhannock team that took it on the chin in Week 1. The Comets need to turn it around quick as they face three of the Top 10 – maybe Top 5 – teams in District 2 the next three weeks in Western Wayne, Wyoming Area and Valley View. A win for the Tigers and the Men of WyCo could certainly pull off wins in its next three or four games. The Rick isn’t really a fan of red, but stripes make me look heavier.
Crestwood 24, Tunkhannock 20
Fredo, You broke my heart (Upset Special) 0-2
Scranton Prep at Wallenpaupack
The Rick doesn’t shy away from making bold statements. And even though I had some reservations on putting this game into this slot, I got some quality, high-level, intel from an inside source earlier this week. It’s all Purple Passion this week at Prep and Wallenpaupack. The Buckhorns probably have not had an opportunity like this in a long time. A win over the Tower of Power shines the spotlight squarely on them and deservedly so. A loss, and it could be the same old, same old. It’s an early, unbeaten matchup of teams with electrifying running attacks and solid defenses. Sit back and enjoy! The Rick says, Ignatian Nation, REPENT while the Buckhorns say, IT WAS YOU FREDO!
Wallenpaupack 27, Prep 26
Time to settle all Family business (15-7)
Honesdale over North Pocono
Williamsport over Mifflin County
Hanover Area over Holy Cross
Milton over Holy Redeemer
Lakeland over Susquehanna
Old Forge over Carbondale
Downingtown East over Delaware Valley
Mid Valley over Montrose
Valley West over Pittston Area
Valley View over Abington Heights
Lackawanna Trail over Riverside
Moore Catholic over Western Wayne
It’s the second season of The Rick’s Six. Nothing fancy. Just my opinion of who are the best Big School teams and the best Small School teams. Nothing else. Remember, it’s where you finish at the end – not the beginning or the middle.
Here it is….
- Valley View (2-0) 4
- Williamsport (1-1) 1
- Wilkes-Barre (1-1) 2
- Delaware Valley (0-2) 3
- Wallenpaupack (2-0) NR
- Dallas (1-1) NR
*Missed it by that much…. Valley West (1-1)
- Scranton Prep (2-0) 1
- Western Wayne (2-0) 2
- Wyoming Area (2-0) 3
- Old Forge (2-0) 4
- Lakeland (2-0) 5
- Lackawanna Trail (1-1) 6
*Missed it by that much…. Mid Valley (1-1)