The Rick, Week 4 – 2021

By Rick Notari, BDFN

@TheBigBlueDevil

(1590-440 overall, .783 winning percentage)

 

Good ‘ol Rocky Top

Rocky Top, you’ll always be, home sweet home to meeeeee. Good, ‘ol Rocky Top! Wooooo! Rocky Top, Tennesseeeeeee! Sing it with The Rick!

That’s right! The Rick was on the run again last weekend. This time, I ventured down to SEC Country and took in some college football in Knoxville, Tennessee. It was glorious! A sea of orange greeted The Rick in my royal blue and Pittsburgh gold at Neyland Stadium where some of the all-time greats have played their college ball. Peyton Manning. Reggie White. Johnny Majors. Alvin Kamara. Ramon Foster. The Rick can go on and on.

The Vols and their fans were more than hospitable – especially to The Rick (and the Panthers). The Checkerboard endzones welcomed Pitt often on Saturday afternoon. But it was a few coeds who sat behind me and befriended The Rick that proved one of life’s constants besides death and taxes – Northeast PA is EVERYWHERE!

Co-ed #1. Her dad and uncle were from Tunkhannock. Her grandfather, originally from Dunmore. They were sitting down the row from The Rick. And when she told them we were from Old Forge, they asked if I had brought any Arcaro & Genell’s Old Forge Pizza to the game! The Rick really can’t make this stuff up.

 

Co-ed #2. She wanted to talk defense – or the lack thereof during the game. Turned out her dad is the defensive coordinator at Sam Houston State – the 2020 NCAA Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision National Champions. He has also been an assistant at Villanova and Bucknell. She lived in Lewisburg for a while after living in Newton Square when she was little. Two of her cousins have degrees from the University of Scranton. Guess we really are the Keystone State. Crazy, isn’t it?

Ok. Time for the picks!

 

THE RICK’S PICKS (36-19)

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 three weeks, Mister Robinson has opened a four-game lead in the neighborhood rivalry, picking 13 Week 3 winners against The Rick’s 12. This really isn’t turning out to be a good deal for The Rick. I may have to change the rules halfway through.

Check out The Consigliere’s picks at www.nepasportsnation.com.

Here are The Rick’s picks for Week 4.

 

May their first child be a masculine child (The Big Boys) 1-2

Pittston Area at Hazleton Area

Both Hazleton Area and Pittston Area came up with minor upsets last week as they were underdogs against Berwick and Valley West respectively. While both were slight upsets, the Cougars victory over the Dawgs was unimaginable. However, the Patriots weren’t expected to be in the game against the Spartans. Pittston Area is young and still working on a rebuild. They will hang around this week, but on the road in Hazleton will be a tough task to finish. The Rick likes Hazelnut in his coffee.

Hazleton Area 29, Pittston Area 16

 

The Luca Brasi (Toughest Pick of The Week) 3-0

Wallenpaupack at Lakeland

The Rick went out on a limb with Wallenpaupack last week and the branch broke. This week, I am staying with the Buckhorns despite the disappointing result last week against Prep. This should be the best game of the week and feature the high-octane Lakeland passing game against a ground-control Paupack running game. The Rick surely could be wrong on this one, but let’s take the big boys up front at the big lake in NEPA.

Wallenpaupack 24, Lakeland 21

 

Don’t ask me about my business (No Rhyme or Reason) 2-1

Montrose at Holy Redeemer

The Rick never thought he’d be picking a game between 0-3 and 0-3 in this spot, but let’s give these teams some ink. Both teams may not be able to win another game the rest of the way, so this could be looked at as a championship game for Holy Redeemer and Montrose. They are even playing at a neutral site on Friday night at Northwest Area HS in Shickshinny. The Rick continues his trip to redemption.

Holy Redeemer 37, Montrose 21

 

Leave the gun, take the cannoli (No-Brainer Pick of The Week) 3-0

Southern Columbia at Wyoming Area

So, this isn’t your typical cannoli game. The Rick usually takes a really, really, good team over a really, really, bad team in this spot. And while Southern Columbia is really, really, good; Wyoming Area is also really, good. This game could be good to start, and probably one worth traveling to if you team is off on Friday night. But the Tigers are just too good at this point in the season. Leave the Warriors, take the Tigers.

Southern Columbia 48, Wyoming Area 21

 

Going to the mattresses (A Rivalry-type Game) 4-0

Wilkes-Barre Area at Delaware Valley

If The Rick had an intern, he would have assigned that person to grab him some gabbagool and to research when the last time Delaware Valley was 0-3. The Rick doesn’t remember when. But I bet it was before Coach O took over in Milford. And that’s 20 years ago! Wilkes-Barre Area is only in the infancy of its program. And while The Rick expected them to be 3-0 (2-1 at the worst) at this point of the season, there is some talent there that could put them in position to make a run. The Rick just doesn’t see the Warriors going 0-4.

Delaware Valley 35, Wilkes-Barre Area 31

 

I ain’t no bandleader (Give Some Respect) 0-3

Tunkhannock at North Pocono

Both these teams are trending to be worthy of The Rick’s respect. But when? The Rick thought North Pocono was ready to be worthy during the preseason. But after three weeks, the Trojans have beaten the two teams they should have and lost to a team that at one time would have been unthinkable to have lost to. The Rick picked Tunkhannock to win in its opener but lost to Abington Heights – the Comets only victory. The Tigers then won at Pittston Area and beat Crestwood last week. They are on their way to respectability. But this is another one of those weeks that the Trojans should win, and the Tigers should lose. Let’s see who continues toward earning The Rick’s respect.

North Pocono 27, Tunkhannock 21

 

Fredo, You broke my heart (Upset Special) 0-3

Honesdale at Riverside

Something must give this week. The Rick is 0-3 in this slot so far and four games behind the Consigliere. You do the math. So, I am going to semantics this week and picking an “upset” again against Riverside. (Sorry Coach Armstrong!) The Hornets are 1-2 and a few seconds away from being 0-3. The Vikings are 2-1, with one of those wins a forfeit victory over Montrose. This game is in Taylor. Riverside has a better record. And The Rick is seeing a lot of red in this one. Hornets say, IT WAS YOU FREDO!

Honesdale 23, Riverside 18

 

Time to settle all Family business (23-10)

Shamokin over Nanticoke

Carbondale over Hanover Area

Williamsport over Central Mountain

Selinsgrove over Berwick

Valley West over Abington Heights

Valley View over Scranton

Mid Valley over West Scranton

Western Wayne over Crestwood

Trail over Susquehanna

Holy Cross over CMVT

 

Pick Six

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….

 

THE BIG-SIX

  1. Valley View (3-0) 1
  2. Williamsport (2-1) 2
  3. Dallas (2-1) 6
  4. Wallenpaupack (2-1) 5
  5. Wilkes-Barre (1-2) 3
  6. Tunkhannock (2-1) NR

*Missed it by that much…. Hazleton Area (1-2)

 

THE SMALL-SIX

  1. Scranton Prep (3-0) 1
  2. Wyoming Area (3-0) 3
  3. Western Wayne (2-0) 2
  4. Old Forge (3-0) 4
  5. Lakeland (3-0) 5
  6. Lackawanna Trail (2-1) 6

*Missed it by that much…. Mid Valley (2-1)