The Rick, Week 10 – 2022
By Rick Notari, BDFN
@TheBigBlueDevil
(1855-505 overall, .786 winning percentage)

Championship Costumes

It is Week 10, and The Rick is wondering where the past two-and-a-half months have gone. The August heat has turned into the October cold. Well, sort of. We are having a mid-week heatwave but the weathermen that The Family has in place assure us that temperatures will return to the 50s for this weekend’s games. It is also a week the schedule makers hoped for when realigning divisions and crafting schedules that would have meaningful late-season games.

It is Championship Week 1.0. And some usual and unusual costumes are being worn this weekend before Halloween. Those dressed as Cavaliers and Cougars meet up in Peckville for the Lackawanna Football Conference Division 1 championship. The winner of the Scranton Prep/Valley View game will share the crown with Delaware Valley should the Warriors beat the Comets from Abington Heights at home in Milford.

Those dressed as Chiefs will win the LFC Division 2 title outright should they beat those dressed as Spartans when they invade the Mid Valley on Friday night. If Lakeland were to be upset – that’s a BIG IF – then those dressed as Wildcats would share the crown should they sting the Hornets in Honesdale.

The same can be said for those who don the horns and goatee of the Blue Devils. Old Forge goes trick-or-treating in Carbondale this week, and a win over those dressed as Chargers secures the LFC Division 3 championship. However, should they choke on some candy corn, the Vikings would share the crown when they pillage the Crusaders of Holy Cross at Taylor Veterans Memorial Stadium.

In the Wyoming Valley Conference, no costumes are needed in Division 1. Those dressed as Comets clinched the title last week when Crestwood won big at Berwick. They play a non-league game tonight and are a game ahead of everyone else in the division. But in Division 2, it’s the game of the year in Greater Pittston. Those dressed as Warriors cross the concrete bridge and travel up Kennedy Boulevard to Stout Street to take on those dressed as Patriots.

OMG! It just struck The Rick! The matchup between Pittston Area and Wyoming Area should be – and will now be forever dubbed – The Revolutionary War! How the heck did The Rick not come up with this during the 10 years I worked at The Dispatch?!?!?! I mean The Bridge Trophy is cool, but the old Cross-River Rivalry moniker is boring. Anyway, the winner Friday night at Charley Trippi Stadium will be crowned champion of WVC Division 2.

All the aforementioned games will have some impact on the playoff scene. But instead of going over every possibility, The Rick is just going to give you the current matchups. Some will probably change after Friday, but that is reason enough for you to check back next week with the matchups and predictions!

 

Here’s the current District 2 playoff matchups:

Current Week 11 Playoff Matchups

6A: No. 8 Wilkes-Barre Area at No. 1 Emmaus; No. 6 Hazleton Area at No. 3 Northampton

(Subregional tournament with D4 and D11)

5A: No. 4 Abington Heights at No. 1 Delaware Valley; No. 3 Pittston Area at No. 2 Scranton

4A: No. 8 Nanticoke Area at No. 1 Crestwood; No. 7 Honesdale at No. 2 Valley View;

No. 6 Wyoming Area at No. 3 Dallas; No. 5 North Pocono at No. 4 Berwick

3A: No. 3 Lake-Lehman at No. 2 Western Wayne; No. 4 Carbondale at No. 1 Scranton Prep

2A: No. 4 Susquehanna at No. 1 Lakeland; No. 3 Riverside at No. 2 Dunmore

1A: No. 2 Lackawanna Trail at No. 1 Old Forge

In your neighborhood

Another even week as The Rick and his friend from the neighborhood, Consigliere Tom Robinson, matched records with 17 wins each. As you know, for the past two years, Tom and I keep score in a friendly showdown that is featured here at the NPF Network and at our sister site, NEPA Sports Nation. Tom has easily handled The Rick the first two years, but not this year. The Rick trails by only one game headed into the final week of the regular season. So, for old-time sake, The Rick is going to make some crazy picks this week! Let’s see if I can get the lead back.

Check out The Consigliere’s picks by clicking HERE. Here are The Rick’s picks for Week 10:

THE RICK’S PICKS (129-32)

May their first child be a masculine child (The Big Boys) 5-4

Berwick at Hazleton Area

Hazleton Area has bounced back from its two disappointing losses to Dallas and Crestwood with victories over Valley West and Williamsport the last two weeks. That momentum is needed as a beat-up Berwick team comes to town. The Dawgs have lost two straight after winning four of five. Both teams are headed for the district playoffs, but a win will put both in a better situation, matchup wise. The Rick goes with the hot hand, Candy for the Cougars!

Cougars 33, Berwick 13

 

The Luca Brasi (Toughest Pick of The Week) 6-4

Western Wayne at Honesdale

Remember a few weeks ago when The Rick wasn’t going to get caught up in emotion and make my picks with my head instead? Well, throw that out the window. Western Wayne went to war last week against Lakeland and almost came out the victor. It has been a great season for the Wildcats who are just a few points from being undefeated. But The Rick thinks they are due for an emotional letdown, and this may just be the week it happens. Honesdale has played well most of the season and have been competitive in all their games but one. The Hornets had Dunmore on the ropes last week! The Nest is a tough place to play, and The Rick can taste an upset. Candy for the Hornets!

Hornets 21, Wildcats 18

 

Don’t ask me about my business (No Rhyme or Reason) 8-1

Lake-Lehman at Dallas

They tell The Rick they play this game for the Old Shoe. The Dallas/Lake-Lehman rivalry goes back decades, and there have been some games that one of the teams doesn’t belong on the field with the other. But don’t tell that to the Black Knights. This year is one of those years as the Mountaineers are one of the top teams in the district, while Lake-Lehman has struggled. On paper, Dallas runs away with this. But The Rick knows only a few stalwarts read the paper these days. So, expect a close one in the Back Mountain. Candy for the Mountaineers!

Mountaineers 44, Black Knights 37

 

Leave the gun, take the cannoli (No-Brainer Pick of The Week) 9-0

Holy Cross at Riverside

Last week, The Rick asked who made the best cannoli in Greater Pittston. Only PA Principal Pat Bilbow responded, informing me that one of the Patriots player’s moms makes the best. This week, Riverside heads to Dunmore to take on Holy Cross. The Rick is going to bet there are a lot of good cannoli places on Drinker Street, but there are probably better cannoli at Lucca in Taylor and Amadeo’s in Moosic! Candy – and Cannoli – for the Vikings!

Vikings 66, Crusaders 6

 

Going to the mattresses (A Rivalry-type Game) 4-5

Wyoming Area at Pittston Area

The Revolutionary War takes place Friday night when Wyoming Area travels to Pittston Area with the WVC Division 2 title on the like. The Warriors have had the upper hand in this matchup for a long time. But the Patriots are ready for payback. Playing in the same division for the first time since The Rick has covered high school football, these two rivals are playing for a championship for the first time in about 20 years. That night, the Warriors ran a fake field goal for a TD at Scranton’s Memorial Stadium for the D2 title. The atmosphere was electric. If you have the chance, take the opportunity to get to Yatesville on Friday night to see this game. Candy for the Patriots!

Patriots 36, Warriors 30

 

I ain’t no bandleader (Give Some Respect) 6-3

Scranton Prep at Valley View

Scranton Prep has had quite an interesting year. First, they lose their all-American tailback to injury. They are then stomped in the opener against Lakeland and fall flat against Scranton High. But since then, the Cavaliers upset Delaware Valley on the road to spur a five-game winning streak as they visit John Henzes Memorial Stadium to take on Valley View this week. This team has been seeking respect all season long. On the other sideline, the Cougars are battle-tested and solid on their home turf. They also have a score to settle. Valley View’s only two losses have come to the two best teams they have played this season – Crestwood and Delaware Valley. In some ways, the Cougars are also looking for some respect. A big win this week will give them all the respect they deserve. Candy for the Cougars!

Cougars 17, Cavaliers 10

 

Fredo, You broke my heart (Upset Special) 5-4

Lackawanna Trail at Susquehanna

The Rick is really going out on a limb in this one. My reasoning is two-fold. One, I am banking on my friend from the neighborhood sticking with his hometown team Susquehanna. He did that last week in an obviously upset selection and it worked out for him. Plus, if he doesn’t, I may be able to pick up a game. Secondly, The Rick can rationalize that after the big win, the Sabers will have some momentum on Saturday afternoon for an old Suburban matchup against Lackawanna Trail. The Rick told you up above that he threw ration out the window this week, so why not! The Sabers will say, IT WAS YOU FREDO! Susquehanna gets the candy!

Sabers 22, Lions 14

 

Time to settle all Family business (86-11)

Nanticoke Area over Hanover Area

Scranton over Wallenpaupack

Old Forge over Carbondale Area

Lakeland over Mid Valley

Crestwood over North Pocono

Delaware Valley over Abington Heights

Dunmore over West Scranton

Williamsport over Tunkhannock

Wilkes-Barre Area over Wyoming Valley West

Holy Redeemer over Montrose

 

THE RICK SIX

The Rick told you last week that The Big Six was a mess. And sure enough, it happened again. Only Crestwood remains in the same spot – No. 1. Hazleton Area, Delaware Valley, and Valley View all moved up one spot and after Wilkes-Barre Area smashed Dallas, the Wolfpack returned to the poll at No. 5. The Mountaineer dropped to No. 6 and Berwick dropped out.

 

In The Small Six, four of the six teams were victorious with, Western Wayne, losing a close game at No. 1 Lakeland, and No. 6 Riverside losing on a last-second field goal at No. 4 Old Forge. Prep and Dunmore remained at No. 3 and No. 5 respectively.

 

Remember, this poll is nothing fancy. Just my opinion of who are the best Big School teams and the best Small School teams. I typically look at who I think can beat who. Nothing else. Remember, it’s where you finish at the end – not the beginning or the middle. Included with the list are each team’s record and where they were ranked last week.

 

Here it is….

 

THE BIG-SIX

  1. Crestwood (8-1) 1
  2. Hazleton Area (7-2) 3
  3. Delaware Valley (5-4) 4
  4. Valley View (7-2) 5
  5. Wilkes-Barre (5-4) NR
  6. Dallas (7-2) 2

Dropped out: Berwick (4-5) 6

 

THE SMALL-SIX

  1. Lakeland (9-0) 1
  2. Western Wayne (7-2) 2
  3. Scranton Prep (7-2) 3
  4. Old Forge (6-3) 4
  5. Dunmore (6-3) 5
  6. Riverside (5-4) 6

Just missed out: Lackawanna Trail (5-4)