The Rick, Week 13 – 2022
By Rick Notari, BDFN
@TheBigBlueDevil
(1889-515 overall, .786 winning percentage)

The End is Near

Two district championships and four state playoff games are all that remain in The Rick’s world. And next week, that number can easily be down to one. The end may be near for The Rick’s picks. So, I am not going to waste any of your time.

Let’s get to the picks for Week 13!

THE RICK’S PICKS (165-41)

District 2-4-11 Class 6A Subregional

No. 5 Parkland (8-4) v. No. 4 Bethlehem Freedom (10-2) at Easton

Freedom is the defending champ. Parkland hasn’t won a title since 2017 when it won its sixth straight. But the Trojans beat the Patriots earlier this year, 20-13, at Freedom. This is big-boy football in the Lehigh Valley and The Rick wonders how the District 2 teams will ever compete with the talent featured when you travel south on the Northeast Extension. It is going to take a special team from D2 to win this subregional someday. Both teams seem to be special every season. The Rick expects a classic and is sticking with The Rock’s school. As William Wallace said, FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDOM!!! The winner gets the winner of Northeast and St. Joseph’s Prep.

Patriots 27, Trojans 23

 

PIAA Class 5A First Round

Delaware Valley (7-5) at Whitehall (7-5)

Just like Delaware Valley, Whitehall entered the District 11 playoffs with a .500 record. The Zephyrs were 5-5 with four of their losses coming against teams that qualified for the Class 6A Subregional. However, one of Whitehall’s victories was an overtime decision on the road over Class 6A finalist Parkland. The Warriors have won seven of its last nine after starting the season with three losses against top-tiered competition. The strength of Whitehall’s schedule has The Rick leaning in that direction. But Delaware Valley has proved me wrong time and time again. So, expect a close game. The winner gets the winner of Imhotep and Roman Catholic.

Zephyrs 31, Warriors 21

 

District 2 Class 4A

No. 2 Valley View (10-2) at No. 1 Crestwood (11-1)

It has been a full three months since Valley View visited Crestwood in Week 1. The Comets came out victorious in a result many pundits didn’t expect. A loss the following week to Dallas evened things out for Crestwood. But since then, the Comets are averaging 51.8 points per game by running the ball down opponents’ throats. The Cougars held Crestwood to 20 in the opener, the second-lowest output by the Comets this season. Valley View has gradually gotten better offensively each week since the Week 1 loss and are firing on all cylinders. The old adage is that you need to be able to run the ball and play defense late in the season to win a championship. And while the Comets have done that almost to perfection the last 10 weeks, the Cougars have done that PLUS thrown it with success. The Rick expects these teams to be bruised and battered and may not be able to tell what they feel when this one is over. Cougars go crazy! The winner gets the winner of Interboro and Bonner-Prendie.

Cougars 29, Comets 28

 

PIAA Class 3A First Round

Neumann-Goretti (7-3) at Scranton Prep (9-3)

Known more as a state basketball powerhouse, Philadelphia’s Neumann-Goretti has established itself as a force on the gridiron as well. The Saints, who play in the Philadelphia Catholic League, defeated Conwell-Egan Catholic in the District 12 title game. CEC had beaten Neumann-Goretti just a few weeks earlier. Scranton Prep comes into the state playoffs on a hot streak. The Cavaliers have won seven of eight games and are a miracle catch away from being winners of eight straight. Prep has overcome the loss of its star player before the season started and has established that it can indeed respond to adversity and also maintain that it is one of the top programs in District 2. The Rick, however, is in basketball mode and believes Ignatian Nation will be joining him next week. The winner gets the winner of Northwestern Lehigh and North Schuylkill.

Saints 27, Cavaliers 22

 

PIAA Class 2A First Round

Executive Education (7-3) v. Lakeland (12-0) at Dunmore HS

Executive Education Academy Charter School is making its first foray into the PIAA playoffs. An independent school, the Raptors biggest win of the season came last week when they beat Catasauqua in the District 11 final, 32-29. Executive Ed wants to throw the ball all over the place. Quarterback Darmel Lopez has thrown for over 1,600 yards with 18 TDs. Three receivers have 20-plus catches and 350-plus yards receiving. Zamier Perkins leads the Raptors in rushing with 303 yards on 61 carries. The one-sided offense should play into the hands of the Chiefs who have the athleticism to defend the pass. Lakeland is somewhat banged up with some stars questionable for Friday’s contest. But The Rick expects the wide-open Chiefs to do as the great Lakeland teams of the past have done – keep it simple and run, run, run. The winner gets the winner of West Catholic at Trinity.

Chiefs 27, Raptors 13

 

PIAA Class 1A First Round

Northern Lehigh (11-1) v. Lackawanna Trail (8-4) at Dunmore HS

This game is a rematch from a Class 2A first round game in 2021 which Northern Lehigh came out victorious. The Bulldogs have not lost a step, losing only to Class 3A powerhouse North Schuylkill this year. Northern Lehigh has played a vaunted schedule, facing three teams with 10 wins and one with nine wins this season. They have defeated District 11 Class 3A finalist Northwestern Lehigh and 3A semifinalist Notre Dame Green Pond, along with Class 2A runner-up Catasauqua. Senior QB Nick Frame has thrown for over 900 yards and is also the Bulldogs top rusher with 825 yards on the season. Lackawanna Trail will have its hands full stopping Frame. But the Lions have played outside the box all season. This game will be closer than most expect. But The Rick thinks the clock finally strikes midnight on Trail’s storybook season. The winner gets the winner of the Windber at Steel-High game.

Bulldogs 27, Lions 20

 

In your neighborhood

Well, maybe The Rick shouldn’t have conceded last week. I actually picked up a game on The Consigliere! The Rick and his friend from the neighborhood, Consigliere Tom Robinson, are now separated by just two games. 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 easily handled The Rick the first two years, but not this year. The Rick held the lead for a week or two and remained within one or two games all year. It’s Week 13 and the schedule features only six games this week. So, it is going to be tough to make up two games on Tom. But you know The Rick is going to do his best picking the winners. Check back next week to see how I did!

And check out The Consigliere’s picks by clicking HERE!

THE RICK SIX

Depends on how many teams win this week will determine if there is a Rick Six in Week 14. Three Small-Six teams have a shot to advance while two in the Big Six can advance. Keep checking back. Crestwood remains the No. 1 Big School and Lakeland remains the No. 1 Small School. Let’s see where they end up next week.

 

THE BIG-SIX

  1. Crestwood (11-1) 1
  2. Valley View (10-2) 2
  3. Delaware Valley (7-5) 5
  4. Dallas (9-3) 3
  5. Hazleton Area (8-3) 4
  6. Scranton (8-4) 6

 

THE SMALL-SIX

  1. Lakeland (12-0) 1
  2. Scranton Prep (9-3) 3
  3. Western Wayne (9-3) 2
  4. Dunmore (8-4) 4
  5. Lackawanna Trail (8-4) 5
  6. Old Forge (7-4) 6