The Rick, Week 3 – 2022
By Rick Notari, BDFN
@TheBigBlueDevil
(1752-483 overall, .786 winning percentage) 

This is the life we choose 

No one asked when the fat kid in the band joined the football team as to why he would want to get himself involved in the sport of football. And no one asked when he switched majors as to why he would want to study for a degree that would land him a job that paid peanuts for covering and making predictions about high school football. Yet this is the life The Rick chose.

Ironic that The Godfather was on Showtime this weekend. But it gave The Rick some perspective on this column and some new ideas as well. Perspective is huge when making prognostications. Especially in Week 2 when the world was turned upside down in Week 1. And even though The Rick got better in Week 2, Week 3 seems to be another toss-up. There are at least seven games on the docket that could go either way. Nonetheless, this is the life The Rick chose.

One positive from Week 2 is that The Rick took a three-game lead on our old friend from the neighborhood, Consigliere Tom Robinson. As you know, we’ll be keeping score in a friendly rivalry with T-Rob for the 2022 season. I picked up two games as Tom struggled to an 12-6 record while The Rick was 14-4.  There will be some room for Tom to make a comeback as The Rick will go out on a limb with some picks this week. This is of course, the life The Rick chose.

Check out The Consigliere’s picks at HERE. Here are The Rick’s picks for Week 3.

 

THE RICK’S PICKS (26-10)

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

North Pocono at Hazleton Area

The biggest matchup of the week sends North Pocono to Hazleton Area. The Trojans hung on for a big win against Western Wayne last week to stay unbeaten, while the Cougars crushed Wallenpaupack to remain without a blemish. The Rick had Hazleton as his top team entering the season and the Cougars remain the top cat through the first two weeks. A win by North Pocono would surely be considered an upset, but the Trojans are looking to take the next step in the development of their program. This could be that step so don’t count them out. This one goes a full four quarters but The Rick thinks Hazleton has just enough to escape with a win.

Cougars 27, Trojans 20

 

The Luca Brasi (Toughest Pick of The Week) 2-0

Old Forge at Western Wayne

It’s been 34 years since The Rick stepped on the football field at the Sharkey Rosetti Complex in what would be my first start as an offensive lineman for Old Forge. Where has the time gone! The Blue Devils return to Western Wayne for the first time in over a decade and fans should get a seat early because this has the makings of a classic. The Wildcats nearly rallied for an epic comeback against rival North Pocono last week and will ride that momentum into this week. Old Forge is back on track after being upset in Week 1 by Dunmore, but the Blue Devils should not expect the normal Suburban Conference foe across the grid on Friday night. This game is going down to the wire, and The Rick never goes against the Family.

Blue Devils 20, Wildcats 15

 

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

Dallas at Williamsport

Williamsport was on the cusp of starting the season with back-to-back losses as it trailed Pittston Area by two TDs last week. But the Millionaires rallied for the victory and establish some momentum heading into this week’s matchup with undefeated Dallas. The Mountaineers have posted two lopsided victories to start the season, dispatching of Abington Heights and upstart Crestwood. The trip to Billtown is a little shorter from the Back Mountain and that should help. Look for this game to be a little closer. The Rick is sticking with his dark horse in the WVC in this one.

Mountaineers 23, Millionaires 20

 

Leave the gun, take the cannoli (No-Brainer Pick of The Week) 2-0

Lake-Lehman at Scranton Prep

The season has not started the way Lake-Lehman had envisioned in 2022. The vision is a nightmare this week as Scranton Prep is the opponent for the Black Knights. The Cavaliers are playing angry after an opening week beat-down by Lakeland, and this week they will be no less angry. LaFesta Italiana was this weekend and there are still some cannoli left over. Ignatian Nation rejoices!

Cavaliers 51, Black Knights 14

 

Going to the mattresses (A Rivalry-type Game) 0-2

Wyoming Area at Crestwood

This might not be your typical rivalry game, but it sure is going to be a Friday night fight as both Wyoming Area and Crestwood are coming off Week 2 losses after big wins in Week 1. The Warriors dispatched of Tunkhannock by rushing for over 500 yards in the opener, but they laid an egg in a home loss at The Jake to longtime LFC cellar dweller Honesdale. The Comets made a statement in Week 1 when they beat Valley View at home to wake up the echoes but then were pushed around by Dallas last week in a three-touchdown loss. Both these teams have something to prove. The loser has a lot of work to do to rectify its season.

Comets 26, Warriors 23

 

I ain’t no bandleader (Give Some Respect) 1-1

Susquehanna at Dunmore

Dunmore has opened the season splitting two tough games on the road. The Bucks may have had one of the tougher schedules in District 2 through the first two weeks. On the opposite side, Susquehanna is unbeaten and had two of the easier opponents on its slate to open play. Nonetheless, both the Bucks and the Sabers have impressed and deserve some respect from area pundits and fans. The early season has shown that both can be playoff teams and maybe even make some noise in D2 Class 2A. Take Dunmore in this one. The Rick likes his deer meat.

Bucks 31, Sabers 19

 

Fredo, You broke my heart (Upset Special) 1-1

West Scranton at Scranton

Break up the Scranton High Knights. The Garnett and Gold has opened the season with two victories against solid opponents and have shown some intestinal fortitude along the way. But this is The Bell Game after all, and you can throw records out the window, right? West Scranton has already won rivalry game. Can they win two? It was rough sledding for rookie head coach Jake Manetti and his Invaders last week against Prep. It’s a clean slate this week. You know what the call is going to be here. The Invaders say, IT WAS YOU FREDO! The Rick picks the #WINvaders in the upset!

Invaders 24, Scranton 22

 

Time to settle all Family business (18-4)

Berwick over Abington Heights

Downingtown East over Delaware Valley

Valley View over Honesdale

Wilkes-Barre Area over Wallenpaupack

Carbondale over Hanover Area

Mid Valley over Holy Cross

Lakeland over Riverside

Lackawanna Trail over Nanticoke

Wyoming Valley West over Pittston Area

Tunkhannock over Holy Redeemer

 

THE RICK SIX

Some movement this week in the Big Six portion of the The Rick’s Six. Some surprises, some upsets, some comebacks. 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. Hazleton Area (2-0) 1
  2. Dallas (2-0) 3
  3. Delaware Valley (0-2) 2
  4. North Pocono (2-0) 6
  5. Crestwood (1-1) 4
  6. Valley View (1-1) NR

Dropped Out: Wyoming Area (1-1) 5

 

THE SMALL-SIX

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

Just Missed Out: Susquehanna (2-0)