The Rick, Week 7 – 2022
By Rick Notari, BDFN
@TheBigBlueDevil
(1810-496 overall, .784 winning percentage)

Dallas delivers

Wow! Was The Rick ever more wrong about a pick than I was last week. The Masculine Child game was our featured game with undefeated Dallas facing unbeaten Hazleton Area with The Rick selecting the Cougars to take home victory. The only thing Hazleton Area took home was a shellacking by the Mountaineers.

Now The Rick isn’t always that way off on games, but it happened TWICE last week. I also had Wilkes-Barre Area over Crestwood, but the Comets proved once again that they belong in the conversation for the WVC-1 and District 2 Class 4A titles. Boy is that Class 4A tournament going to be a doozy!

Dallas. Crestwood. Valley View. Berwick.

Let’s take a look at current matchups for the first round of the playoffs:

Current Week 11 Playoff Matchups

6A: No. 8 Wilkes-Barre at No. 1 Emmaus; No. 5 Nazareth at No. 4 Hazleton Area

(Subregional tournament with D4 and D11)

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

4A: No. 8 Nanticoke at No. 1 Dallas; No. 7 North Pocono at No. 2 Crestwood;

No. 6 Honesdale at No. 3 Valley View; No. 5 Berwick at No. 4 Wyoming Area

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

Add another surprise to The Rick’s Pick’s from last week. I once again MAINTAINED my lead on our friend from the neighborhood, Consigliere Tom Robinson. 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. This week both The Rick and The Tom posted 15-3 records. There is a good chance that two-game lead changes as The Rick picked some curious outcomes this week. The Rick still leads by two games. Let’s see if I can extend it or Tom catches up.

Check out The Consigliere’s picks HERE! Here are The Rick’s picks for Week 7:

 

THE RICK’S PICKS (84-23)

May their first child be a masculine child (The Big Boys) 3-3

Crestwood at Hazleton Area

Hazleton Area is back in the featured game for the second straight week. The Cougars disappointed The Rick last week, but I am sure they disappointed themselves more. Crestwood is on a roll since losing to Dallas in Week 2 and upset The Rick last week with a victory over Wilkes-Barre Area. The Rick needs to go with the hot hand and what better choice could The Rick make than a celestial entity screaming across the sky!

Comets 24, Cougars 16

 

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

Valley View at Scranton

The Rick has gone back and forth with this pick all week. I feel like I am just waiting for the shoe to drop on undefeated Scranton. But The Rick gives credit where credit is due, and the Knights are indeed one of the top five teams in the district in 2022. The Valley View faithful will not be too happy, but a closer than expected win last week kinds of cemented this pick for The Rick. The Cougars will be crazy, but it’s Knight-time in the Electric City on Friday.

Knights 26, Cougars 21

 

Don’t ask me about my business (No Rhyme or Reason) 5-1

North Pocono at Wallenpaupack

North Pocono has fallen off the deep end the last few weeks. And that isn’t good when you are planning a trip to the lake. But the Trojans will be guarded as they stand on the shore side of Wallenpaupack’s Buckhorn Stadium. The Rick isn’t ready to give up on North Pocono just yet. The Trojans get right with a trip to the lake.

Trojans 7, Buckhorns 6

 

Leave the gun, take the cannoli (No-Brainer Pick of The Week) 6-0

Pittston Area at Lake-Lehman

Don’t look now, but here comes Pittston Area. The Patriots are getting better each week and could be one of the playoff surprises come the post-season. Lake-Lehman is in rebuilding mode and has won two of three. Still, the Black Knights aren’t ready to beat Pittston Area. The Rick likes the Patriots to come out of the Black Hole in the Back Mountain – convincingly.

Patriots 44, Black Knights 12

 

Going to the mattresses (A Rivalry-type Game) 3-3

Dallas at Berwick

Berwick has been an interesting team all season. Just when you think the Dawgs are ready to bust out, the fall flat. Their three wins have come against losing teams while their three losses have come against winning teams. Dallas is a winning team – and maybe the best team in the district. The Mountaineers are coming off a convincing win last week and may not be “up” for its trip to Crispin Field. The Rick still likes Dallas, but in a Dawg-fight.

Mountaineers 24, Dawgs 20

 

I ain’t no bandleader (Give Some Respect) 4-2

Riverside at Lackawanna Trail

Well, well, well, look who’s making news on the gridiron. Riverside is on the verge of a comeback. The Vikings offense is utilizing all its playmakers while its defense is doing its job. Riverside is even running the ball well. It may be time to give the Vikings some respect. That respect, however, will need to be earned this Friday when Riverside travels to Tunnel Hill to take on Lackawanna Trail. The Lions are looking for some respect as well, losing three straight after opening the season 3-0. The game will be the turning point of the season for both teams. The Rick thinks its Riverside that comes out ahead.

Vikings 37, Lions 23

 

Fredo, You broke my heart (Upset Special) 4-2

Scranton Prep at Abington Heights

This game could have been featured in three or four of our spots this week. But The Rick said, NO! It’s going in the final spot, the spot where Abington Heights will say, IT WAS YOU FREDO! The Comets are ready to break some hearts. They almost did it last week at Valley View. This week they will do it at home against their bitter rival Scranton Prep. Yes, The Rick knows that the Cavaliers won at Delaware Valley two weeks ago. But there is something about taking your team into Camelot and marching into the Pit that is uneasy. Sorry Ignatian Nation, The Rick is scaling new heights!

Comets 21, Cavaliers 20

 

Time to settle all Family business (56-9)

Delaware Valley over Wilkes-Barre

Western Wayne over Mid Valley

Carbondale Area over Holy Cross

Lakeland over Dunmore

Montrose over Hanover Area

Old Forge over Susquehanna

Williamsport over Wyoming Valley West

Wyoming Area over Holy Redeemer

Nanticoke over Tunkhannock

West Scranton over Honesdale

 

THE RICK SIX

Another huge shakeup in the Big Six as both Dallas and Crestwood produced stunning, yet dominant, victories over former No. 1 Hazleton Area and No. 6 Wilkes-Barre Area, respectively. For their victories, the Mountaineers and Comets move up to the No. 1 and No. 2 spots while the Cougars fall all the way to No. 5. Valley View bumps up a spot to No. 4. In the Small Six, we have a new contestant in the mix. Riverside has run off two straight impressive wins and joins the club at No. 6. Lackawanna Trail dropped out after losing to No. 5 Old Forge.

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. Dallas (6-0) 2
  2. Crestwood (5-1) 4
  3. Scranton (6-0) 3
  4. Valley View (5-1) 5
  5. Hazleton Area (5-1) 1
  6. Wilkes-Barre Area (3-3) 6

Just missed out: Berwick (3-4)

 

THE SMALL-SIX

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

Dropped Out: Lackawanna Trail (3-3) 6