The Rick, Week 10 – 2023
By Rick Notari, BDFN
@TheBigBlueDevil
(2011-560 overall, .782 winning percentage)

 Away from ‘The Family’

It has been a strange season for The Rick.

The Family isn’t having the normal dominating season on the gridiron. The Rick missed THE Rivalry Game last week to attend a real family wedding. And, I will miss another game this week for a pilgrimage to The Mecca of College Football in South Bend, IN. I haven’t missed back-to-back Old Forge football games maybe ever! But don’t worry listeners, Dean Corwin and Tony DiMattia will give you all the action (from start to finish) this week – technical difficulties aside.

I figured last week had to be the first Old Forge-Riverside football game The Rick missed in at least 40 years. In 1983, The Rick was in seventh grade. The Blue Devils beat the winless Vikings, 35-6, in the season finale. Reading the recap of the game at newspapers.com, I think I was probably at that game. I know I was there in 1984 when Chris Jones hit Craig Carey for a touchdown pass, late in the 7-0 Old Forge victory, and I know I was there in 1985 because I was still in the band and remembering telling my dad after Riverside beat us 21-8 on a Saturday afternoon in Taylor, that I wanted to play football the following year.

The Rick should have stayed in the band.

Despite getting to visit college football’s Holy Land this weekend, I am going to miss seeing my longtime friend, Carbondale coach Jeff Arthur, who The Rick coached freshman football against in the mid-90s. Much like this year, the Chargers had a work-horse freshman tailback who Coach Arthur loved to give the football to. The game went down to the wire, and let’s just say, The Rick had time on his side in picking up the victory.

Here are the picks for Week 10:

THE RICK’S PICKS (116-21)

May their first child be a masculine child (The Big Boys) 6-3

Delaware Valley at Abington Heights

Is there a better team in District 2 right now other than Delaware Valley? Sure, the two unbeatens (Dallas and Lackawanna Trail) have their say, as do the once-beatens (Scranton Prep, Wyoming Area, and Valley View). But the Warriors have won six straight against D2 opponents. Abington Heights is on the comeback trail. The Comets are guaranteed a winning season regardless of the outcome this week. Their three losses have come to teams that are a combined 25-2. After this week, their losses will be against teams with a 32-5 record.

Warriors 28, Comets 14

 

The Luca Brasi (Toughest Pick of The Week) 4-5

Valley View at Scranton Prep

The Valley View and Scranton Prep records mirror each other. Both the Cougars and Cavaliers are 8-1. Both lost to Delaware Valley. Both would love to play Delaware Valley again. Unfortunately, that won’t happen. But they will play each other this week and one will be able to hold bragging rights for a year. This game has been a battle the past few seasons, and this year’s contest will be no different. Expect an old-school feel with a new-school philosophy. This game will be won in the trenches where all the Luca Brasis line up. The tough guys.

Cougars 14, Cavaliers 13

 

Don’t ask me about my business (No Rhyme or Reason) 4-5

Berwick at Hazleton Area

While both these teams are 2-7, Berwick is playing for a playoff spot while Hazleton Area is playing for pride. Still, the Bulldogs are not a team the top teams in the 4A classification want to see in the first round. There are always “dangerous” teams come playoff time, and maybe, just maybe, Berwick could be one of them. We will see how they perform this weekend.

Dawgs 24, Cougars 21

 

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

Riverside at Holy Cross

Riverside is on the cusp of one of its most successful seasons in years. Maybe even a decade. And after watching film from last week’s win over Old Forge, the Vikings are a perfect selection for the Cannoli Game this week. It’s sure to be a stat-padder on Saturday in Dunmore against Holy Cross.

Vikings 67, Crusaders 6

 

Going to the mattresses (A Rivalry-type Game) 7-2

Pittston Area at Wyoming Area

The Battle for the Bridge takes place this year at The Jake and has major playoff implications for probably the first time in a while. A young Pittston Area team has had a successful season to date. But the Patriots have not beaten a team with a winning record. Should they beat Wyoming Area, the Patriots could guarantee at least a three-seed in the D2 Class 5A playoffs and avoid Delaware Valley in the opening round. The Warriors are coming off their first loss, a tough loss to state power Southern Columbia. But they are the better team in this matchup. And Wyoming Area will need to bounce back to give themselves a chance for the No. 2 seed in the Class 4A playoffs and the opportunity to host the semifinal instead of traveling in Week 12.

Warriors 28, Patriots 14

 

Dallas at Lake-Lehman

There is another rivalry game in the WVC this week, Dallas travels to Lake-Lehman in the annual Old Shoe Game. Typically, we say to throw the records out the window in a rivalry game, but this game is the definition of this. There have been years when the team with an ugly record beats the team with the better record in this one. And looking at the records in this one, the Black Knights hope this is one of those years. Lake-Lehman will play in the post-season in Class 3A, but the Mountaineers are the top seed in Class 4A at this point of the season and wish to remain that way. That will be the real motivation for Dallas in this one.

Mountaineers 35, Black Knights 14

 

I ain’t no bandleader (Give Some Respect) 7-2

Wilkes-Barre Area at Valley West

Wilkes-Barre Area has played well of late. After a slow start, the Wolfpack have put together five solid wins and some strong play in its four losses. A few bounces here or there and WBA could easily be one of the top teams record wise in District 2. This week they take on Valley West, and on paper, it is a no contest. But this is a newer rivalry, and we all know how rivalries can play out. Still, a win here and the Wolfpack earns the respect of not just another .500 team that should be better. A statement win from WBA gives them some momentum and marks them as one of the better teams in the WVC.

Wolfpack 42, Spartans 21

 

Fredo, You broke my heart (Upset Special) 3-6

Crestwood at North Pocono

On paper, this game looks like it could be a cigar game. Crestwood has won five out of six games after starting 0-3. Of course, those three games were against Valley View (8-1), Dallas (9-0) and Wyoming Area (8-1). North Pocono has struggled some this season. The Trojans have only three wins. But this is where The Rick’s analytics step in and the odds of the favorite mean nothing. The Trojans say, IT WAS YOU FREDO!

Trojans 21, Comets 17

 

Time to settle all Family Business (75-20)

Scranton over Wallenpaupack

Dunmore over West Scranton

Holy Redeemer over Montrose

Williamsport over Tunkhannock

Trail over Susquehanna

Mid Valley over Lakeland

Nanticoke over Hanover Area

Old Forge over Carbondale

Western Wayne over Honesdale

 

THE RICK-SIX

The Small-Six has not changed and probably will not change for next week unless there is a major upset. The Big-Six on the other hand seemingly change every week, and this week is no different. The top two teams stayed the same, but Valley View and Wyoming Area switched spots and Abington Heights and Wilkes-Barre Area switched spots as well. Next week they could end up switching back! Don’t forget, included in the list are each team’s regular season record and where they were ranked last week.

 

THE BIG-SIX

  1. Delaware Valley (6-3) 1
  2. Dallas (9-0) 2
  3. Valley View (8-1) 4
  4. Wyoming Area (8-1) 3
  5. Abington Heights (6-3) 6
  6. Wilkes-Barre Area (5-4) 5

Missed Out: Williamsport (4-5) NR

 

THE SMALL-SIX

  1. Lackawanna Trail (9-0) 1
  2. Scranton Prep (8-1) 2
  3. Dunmore (7-2) 3
  4. Western Wayne (6-3) 4
  5. Riverside (6-3) 5
  6. Mid Valley (6-3) 6

Locked Out: Old Forge (4-5) NR

 

DISTRICT 2 POWER RANKINGS

Here are the District 2 Week 9 Power Rankings according to the number assigned to them by the formula designed by District 2 to seed teams for the playoffs. Here is the Top 10 overall, regardless of class, according to their D2 power ranking:

 

  1. Trail (9-0) .763
  2. Dallas (9-0) .756
  3. Valley View (8-1) .735
  4. Delaware Valley (6-3) .722
  5. Wyoming Area (8-1) .689
  6. Prep (8-1) .683
  7. Abington Heights (6-3) .660
  8. Dunmore (7-2) .643
  9. Crestwood (5-4) .591
  10. Wilkes-Barre Area (5-4) .589

 

D2 PLAYOFF MATCHUPS (as of today)

6A: No. 8 Williamsport (4-5) at No. 1 Parkland (9-0)

       No. 6 Wilkes-Barre Area (5-4) at No. 3 Northampton (8-1)

 

5A: No. 4 Pittston Area (5-4) at No. 1 Delaware Valley (6-3)

No. 3 Scranton High (4-5) at No. 2 Abington Heights (6-3)

 

4A: No. 8 Wallenpaupack (2-7) at No. 1 Dallas (9-0)

No. 7 Berwick (2-7) at No. 2 Valley View (8-1)

No. 6 North Pocono (3-6) at No. 3 Wyoming Area (8-1)

No. 5 Nanticoke (5-4) at No. 4 Crestwood (5-4)

 

3A: No. 4 Hanover Area (3-6) at No. 1 Scranton Prep (8-1)

No. 3 Lake-Lehman (2-7) at No. 2 Western Wayne (6-3)

 

2A: No. 4 Susquehanna (5-4) at No. 1 Dunmore (7-2)

No. 3 Riverside (6-3) at No. 2 Mid Valley (6-3)

 

1A: No. 2 Old Forge (4-5) at No. 1 Lackawanna Trail (9-0)

 

THE RICK’S HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFF (Fictional)

Big-School

No. 8 Scranton (.545) at No. 1 Dallas (.756)

No. 7 Wilkes-Barre (.589) at No. 2 Valley View (.735)

No. 6 Crestwood (.591) at No. 3 Delaware Valley (.722)

No. 5 Abington Heights (.660) at No. 4 Wyoming Area (.689)

 

Small-School

No. 8 Susquehanna (.419) at No. 1 Lackawanna Trail (.763)

No. 7 Old Forge (.449) at No. 2 Scranton Prep (.683)

No. 6 Riverside (.527) at No. 3 Dunmore (.643)

No. 5 Western Wayne (.542) at No. 4 Mid Valley (.570)