The Rick, Week 11 – 2023
By Rick Notari, BDFN
@TheBigBlueDevil
(2026-562 overall, .782 winning percentage)

 August and everything after….

Way back in August, maybe even July, The Rick sat down, looked at the upcoming high school football schedule, and made my predictions on the teams that would win each game and the teams that would bring home championship hardware. When the halfway point of the season came, I once again looked at the schedule and re-evaluated some of my predictions.

The results? Some good, some bad.

Overall, I correctly prognosticated the season results of six of the 34 schedules in the preseason. I was right on the mark on North Pocono, Old Forge, Riverside, Williamsport, Valley West, and Lake-Lehman. That number rose to 21 when I re-evaluated prior to Week 6. Eleven of the schedules, I was within one game in my predictions. Only Crestwood and West Scranton had records that The Rick was way off on predicting.

The Rick also predicted over/under for each team in the pre-season and at the halfway mark. The records finished at 24-6-3 for the pre-season, and 26-4-3 at the halfway mark. The “3” were three pushes where the teams (Dunmore, Susquehanna, and Nanticoke) won the number of games the O/U was set at.

As for the divisions, The Rick picked Delaware Valley, Dunmore, and Riverside in the LFC Preseason. The Warriors and Bucks won. The Vikings finished second to Lackawanna Trail – who The Rick picked in a Week 6 re-evaluation. In the WVC, The Rick picked Crestwood and Wyoming Area in the preseason, the adjusted to undefeated Dallas at the halfway mark.

In the week-to-week picks, The Rick finished 131-23 for about an 85 percent winning percentage. Once again, The Cannoli Game (10-0) had the best record, followed by The Mattresses Game (9-2) and The Bandleader Game (8-2).

Here are the picks for Week 11, the opening week of the District 2 playoffs.

 

THE RICK’S PICKS (131-23)

District 2-4-11 Class 6A Subregional

No. 8 Williamsport (5-5) at No. 1 Parkland (10-0)

No. 7 Wilkes-Barre Area (6-4) at No. 2 Nazareth (9-1)

There are two teams from the Wyoming Valley Conference in the Subregional Playoffs. Wilkes-Barre Area is the District 2 Champion, and Williamsport are the de facto District 4 Champion. Both have tough assignments in the opening round. The Millionaires are the No. 8 seed and will face top seed and undefeated Parkland in the Lehigh Valley this week. The Trojans are the No. 2 ranked team in Class 6A by PennLive.com. It will be an uphill battle for Williamsport. The Wolfpack travel to face second-seeded Nazareth. The Blue Eagles are the No. 9 team in the state in Class 6A and their only loss was to Parkland, 31-24. WBA has been playing much better the second half of the season and will be put to the test in this one.

Trojans 34, Millionaires 12

Blue Eagles 31, Wolfpack 14

 

District 2 Class 5A

No. 4 Pittston Area (5-5) at No. 1 Delaware Valley (7-3)

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

Delaware Valley is on a roll. They have won seven straight and turned back the top two challengers in LFC 1 on the road. It is going to be tough to pick against the Warriors the next few weeks. Pittston Area has won three of four and played tough against Wyoming Area last week. But the Patriots play a much weaker schedule in WVC 2. It’s a tough reward for the young PA team, but Welcome to Milford. The other D2 Class 5A semifinal is a little more interesting. Abington Heights has lost three of five after starting 4-1. But the Comets won at Scranton in Week 8. The Knights also started 4-1 but have really slipped in the second half of the season. But Scranton’s opponents during that stretch were a combined 39-11. It’s a tough one for The Rick to pick, but I think I need to stick with the home team.

Warriors 44, Patriots 14

Comets 24, Knights 22

 

District 2 Class 4A

No. 8 Wallenpaupack (2-8) at No. 1 Dallas (10-0)

No. 7 Berwick (3-7) at No. 2 Valley View (8-2)

No. 6 North Pocono (4-6) at No. 3 Wyoming Area (9-1)

No. 5 Nanticoke (6-4) at No. 4 Crestwood (5-5)

The only three-week playoff in District 2, the Class 4A bracket has three legitimate contenders to win the crown. The top three seeds, Dallas, Valley View, and Wyoming Area are so closely ranked and rated, it will be a shame that the two teams that don’t make it, do not get a shot at the PIAA State Playoffs. But they need to take care of business this week first. Wallenpaupack played the Mountaineers tough for a half when they played in Week 8 on the turf at The Lake. But the Buckhorns now must make that trip to the Back Mountain. A slow start by them won’t be to their benefit. Now it gets interesting. The Cougars and Warriors don’t exactly have pushovers in front of them. Sure, Berwick and North Pocono are not having the type of seasons they expect to have every year, but the Dawgs and Trojans do have some wins on their resumes that show they can play with quality teams. The fourth quarterfinal has Nanticoke traveling to Mountaintop to take on Crestwood despite the Trojans having the better record. But that is because, Nanticoke’s best win is against Pittston Area. The combined record of their other five wins is 11-39.

Mountaineers 41, Buckhorns 0

Cougars 27, Dawgs 20

Warriors 34, Trojans (NP) 18

Comets 30, Trojans (GNA) 14

 

District 2 Class 3A

No. 4 Hanover Area (3-7) at No. 1 Scranton Prep (9-1)

No. 3 Lake-Lehman (2-8) at No. 2 Western Wayne (7-3)

The Rick is going to take some heat for the next words I type. But someone has to say it. Hanover Area and Lake-Lehman do not belong in the District 2 playoffs. Their five combined victories are against teams that have a combined seven wins. I get it. It’s an extra game for the kids, another opportunity to have a week of practice to build for the future. And hey, you never know what can happen. Well, The Rick knows exactly what is going to happen. Two non-competitive games. Scranton Prep and Western Wayne are two VERY GOOD football teams. Prep may be the best team in the entire district. But here we are. There are typically stipulations in the District 2 rules that claim the District 2 Committee can make decisions to change seedings if they see fit. Maybe that stipulation went out the window when the power ranking was adopted. The Rick doesn’t know. But D2 should take the off-season to look hard at the football playoffs and maybe determine a team must have a .500 record or be within a game of .500 to participate. We keep hearing about safety and fairness year after year. This is a good place to look.

Cavaliers 50, Hawkeyes 0

Wildcats 49, Black-Knights 6

 

 

District 2 Class 2A

No. 4 Susquehanna (5-5) at No. 1 Dunmore (8-2)

No. 3 Riverside (7-3) at No. 2 Mid Valley (7-3)

The Rick is torn in Class 2A. One look at the bracket and a novice would think that there are three teams here that could win the title. The Rick is one of those novices. Haha. The more I try to rationalize that Mid Valley and Riverside both have legitimate shots at overthrowing the big, bad Dunmore Bucks, the more my mind slaps me back into reality. What is The Rick thinking! Well, I am not going to make the pick this week on a champion. Let’s see how Week 11 transpires. I am picking one upset if you will call it that. The Spartans beat the Vikings in Taylor earlier this year after Riverside’s QB went out with an injury. The Vikes signal-caller is back – as is their middle linebacker and tailback. Mid Valley is facing some injury problems of their own. So, The Rick expects a role-reversal. Will I pick another upset next week? Tune in to find out. Same Rick Time. Same Rick Channel.

Bucks 47, Sabers 13

Vikings 28, Spartans 24

 

District 2 Class 1A

No. 2 Old Forge (5-5) at No. 1 Lackawanna Trail (10-0)

This is a matchup that has been set before the season started. Lackawanna Trail and Old Forge are the only two Class 1A teams in D2. The Lions won the regular season matchup, 41-7, on their way to an undefeated season and a LFC 3 championship. A victory in the D2 Final and Trail will have cemented its takeover of small school football in NEPA. The Lions are currently ranked No. 2 in the stats according to PennLive.com. The Blue Devils have struggled on offense for most of the season and if they want to have an opportunity for an upset, they are going to have to put up some points because the Lions’ run game has been unstoppable this season.

Lions 44, Blue Devils 13

 

Time to settle all Family Business (83-21)

EC 2A/1A: Pen Argyl over Mahanoy Area

EC 3A: Berks Catholic over Hamburg

EC 4A: Shamokin over Fleetwood

EC 6A/5A: Governor Mifflin over Pleasant Valley

 

THE RICK-SIX

The Rick-Six will continue until the majority of teams have been eliminated. Not much movement from last week to this week. You all know who the best teams are. Keep checking here to find out who The Rick thinks the best team is when the season ends.

THE BIG-SIX

  1. Delaware Valley (7-3) 1
  2. Dallas (10-0) 2
  3. Valley View (8-2) 3
  4. Wyoming Area (9-1) 4
  5. Wilkes-Barre Area (6-4) 6
  6. Abington Heights (5-5) 5

Missed Out: Williamsport (5-5) NR

 

THE SMALL-SIX

  1. Lackawanna Trail (10-0) 1
  2. Scranton Prep (9-1) 2
  3. Dunmore (8-2) 3
  4. Western Wayne (7-3) 4
  5. Riverside (7-3) 5
  6. Mid Valley (7-3) 6

Locked Out: Old Forge (5-5) NR

 

DISTRICT 2 POWER RANKINGS

Here are the Final District 2 Week 10 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 (10-0) .767
  2. Dallas (10-0) .746
  3. Delaware Valley (7-3) .741
  4. Prep (9-1) .709
  5. Valley View (8-2) .701
  6. Wyoming Area (9-1) .699
  7. Dunmore (8-2) .651
  8. Abington Heights (6-4) .639
  9. Wilkes-Barre Area (6-4) .601
  10. Mid Valley (7-3) .572

 

THE RICK’S HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFF (Fictional)

This is the final week for the fictional matchup of the High School Football Playoff. Power rankings are only calculated during the regular season, so these numbers will not change in the coming week. It’s been fun keeping track of it. I think there are some interesting matchups that we don’t always see. But for the most part, the teams remain the same.

 

Big-School

No. 8 Crestwood (.554) at No. 1 Dallas (.746)

No. 7 Scranton (.560) at No. 2 Delaware Valley (.741)

No. 6 Wilkes-Barre Area (.601) at No. 3 Valley View (.701)

No. 5 Abington Heights (.639) at No. 4 Wyoming Area (.699)

 

Small-School

No. 8 Susquehanna (.417) at No. 1 Lackawanna Trail (.767)

No. 7 Old Forge (.469) at No. 2 Scranton Prep (.709)

No. 6 Riverside (.545) at No. 3 Dunmore (.651)

No. 5 Western Wayne (.562) at No. 4 Mid Valley (.572)