The Rick, Week 13 – 2023
By Rick Notari, BDFN
(2047-568 overall, .782 winning percentage)
There will be at least one District 2 team practicing on Thanksgiving next week. The Rick is hoping for five. For the first time since Thanksgiving games have been done away with locally, District 2 has a legitimate shot of five teams advancing to the last weekend in November. And that’s no turkey.
The one guaranteed team is the winner of Valley View and Dallas. The Cougars or Mountaineers will be at their stadiums on Thanksgiving morning enjoying a holiday experience that few under the age of 55 have been able to partake in. Delaware Valley, Scranton Prep, Dunmore, and Lackawanna Trail all hope to join their Class 4A participants in the holiday cheer. It is an exciting time for all the players and coaches still left on the gridiron. Let’s home we get a few more weeks of football season in District 2.
Here are the picks for Week 13
THE RICK’S PICKS (152-29)
PIAA Class 5A
Whitehall (8-4) at Delaware Valley (9-3)
It is time to see if the three-game gauntlet Delaware Valley started the season with pays off. The Warriors host Whitehall, the District 11 champion, who proved in the final that Lehigh Valley football is much stronger than that played in the Poconos. The Zephyrs are winners of four straight after losing three straight in the middle of the season. Quarterback Trey Dogmanits has thrown for 1,913 yards and 19 touchdowns this year. During Whitehall’s four-game winning streak, he has thrown for 683 yards and nine TDs. For his career, Dogmanits has 4,745 yards and 47 TDs. The Zephyrs don’t have a 1,000-yard runner, but senior Dalton Wickel has run for 756 yards and 13 TDs. Junior Carter Troxel has 484 yards and five TDs on the ground. Receivers Jake Kocher and Braden Bashore have combined for 90 catches, 1,186 yards and 12 scores. DV began its season with three straight losses before running wild through District 2 for nine consecutive victories. Mid-season, The Rick didn’t think those games would factor much in the post season. But I have changed my mind. The early-season competition will help the Warriors in this game. The winner faces the winner of the District 12 championship between Imhotep Charter (11-0) and Roman Catholic (8-2). Imhotep has seven shut outs this season and is averaging 46 points per game.
Warriors 34, Zephyrs 28
District 2 Class 4A
No. 2 Valley View (10-2) at No. 1 Dallas (12-0)
The Outfit from Archbald travels to face the Bunch from the Back Mountain – and if you’re not up with social media – Valley View visits Dallas for the District 2 Class 4A title. The Mountaineers are ranked No. 7 in the state by PennLive.com. The winner faces either District 1 champ Pope John Paul (12-0) or District 12 champ Bonner-Prendie (8-2) in the PIAA Elite 8. The Mountaineers are undefeated and have only been challenged once in the past two months, a 14-7 win over Wilkes-Barre Area in Week 9. Take away last week’s fourth quarter when Nanticoke scored 16 points against the Mounts 2s and 3s, Dallas is giving up less than seven points per game during the last eight weeks. Valley View has won two straight playoff games after losing two of three to end the season after starting 7-0. So, any word of the Cougars demise is greatly exaggerated. Plus, those two losses came to Delaware Valley and Scranton Prep – both of whom are still playing. Analyzing the schedules of both teams, The Rick has determined that Valley View has clearly had the tougher path to the title game. The combined record of the Mountaineers opponents is 35-73 while the Cougars opponents are 54-58. That is staggering. Expect a good game. But maybe expect an outcome to favor The Outfit.
Cougars 18, Mountaineers 15
PIAA Class 3A
Scranton Prep (11-1) v. Neumann-Goretti (10-1) at Northern Lehigh
It’s hard to imagine an 11-win team being under the radar, but that is exactly what Scranton Prep is. A local power for the past decade or so, the Cavaliers continue to be a dominating force in the regular season. This year may just be the year they make a run. The face Neumann-Goretti, a familiar name to basketball fans in our area, and another Philadelphia Catholic League powerhouse. The Saints won the District 12 title by forfeit and haven’t played in two weeks. Their only loss was in Week 1 when they lost to Elder (OH), 35-14. They have won 10 straight, and their best win is a 6-0 victory over Bonner-Prendie. The winner faces the winner of the District 11 championship between unbeatens Palmerton (12-0) and Northwestern (12-0). The Rick has a feeling about this one. Not sure if I had too much Gabbagool last night, or if I finally accept the fact that The Prep is just that good.
Cavaliers 27, Saints 23
PIAA Class 2A
Dunmore (10-2) v. Williams Valley (10-2) at Schuylkill Haven HS
Dunmore may have the toughest opponent to stop of all the District 2 teams. They may also have the easiest game plan to do it. The Rick realizes no team at this point of the season is a one-man show, but if you are purely looking at stats, then the Bucks gameplan to victory for this week is to stop Williams Valley’s Alex Achenbach. Achenbach has been a one-man wrecking crew for the Vikings this year. The senior running back has rushed for 2,867 yards and 32 touchdowns for Williams Valley. Not only is he closing in on 3,000 yards for the season, but he is also within 7,000 yards for his career. He is no one-year wonder. Achenbach will also line up at QB. He has only completed 11 passes, but eight of those are for TDs. He also has 14 receptions for 191 yards. Sophomore Brady Shomper has also taken reps at QB and has completed 23 of 52 passes for 414 yards and seven TDs. He also has five TDs on the ground. Junior Kian Krzyanowski is the leading pass catcher for the Vikings with 12 receptions for 389 yards and nine touchdowns. It’s not going to be easy, but The Rick thinks the Bucks are up to the task. The winner faces either District 3 champ Camp Hill (7-5) or West Catholic (1-9). Yes. You read that right. West Catholic, a perennial Philadelphia and state power, is the District 12 representative for the Class 2A Subregional despite being 0-9. The subregional was made up of four teams from District 1 and District 3. The Burrs beat District 1 rep Bristol, 48-0, last week. They have lost to Scranton Prep’s opponent, 32-0, and Class 1A power Steel-High, 29-22, this season.
Bucks 25, Vikings 19
PIAA Class 1A First Round
Lackawanna Trail (12-0) v. Minersville (11-1) at Blue Mountain HS
Lackawanna Trail goes on the road to take on District 11 champ Minersville, less than two miles from where Dunmore will play. There should be a lot of happy people traveling 81 North on Friday night. The Lions three-headed monster running game has dominated all season, to the point that the pass is rarely used. But don’t be fooled, Trail has the ability and the athletes to throw the ball down the field when needed. The Battlin’ Miners feature sophomore quarterback Dante Carr, a Division 1 prospect. Carr has thrown for over 1,100 yards and 14 TDs. He has also added 610 yards on the ground with 10 scores. But the Minersville offense revolves around senior running back Luke Stevenosky who has 2,358 yards rushing and 33 touchdowns on 254 carries. No other runner on the team has over nine carries or over 21 yards. Lorenzo Yourey is Carr’s top target with 15 catches for 350 yards and seven TDs. Paiton Lapoint has 19 catches for 308 yards and four scores, and Logan Hutsko has 13 catches for 280 yards and two TDs. The Miners’ two losses are to D11 Class 2A Champ Williams Valley in overtime in Week 4 and D11 Class 2A runner-up Schuylkill Haven in Week 9. Four of their wins are by one score or less. Minersville played on the turf at Blue Mountain last week and that should give them less to worry about on game day. But the Lions are seasoned when it comes to the state playoffs. The winner faces either District 5 champ Northern Bedford (12-0) or District 3 champ Steel-High (12-0). The Rollers are ranked No. 1 by PennLive.com and the favorites to win the title. The Rick expects a matchup of state powers next week.
Lions 28, Battlin’ Miners 19
Time to settle all Family Business (84-23)
PIAA 1A: Steel High over Northern Bedford
PIAA 2A: West Catholic over Camp Hill
PIAA 3A: Palmerton over Northwestern
PIAA 4A: Pope John Paul over Bonner
PIAA 5A: Imhotep over Roman Catholic
District 2 has six teams playing in Week 13 and all six are at the top of the Big-Six and Small-Six. We could have another two weeks or more of this poll. Keep an eye out, there could be some movement after this week. The Rick-Six will continue until the majority of teams have been eliminated.
- Delaware Valley (9-3) 1
- Dallas (12-0) 2
- Valley View (10-2) 3
- Wyoming Area (10-2) 4
- Abington Heights (7-5) 5
- Wilkes-Barre Area (6-5) 6
- Lackawanna Trail (12-0) 1
- Scranton Prep (11-1) 2
- Dunmore (10-2) 3
- Western Wayne (8-4) 4
- Riverside (8-4) 5
- Mid Valley (7-4) 6