The Rick, Week 2 – 2023
By Rick Notari, BDFN
@TheBigBlueDevil
(1907-525 overall, .785 winning percentage) 

The Jump

The Rick is starting to refer to Week 2 as “The Jump.” This is the week to sort out the good, the bad and the mediocre. It is the week teams can jump from one tier to the other and show us how their respective seasons are going to go. Week 1 is a dress rehearsal for many teams – especially those who are traditionally, middle of the road or down the road. The uptown teams see Week 1 as the week they set the tempo for the upcoming season.

The Jump is the true Week 1 since the PIAA eliminated the need for a second scrimmage. For many of the rebuilding teams last week, they showed a second scrimmage would have been more beneficial than opening the regular season before school starts. Maybe the PIAA will revisit this policy. The move was made to put more stress on heat acclimation and less stress on fundamentals and tackling. It was also made to prevent football season from running deep into December. That last reason is more of a money reason. But I digress. Back to The Jump.

The teams that lost last week need to win or at the very least, play a lot better, during The Jump or it will be a long season. The teams that won last week can show everyone that they are for real with a victory during The Jump no matter the score differential. And finally, the teams the won convincingly during the opener must continue that momentum during The Jump. A loss this week by those teams devalue that big first win.

So, sit back and enjoy The Jump this week. The Rick is now going to tell you how The Jump is going to work out for your team. Here we go!

.THE RICK’S PICKS (12-6)

May their first child be a masculine child (The Big Boys) 1-0

Harrisburg at Delaware Valley

Delaware Valley continues their yearly gauntlet to begin each season. This week, they welcome Harrisburg to Milford after traveling to Selinsgrove last week. The Seals got the better of the Warriors in Week 1, and the Cougars – a traditional Central PA and state power – will try to do the same this week. It doesn’t get any easier next week with a trip to Downingtown East. Maybe the Warriors should consider revamping the schedule during the next two-year cycle. They could be 0-3 and 1-4 to start the season.

Cougars 31, Warriors 19

 

The Luca Brasi (Toughest Pick of The Week) 0-1

Dallas at Crestwood

Last year, Dallas won this game and was the front-runner in WVC-1 until they slipped in the final weeks. This year’s game could once again have a big impact on the race. Crestwood has already suffered a loss this season after losing just once during the regular season in 2022. This game could also be a precursor of the D2 Class 4A final. The Mountaineers just got by Abington Heights last week, and back-to-back road games are tough, but look for another close win.

Mountaineers 27, Comets 20

 

Don’t ask me about my business (No Rhyme or Reason) 0-1

Holy Redeemer at Holy Cross

Both teams have been hit hard – Holy Redeemer by graduation and both, by their Week 1 opponents. The Rick honestly doesn’t know who to pick in this game. This is a rivalry and can either way. It’s a toss-up. So, let’s just go with history and hope The Rick is on the right side.

Royals 8, Crusaders 6

 

Leave the gun, take the cannoli (No-Brainer Pick of The Week) 1-0

Wyoming Area v. Honesdale at Wallenpaupack

Wyoming Area impressed The Rick in Week 1 while Honesdale depressed The Rick. The Warriors may be better than advertised this season as they stomped Tunkhannock last week. The Hornets suffered a disappointing loss to rival Wallenpaupack where they just happened to be playing this game this week as the Hornets’ Nest continues to be refurbished. There will be no mistake by the lake in this one.

Warriors 45, Hornets 15

 

Going to the mattresses (A Rivalry-type Game) 0-1

Susquehanna at Montrose

Susquehanna won impressively last Saturday as they smoked Holy Redeemer in Head Coach Mose Perry’s debut. This week they look to start a winning streak as they travel to Montrose to take on the Meteors. They call this game The Battle for the Bluestone as the only football-playing schools in Susquehanna County do battle on a yearly basis. The Meteors are trying to work their way back to relevance while the Sabers look to make sure the Bluestone doesn’t belong to the Maroon & White.

Sabers 28, Meteors 12

 

I ain’t no bandleader (Give Some Respect) 1-0

Valley View at Berwick

Valley View pulled off a mild upset in The Rick’s eyes in Week 1. Berwick got totally dismantled by Southern Columbia last week. To me, it was the official end of the Bulldogs aura. Still, Crispin Field can still be an intimidating place to play on a Friday night. So, in some respect, the Cougars are still playing for respect. A win on the road will give Valley View a nice start and momentum into its LFC slate. Berwick on the other hand, is fighting for more than respect, the Bulldogs are fighting for their reputation. A loss this week and it could be a long year at the power plant.

Cougars 24, Bulldogs 19

 

Fredo, You broke my heart (Upset Special) 0-1

North Pocono at Western Wayne

A lot of questions in Moscow this week. And The Rick isn’t talking about where the Kremlin is located. North Pocono suffered an upset at the hands of Valley West in Week 1 that has led many experts to wonder aloud how that could happen. On the other sideline Western Wayne went on the road to grab a convincing victory over Lake-Lehman. So, logic would say the Wildcats are the favorite this week. But not so fast my friends. The Rick likes North Pocono to rally around Head Coach Greg Dohlon this week. The Trojans say, IT WAS YOU FREDO!

Trojans 24, Wildcats 22

 

Time to settle all Family Business (9-2)

Lakeland over Carbondale

Abington Heights over Wilkes-Barre Area

Old Forge over Nanticoke

Mt. Carmel over Dunmore

Hazleton Area over Wallenpaupack

Lackawanna Trail over Lake-Lehman

Pittston Area over Williamsport

Riverside over Mid Valley

Hanover Area over Tunkhannock

Scranton over Valley West

Prep over West Scranton

 

SIX TRICKS

It’s Week 2 and our local teams played some tricks on The Rick. So, I am returning the favor. Valley View is the new Big No. 1 after beating last week’s No. 2 team. Prep is the new Small No. 1 after the Cavaliers did something to Lakeland that The Rick would wager has never been done to the Chiefs – hang 70 points. Remember, this is just my opinion of who are the best Big School teams and the best Small School teams to start the season. Nothing else. Remember, it’s where you finish at the end – not the beginning or the middle. Included in the list are each team’s regular season record and where they were ranked last week.

Here it is….

THE BIG-SIX

  1. Valley View (1-0) 5
  2. Delaware Valley (0-1) 1
  3. Dallas (1-0) 3
  4. Scranton (1-0) 4
  5. Crestwood (0-1) 2
  6. Wyoming Area (1-0) NR

Just missed it: Hazleton Area (1-0) NR

 

THE SMALL-SIX

  1. Scranton Prep (1-0) 2
  2. Dunmore (1-0) 1
  3. Riverside (1-0) 3
  4. Western Wayne (1-0) 4
  5. Lackawanna Trail (1-0) 6
  6. Susquehanna (1-0) NR

Outside looking in: Old Forge (0-1) 7