The Rick, Week 5 – 2023
By Rick Notari, BDFN
@TheBigBlueDevil
(1944-540 overall, .783 winning percentage)

 Pleading the fifth

It’s Week 5 and The Rick doesn’t have much to say. Maybe it’s the offensive struggles of Pittsburgh football that has me offended and clammed up. And I am being nice by saying I am offended. It was an abysmal football weekend for The Rick, and I just don’t see it getting any better.

Even my picks are mediocre this year. A 70 percent mark picking high school football games is poor in my book. The future is cloudy in The Rick’s eyes right now. Hopefully this is a week when things clear up on the high school scene. They sure don’t seem to be clearing up on Saturdays and Sundays.

Some things that are crystal clear: Prep is by far the best team in the LFC; Dallas and Wyoming Area are heads and shoulders above the rest of the WVC; and maybe, just maybe, Abington Heights is back where they belong – near the top. Although, after this week, the Comets run the Prep, Valley View, Scranton gauntlet. So, let’s see how all that plays out.

For now, The Rick needs to get his head out of the clouds. Here are the picks for Week 5:

 

THE RICK’S PICKS (49-21)

May their first child be a masculine child (The Big Boys) 3-1

Delaware Valley at Scranton Prep

The Big Boy matchup this week is a doozy. Yes, Delaware Valley is just 1-3, but the Warriors put themselves through the gauntlet in the first three weeks of the season to get them better prepared for not only the District 2 playoffs, but for the LFC-1 schedule as well. Scranton Prep is an avalanche right now. They are unstoppable and destroying everything in its path. The Cavaliers have yet to be tested through four weeks. And if they are not tested on Saturday by the Warriors, The Prep can turn into a volcano, poised to explode into the playoffs. The Rick never took The Prep Test, but those wearing Purple and Gold did. Right now, they are passing with flying colors.

Cavaliers 33, Warriors 21

 

The Luca Brasi (Toughest Pick of The Week) 2-2

Lackawanna Trail at Dunmore

When The Rick tells you to meet him between a rock and a hard place, I am talking about the place where Lackawanna Trail and Dunmore meet this weekend. The Lions and the Bucks are like two steam engines headed in the same direction ready for a head-on crash. But The Rick believes it is the Lions who are moving faster on those tracks at this point. The folks in Bucktown are going to be none too happy when they read this, but The Rick likes the Lions in this one. Trail is rolling and is seemingly unstoppable. Dunmore has been winning but has been somewhat inconsistent on offense. This no doubt will be a defensive battle. It’s a tough pick for The Rick as he knows Dunmore knows how to win. But Trail has been great in road games when they have been underdogs during Coach Jervis’ time in Tunnel Hill.

Trail 18, Dunmore 14

 

Don’t ask me about my business (No Rhyme or Reason) 2-2

Berwick at Wilkes-Barre Area

Wilkes-Barre Area has turned its season around the past two weeks. It’s now time for Berwick to turn its season around. The Dawgs survived a trip to Williamsport last week to get their first victory, and The Rick believes it will spur Berwick on a mini run. These two teams had high hopes when the season started. A loss in this one may put the lid on those aspirations.

Bulldogs 21, Wolfpack 20

 

Leave the gun, take the cannoli (No-Brainer Pick of The Week) 4-0

Wyoming Area at Hanover Area

Wyoming Area has proved The Rick wrong. At the beginning of the season, The Rick believed that while the Warriors would be one of the better teams in District 2, he wasn’t too sure they would be one of the best. The Rick was wrong. That’s unfortunate for Hanover Area.

Warriors 54, Hawkeyes 14

 

Going to the mattresses (A Rivalry-type Game) 3-1

Carbondale at Western Wayne

Going way back when, Carbondale Area and Western Wayne was a strong Suburban Conference rivalry. Heck the Chargers and Wildcats are neighbors! That is a prerequisite when it comes to rivalries. Carbondale has played tough all year. Western Wayne has been inconsistent, but when they have been good, they have been fabulous. The Chargers will keep this close early, but rivalries sometimes only take you so far. The ‘Cats are home for the first time in three weeks and are hungry for a victory.

Wildcats 42, Chargers 16

 

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

Susquehanna at Mid Valley

The Rick wants receipts on whoever thought Susquehanna and Mid Valley would each be 3-1 headed into Week 5. The Sabers and Spartans are the feel-good stories of the season so far. Both have a win over former perennial powerhouse teams who themselves are amid a rebuild haven’t seen in some time. And both have losses against current powerhouses. But the difference as The Rick sees it, is the Spartans have won two tough games on the road while the Sabers have played only one Friday night game – at Montrose three weeks ago. The atmosphere at Spartan Stadium should be electric this Friday night in Throop. Even The Rick is all charged up for this one as both teams continue their quest for respect in 2023.

Spartans 34, Sabers 20

 

Fredo, You broke my heart (Upset Special) 1-3

Nanticoke at Lake-Lehman

The Rick looked at the schedule this week and at first glance could not come up with an upset special. Even at this juncture, in my head I know Nanticoke should be the pick in this one with the way they can run the football. But life ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. (I think Rocky Balboa said that.) The Rick knows there must be an upset pick made. And this is my best guest. The Black Knights say, IT WAS YOU FREDO!

Black Knights 24, Trojans 22

 

Time to settle all Family Business (32-10)

West over Hazleton Area

Valley View over Pittston Area

Tunkhannock over Honesdale

Scranton over North Pocono

Milton over Holy Redeemer

Dallas over Valley West

Riverside over Mahanoy Area

Abington Heights over Wallenpaupack

Crestwood over Williamsport

Lakeland over Old Forge

CMVT over Holy Cross

 

SIX 4 SIX

Once again, the Big-Six has a new team, and the Small-Six remains the same except for some in-house maneuvering. Wilkes-Baare Area makes its debut in the Big-Six after winning it’s second straight game. Meanwhile, Scranton High drops to No. 5 after losing to Scranton Prep. The Knights’ loss allowed Wyoming Area and Abington Heights to move up a notch. In the Small-Six had one change with Dunmore and Western Wayne swapping spaces. Susquehanna is not in the poll, but is knocking at the door and don’t worry Sabers’ fans, The Rick has taken notice. 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 (4-0) 1
  2. Dallas (4-0) 2
  3. Wyoming Area (4-0) 4
  4. Abington Heights (3-1) 5
  5. Scranton (3-1) 3
  6. Wilkes-Barre Area (2-2) NR

Outside Looking In: Delaware Valley (1-3) NR

 

THE SMALL-SIX

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

Outside Looking In: Susquehanna (3-1) NR

 

DISTRICT 2 POWER RANKINGS

Here are the District 2 Week 3 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. Dallas (4-0) .732
  2. Prep (4-0) .718
  3. Wyoming Area (4-0) .712
  4. Valley View (4-0) .705
  5. Abington Heights (3-1) .704
  6. Trail (4-0) .696
  7. Scranton (3-1) .648
  8. Mid Valley (3-1) .606
  9. Wilkes-Barre Area (2-2) .593
  10. Tunkhannock (3-1) .590
    Dunmore (3-1) .590