The Rick, Week 8 – 2023
By Rick Notari, BDFN
@TheBigBlueDevil
(1986-550 overall, .783 winning percentage)

 What happened to Rivalry Week?

The Rick was searching for something to pontificate about this week, and despite it being Week 8, I want to know why we do not have rivalry matchups in Week 10 throughout District 2.

We have 34 football teams in the district – 20 in the Lackawanna Football Conference, and 14 in the Wyoming Valley Conference. That would make for 17 games in the final week to matchup historical rivalries. This season, there are three such games on the slate: Dallas at Lake-Lehman, Pittston Area at Wyoming Area, and West at Dunmore. There is no Old Forge at Riverside, Wallenpaupack at Honesdale, or Lakeland at Valley View.

The Rick understands it is difficult to make a schedule. But why not start with the last week of the regular season. Schedule Week 10 games first. Those final week games are supposed to make or break a season for teams that may be struggling. A win over a hated rival to end the season sends you into the offseason feeling good about yourself. Maybe that win turns around the program. Maybe it creates interest and increases participation. Maybe it even gets the better team ready for the postseason.

Either way, it makes high school football more interesting.

PLAYOFF MATCHUPS (as of today)

6A: No. 6 Wilkes-Barre Area (4-3) at Northampton (6-1)

 

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

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

 

4A: No. 8 Tunkhannock (3-4) at No. 1 Valley View (7-0)

No. 7 Honesdale (3-4) at No. 2 Wyoming Area (7-0)

No. 6 North Pocono (3-4) at No. 3 Dallas (7-0)

No. 5 Nanticoke (4-3) at No. 4 Crestwood (3-4)

 

3A: No. 4 Carbondale Area (2-5) at No. 1 Scranton Prep (6-1)

No. 3 Hanover Area (3-4) at No. 2 Western Wayne (5-2)

 

2A: No. 4 Susquehanna (4-3) at No. 1 Dunmore (5-2)

No. 3 Riverside (4-3) at No. 2 Mid Valley (4-3)

 

1A: No. 2 Old Forge (3-4) at No. 1 Lackawanna Trail (7-0)

 

Time to get back to the regular season. Here are the picks for Week 8:

 

THE RICK’S PICKS (91-31)

May their first child be a masculine child (The Big Boys) 5-2

Delaware Valley at Valley View

Valley View is on the third leg of a three-game test and it’s a doozy. Delaware Valley comes to Peckville to take on the Cougars and they are hot. The Warriors are on a four-game winning streak and have been impressive in all four victories. But The Rick got called to a meetin’ this weekend. One of the bosses from the three boroughs in the Upvalley felt the need to set The Rick straight. This boss is an O.G., so The Rick feels the need to listen.

Cougars 27, Warriors 21

 

The Luca Brasi (Toughest Pick of The Week) 3-4

Wilkes-Barre Area at Williamsport

Wilkes-Barre Area is currently the only D2 team qualifying for the Class 6A playoffs. A win this week would go a long way to solidifying a spot for the young Wolfpack. But they still do have to travel to undefeated Dallas next week, so a spot is not assured. Williamsport has been inconsistent this season but has the talent to make a move in the final three weeks. A win here, and the Millionaires could finish the year on a hot streak and qualify for the postseason.

Millionaires 28, Wolfpack 27

 

Don’t ask me about my business (No Rhyme or Reason) 3-4

Valley West at Hazleton Area

This game could be the last chance for either team to pick up a victory. It’s been a disappointing campaign for both Valley West and Hazleton in 2023. A victory here should keep the winners out of the basement.

Cougars 31, Spartans 21

 

Leave the gun, take the cannoli (No-Brainer Pick of The Week) 7-0

Lackawanna Trail at Carbondale

It was just announced at the deadline that this game has been moved from Saturday night to Friday afternoon. Yes, a 3:15 p.m. kickoff. The time change shouldn’t affect the outcome. Only the chance to enjoy a cannoli earlier in the night.

Lions 55, Chargers 12

 

Going to the mattresses (A Rivalry-type Game) 6-1

Abington Heights at Scranton

Sure, there are rivalries like Scranton v. West, Abington Heights v. Prep, but is there really anything like Scranton v. Abington Heights? It’s the city v. the suburbs. It’s like Ampipe v. Walnut Heights. Someone tell Djordjevic to play the ball! The Rick knows his younger readers may not get the reference, but the older crowd will. This game is a must win for both teams, the Comets and Knights are both riding two-game losing streaks. A third straight loss could put the season in the tank.

Knights 29, Comets 16

 

I ain’t no bandleader (Give Some Respect) 5-2

Western Wayne at Dunmore

Western Wayne is always looking for respect. Regardless of the turnaround the Wildcats have made the past few years, there are always questions about who they have beaten and who they haven’t. On the other sideline, Dunmore is rarely questioned. But earlier this year, The Rick believed the Bucks needed to seek some respect. Now in Week 8, The Rick believes Dunmore has gained some of that respect back. After sleepwalking through the first half of the season, the Bucks seem to have found their groove.

Bucks 34, Wildcats 20

 

Fredo, You broke my heart (Upset Special) 3-4

Honesdale at Mid Valley

If there was ever a Jekyll and Hyde team this year, it’s Honesdale. The Hornets have won three straight impressively after losing four to open the season. And while they are hot, they do not have impressive wins like Mid Valley does. Yes the Spartans have lost two in a row, but they are home, and they are the favorite! So…. the Hornets say, IT WAS YOU FREDO!

Hornets 28, Spartans 24

 

Time to settle all Family Business (58-16)

Dallas over Wallenpaupack

Wyoming Area over Lake-Lehman

Scranton Prep over North Pocono

Crestwood over Hanover Area

Pittston Area over Tunkhannock

Old Forge over Holy Cross

Danville over Berwick

Riverside over Susquehanna

West over Lakeland

Nanticoke over Holy Redeemer

 

THE RICK-SIX

The bottom half of the Big-Six seems to be on a rotation this year. While the top half has remained the same for most of the season, Delaware Valley, Scranton, and Wilkes-Barre Area have moved in and out. The same can be said for the Small-Six. Although, there could be a newcomer appearing in the last few weeks. Here’s the Week 8 Six. Don’t forget, 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 (7-0) 1
  2. Dallas (7-0) 2
  3. Wyoming Area (7-0) 3
  4. Delaware Valley (4-3) 5
  5. Scranton (4-3) NR
  6. Wilkes-Barre Area (4-3) 4

Kicked Out: Abington Heights (4-3) 6

 

THE SMALL-SIX

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

Locked Out: Old Forge (3-4) NR

 

DISTRICT 2 POWER RANKINGS

Here are the District 2 Week 8 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. Valley View (7-0) .791
  2. Trail (7-0) .771
  3. Wyoming Area (7-0) .769
  4. Dallas (7-0) .735
  5. Delaware Valley (4-3) .684
  6. Prep (6-1) .671
  7. Abington Heights (4-3) .642
  8. Scranton (4-3) .617
  9. Dunmore (5-2) .583
  10. Western Wayne (5-2) .570

 

THE RICK’S HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFF (Fictional)

Big-School

No. 8 Wilkes-Barre Area (4-3) at No. 1 Valley View (7-0)

No. 7 Crestwood (3-4) at No. 2 Wyoming Area (7-0)

No. 6 Scranton (4-3) at No. 3 Dallas (7-0)

No. 5 Abington Heights (4-3) at No. 4 Delaware Valley (4-3)

 

Small-School

No. 8 Susquehanna (4-3) at No. 1 Lackawanna Trail (7-0)

No. 7 Old Forge (3-4) at No. 2 Scranton Prep (7-0)

No. 6 Riverside (4-3) at No. 3 Dunmore (5-2)

No. 5 Mid Valley (4-3) at No. 4 Western Wayne (5-2)