The Rick, Week 9 – 2023
By Rick Notari, BDFN
@TheBigBlueDevil
(1999-554 overall, .783 winning percentage)

 Party Like it’s 1999

When the first game ends on Friday, The Rick will no doubt have my 2,000th victory sewn up. Standing at 1,999 wins (and 554 losses), it’s been a long and challenging road to get to this goal. Sure, I could have gotten here sooner. If I stopped picking ridiculous upsets each week, and maybe didn’t go with The Family more than a smart man would, The Rick would have long passed 2,000. But here we are, ready to party like it’s 1999.

So, what exactly happened in 1999? Here goes…

The Rick was no longer a football coach. After a two-year stint coaching freshman football, and another two-year stint coaching varsity as an assistant, my services were no longer needed by the new head coach of the Blue Devils. It was a great decision by him – I wasn’t a very good football coach, and it was time for me to move on.

The top grossing box office movie of 1999 was Star Wars, The Phantom Menace. Football movies, Any Given Sunday, The Waterboy and Varsity Blues also came out in 1999. Musically, it was a bad year. Believe by Cher was the Top Billboard song. No Scrubs by TLC was No. 2, and Livin’ La Vida Loca was No. 10. Woof! Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega might be the best song of the year.

On the football side, Peter Warrick and Florida State beat Michael Vick and Virginia Tech for the National Championship, the Broncos beat the Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII, and South Side Pittsburgh, Tyrone, Strath Haven, and Central Bucks West all won PIAA State titles.

Hope you enjoyed the Wayback this Wednesday night. Next week, The Rick brings his victory total into the 21st century.

Time to get back to the regular season. Here are the picks for Week 9:

 

THE RICK’S PICKS (104-35)

May their first child be a masculine child (The Big Boys) 5-3

Scranton at Delaware Valley

It’s a pivotal game in Milford on Friday night. Scranton High is in the midst of a three-game losing streak and a loss here could bring them back to Delaware Valley to open the D2 playoffs. The Warriors on the other hand, are on fire. After three out-of-district losses to open the season, DV has reeled off five straight victories. They have the look of the team everyone expects them to be at this point in the season. This is the most masculine game of the week, and it’s where the men are separated from the boys.

Warriors 39, Knights 21

 

The Luca Brasi (Toughest Pick of The Week) 3-5

Wilkes-Barre Area at Dallas

The Rick may as well sleep with the fishes on this pick. It has been my worst of the highlighted games I feature every week. This week may be no different. The hottest team in the WVC (outside the undefeated teams) is Wilkes-Barre Area, winners of five of their last six, travels to Dallas to take on what some will call arguably the best team in the WVC and possibly the top team in the entire district. The Mountaineers have won all eight of their games and look like they can run the table. But the Wolfpack should pose a challenge for Dallas before they turn their eyes on arch-rival Lake-Lehman next week. The Rick is going to take the favorite, but I expect a wild one in the Back Mountain.

Mountaineers 37, Wolfpack 31

 

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

Susquehanna at Carbondale Area

Susquehanna was the surprise team of the season when it headed to Old Forge in Week 7. Now the Sabers are hanging on for dear life. After two straight losses to the Blue Devils and Riverside, Susquehanna finds itself fighting for its playoff life. A win against Carbondale, and the Sabers should lock up the final spot in the Class 2A tournament. The Chargers also have playoff aspirations despite a tough season. Currently the fourth seed in Class 3A, Carbondale could lock up a spot with a win, and possibly move to the third seed. The Chargers are playing for more than pride, and The Rick has a feeling.

Chargers 18, Sabers 16

 

Leave the gun, take the cannoli (No-Brainer Pick of The Week) 8-0

Scranton Prep at Valley West

Prep has been on a mission since posting their only loss of the season in Delaware Valley in Week 5. The Cavaliers are rolling along and look to roll again this week as they make the trip to Kingston to take on Valley West. Next week they host Valley View in one of the bigger games of the season in District 2. Will they be able to get cannoli on the West Side this week?

Cavaliers 47, Spartans 13

 

Going to the mattresses (A Rivalry-type Game) 6-2

Southern Columbia at Wyoming Area

Wyoming Area has been one of the top programs in District 2 and even in the state the past few seasons. But they haven’t been able to solve state power Southern Columbia. The Tigers come to The Jake this season and are coming off a surprise loss to Mount Carmel last week. Can the Warriors whip up some magic? The history of this game has been one-sided, but don’t tell Wyoming Area they cannot compete. The Warriors will surely need to go to the mattresses to win this one.

Tigers 34, Warriors 28

 

I ain’t no bandleader (Give Some Respect) 6-2

Shamokin at Nanticoke Area

Nanticoke Area opened its season thinking it could be a contender in both the WVC 2 and the District’s Class 4A race. An injury to its quarterback and a three-game losing streak put a damper on those dreams, but the Trojans have rallied with four straight wins and are in contention for not only the division title, but a home game in the D2 playoffs. Still, they search for respect. This is the game they can earn it. Nanticoke host District 4 team Shamokin (4-4). The Indians are searching for respect themselves after years on anonymity.

Indians 28, Trojans 27

 

Fredo, You broke my heart (Upset Special) 3-5

Old Forge at Riverside

Well, here we are. THE rivalry. Usually reserved in its heyday for the final week of the season, Old Forge v. Riverside has moved around in the New World Order from opening week to mid-season to late season. Whenever it is played, expect a doozy. Last year, the Blue Devils won on a last-second field goal in a game that the Vikings surprised. Many thought, Old Forge would win handily. Riverside had other thoughts. This year, the script is flipped. The experts believe the Vikings are the much better team – better record, better stats and they are at home. But Riverside’s three losses have all come at Taylor Veterans Memorial Stadium. Those losses are against three of the better teams in the LFC, and if one or two bad bounces goes the Vikes’ way, those losses could easily have gone the other way and Riverside could be 8-0. A look at the results of common opponents gives Riverside the edge. But we are talking about The Family here! You all know where The Rick will be on this one!  The Blue Devils say, IT WAS YOU FREDO!

Blue Devils 20, Riverside 19

 

Time to settle all Family Business (68-16)

Hanover Area over Lake-Lehman

Valley View over Wallenpaupack

Pittston Area over Holy Redeemer

Tunkhannock over Towanda

Trail over Holy Cross

Abington Heights over North Pocono

Crestwood over Berwick

Hazleton over Williamsport

Dunmore over Honesdale

Western Wayne over Lakeland

West Scranton over Mid Valley

 

THE RICK-SIX

Well, Delaware Valley has climbed Mount Lackawanna. After an 0-3 start, the Warriors are on top of the Big-Six. A win over Valley View last week moved them up from No. 4 and dropped the Cougars to No. 4. WVC teams Dallas, Wyoming Area, and Wilkes-Barre Area each moved up one spot and Abington Heights rejoined the poll with a win over Scranton. The Small-Six had one change, Dunmore and Western Wayne swapped places after the Bucks beat the Wildcats last week. So, here’s the Week 9 Six. Don’t forget, included in the list are each team’s regular season record and where they were ranked last week.

 

THE BIG-SIX

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

Kicked Out: Scranton (4-4) 5

 

THE SMALL-SIX

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

Locked Out: Old Forge (4-4) NR

 

DISTRICT 2 POWER RANKINGS

Here are the District 2 Week 9 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 (8-0) .769
  2. Wyoming Area (8-0) .745
  3. Dallas (8-0) .743
  4. Valley View (7-1) .739
  5. Delaware Valley (5-3) .718
  6. Prep (7-1) .686
  7. Abington Heights (5-3) .655
  8. Dunmore (6-2) .623
  9. Wilkes-Barre Area (5-3) .601
  10. Crestwood (4-4) .587

 

D2 PLAYOFF MATCHUPS (as of today)

6A: No. 6 Wilkes-Barre Area (5-3) at No. 3Northampton (7-1)

 

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

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

 

4A: No. 8 Tunkhannock (3-5) at No. 1 Wyoming Area (8-0)

No. 7 Berwick (2-6) at No. 2 Dallas (8-0)

No. 6 North Pocono (3-5) at No. 3 Valley View (7-1)

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

 

3A: No. 4 Carbondale Area (2-6) at No. 1 Scranton Prep (7-1)

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

 

2A: No. 4 Susquehanna (4-4) at No. 1 Dunmore (6-2)

No. 3 Riverside (5-3) at No. 2 Mid Valley (5-3)

 

1A: No. 2 Old Forge (4-4) at No. 1 Lackawanna Trail (8-0)

 

THE RICK’S HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL PLAYOFF (Fictional)

Big-School

No. 8 Scranton (4-4) at No. 1 Wyoming Area (8-0)

No. 7 Crestwood (4-4) at No. 2 Dallas (8-0)

No. 6 Wilkes-Barre Area (5-3) at No. 3 Valley View (7-1)

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

 

Small-School

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

No. 7 Old Forge (4-4) at No. 2 Scranton Prep (7-1)

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

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