The Rick, Week 10 – 2019

By Rick Notari, BDFN

@TheBigBlueDevil

(1362-368 overall, .787 winning percentage)

 

On the run….

The Rick has enough of this job stuff. He got run over by a pulling guard last week while holding the sticks at the Avoca Buffaloes at Archbald Rams jayvee game. Enough is enough.

So The Rick is on the run. No more checking in with Garrison, Dominick and Sidney. Especially Sidney, who had his father bully The Rick on social media halfway through the season. Look where that got Sid Caesar! The Yanks are looking for tee times at Bethpage this weekend.

Anyway, I am outta here. Scott Mackinozzi has arranged for my passage through the Lehigh Tunnel. You’ll still get to read The Rick’s stuff. I’ll just be sending it Pony Express instead of by telegraph from Snyder’s Patch.

Let’s make some picks, but first let’s take a look at what the District 2 playoffs would look like if they started today.

Class 6A: Williamsport at Delaware Valley and Scranton at Wilkes-Barre Area

Class 5A: Wallenpaupack at Southern Lehigh and Pocono Mt. East at East Stroudsburg South

Class 4A: Abington Heights at Dallas, Pittston Area at Valley View, Tunkhannock at Berwick and North Pocono at Crestwood

Class 3A: Hanover Area at Scranton Prep and Lakeland at Lake-Lehman (Western Wayne and Wyoming Area would earn first round byes.)

Class 2A: Susquehanna at Dunmore and Mid Valley at Riverside

Class 1A: Lackawanna Trail at Old Forge

 

Let’s make the weekly picks!

 

THE RICK’S PICKS

(127-30 Overall, 91-66 ABPI)

 

May their first child is a masculine child (Class 6A) 8-1 Overall, 5-4 ABPI

Wilkes-Barre (+19) at Berwick

Berwick hosts Wilkes-Barre Area for the first time as the Dawgs look to bounce back from a loss to Dallas last weekend. Berwick is currently the third seed in Class 4A and would need Valley View to lose to North Pocono for a chance to get to No. 2 and host a semifinal matchup should they get that far. WBA has had a pretty successful season for a first-year program and a win at Berwick could be the signature victory in an initial campaign that has brought hope to high school football fans in the Diamond City. The Wolfpack – coached by The Rick’s Capo of the Year Ciro Cinti – are currently set at No. 2 in the Class 6A tourney with an opportunity to host Scranton. It’s be a great year so far for WBA, but The Rick thinks they are still a one or two seasons away from competing with the Dawgs.

Berwick 24, Wilkes-Barre Area 8

 

The Luca Brasi (Class 5A) 7-2 Overall, 5-4 ABPI

Abington Heights at Wallenpaupack (+3)

It’s slim pickings for the Luca Brasi game this week but the Wallenpaupack Buckhorns will look to sure up a playoff spot in the D2/11 Class 5A tournament with a win over Abington Heights. The Purple Lakers are currently No. 4 and only one spot remains. Should Valley West beat Williamsport and the Buckhorns lose, it’s going to come down to percentage points to see who gets that last berth. The Comets have had a rough season after an optimistic summer but they are still in position to make the Class 4A tournament as the No. 8 seed. A win puts them in a probable matchup against Dallas. A loss and they’ll have to wait until the math is done should West Scranton beat Honesdale. The long year continues.

Wallenpaupack 22, Abington Heights 20

 

Don’t ask me about my business (Class 4A) 5-4 Overall, 4-5 ABPI

Pittston Area (+27) at Wyoming Area

Ok. Two games this week in Class 4A as the WVC finally did something right. They put rivalry games in Week 10. Why the LFC doesn’t do this is beyond me. I made up a schedule a few years back and started with rivalry games in Week 10. It really wasn’t that hard. I implore the LFC football committee to do this for the next cycle. Old Forge v. Riverside would be a lot better than Old Forge v. Montrose. OK. So our first Business Game is the Cross River Rivalry. Pittston Area travels to Wyoming Area to take on the once-beaten Warriors. The Patriots have had their moments this year, including a last-minute win against Crestwood last week. PA will have to be firing on all cylinders to pull off the upset. And while The Rick thinks Wyoming Area feels like they still have a lot to prove the next few weeks, this game will be close for a few quarters before WA pulls away.

Wyoming Area 35, Pittston Area 20

 

Lake-Lehman (+29) at Dallas

The Old Shoe Game finishes the WVC slate for both Lake-Lehman and Dallas who are having fine seasons. The Rick is not much of a WVC historian, but if I had to take a guess, I would say this is the first time in a long time that both teams can boast such successful records at the same time coming into this game. The Mountaineers have proved they are the Class of 4A with big wins over Valley View and Berwick in the last two weeks. The Black Knights have re-invented themselves on offense and gave Wyoming Area its toughest WVC game to date. Lake-Lehman doesn’t play the same strong schedule as does Dallas, but sans an opening night thrashing by Western Wayne, the Black Knights have been outstanding all season. One of the better rivalries in District 2 will give the fans a thrill this weekend. The Rick will take Dallas to complete its unbeaten regular-season.

Dallas 27, Lake-Lehman 19

 

Leave the gun, take the cannoli (Class 3A) 8-1 Overall, 5-4 ABPI

Scranton Prep (-1) at Western Wayne

The Rick has flip-flopped on this game all week. If there is a coin-toss game out there it will be this one. And what The Rick means by that is whoever gets the ball first on the coin-toss and sets the tempo could very well be the winner when it is all said and done at the Sharkey Rosetti Sports Complex. Western Wayne has been crazy good this year. INZANE if you will! The Wildcats have a solid, hard-hitting defense and a diverse offense that can grind it out or beat you with the pass. Prep has been somewhat under the radar this year. Maybe it’s the fact that they have lost to the only really good teams on its schedule. But those losses (Wyoming Area and Valley View) have a combined record of 16-2. Still, the defense has been solid and the offense is getting better each week. With Wyoming Area and Western Wayne getting all the headlines this year, the Cavaliers have quietly put themselves in position to grab the No. 2 seed with a win in this game. Yes the Wildcats have beaten some really good programs this year, but none that are having the season Prep is. The Rick believes Western Wayne is one of the Top 5 teams in the entire district, but they still need to beat a team who is on top to prove it. Another great game will be played, but The Rick’s big gut is telling him that the Ignatians will rejoice!

Scranton Prep 20, Western Wayne 18

 

Going to the mattresses (Class 2A) 7-2 Overall, 6-3 ABPI

Lakeland (+16) at Dunmore

One would have to research long and hard to find a time when both Lakeland and Dunmore would face each other this late in the season with each only being one game above .500. The Bucks (5-4) and Chiefs (5-4) face off in what could be a game that gets both ready to make a run in their respective classes. Dunmore needs a win to remain the No. 1 seed in Class 2A. A loss, and the Bucks could surrender the top spot to Riverside, who has played much better since they were smashed in Bucktown five weeks ago. Lakeland needs to bounce back from a crushing loss to Prep last week. The Chiefs are headed to Lake-Lehman in two weeks in a rematch of a Week 2 loss to the Black Knights. Lakeland could use some momentum headed into the game and a loss this week could be then penultimate game of their season. Fans won’t be disappointed in the effort from these two teams, but The Rick thinks the Lakeland fans go back to Chapman Lake somewhat disappointed.

Dunmore 27, Lakeland 18

 

I ain’t no bandleader (Class 1A) 7-2, Overall, 3-6 ABPI

Riverside (-10) at Northwest

Another game with playoff implications takes place in Shickshinny on Friday night. Riverside takes the long ride down Route 11. A Vikings win and they could very well host the Class 2A title game in two weeks. But beyond that, Riverside is playing with a confidence that they may have lost after losses to Lakeland and Dunmore in the first half of the season. And playing with confidence with that Air Armstrong offense clicking could mean trouble for opponents the next two weeks. Northwest on the other hand needs a win for a chance to make the Class 1A championship game. The Rangers were the No. 2 seed in the bracket for much of the season, but after two losses in its last three games, they have fallen behind Lackawanna Trail for the right to go to Old Forge to play for gold. Northwest will need to keep that Riverside offense off the field for a chance to win, but The Rick thinks the fast turf at Northwest will ignite the explosive Vikings offense.

Riverside 38, Northwest 21

 

Time to settle all family business (85-18 Overall, 60-40 ABPI)

Delaware Valley (-29) over Scranton

Valley View (-20) over North Pocono

Honesdale (+2) over West Scranton

Old Forge over Montrose (+52)

Susquehanna (-22) over Holy Redeemer

Mid Valley (-12) over Carbondale

Crestwood (+1) over Hazleton Area

Williamsport over Valley West (6 ½)

Hanover (PICK) over Nanticoke

Tunkhannock (-21) over Midd-West

The Ricktor Rankings
Big School Ricktor (6A, 5A, 4A)
1. Delaware Valley (8-1) 9.37 1
2. Dallas (9-0) 8.85 2
3. Wilkes-Barre (6-3) 8.60 5
4. Valley View (8-1) 8.40 7
5. Berwick (7-2) 8.37 3
6. Scranton (6-3) 8.17 4
7. Crestwood (5-4) 7.57 6
8. Williamsport (3-6) 7.22 8
9. North Pocono (5-4) 6.87 10
10. Valley West (2-7) 6.55 9

Small School Ricktor (3A, 2A, 1A)
1. Western Wayne (8-1) 6.62 1
2. Wyoming Area (8-1) 6.57 2
3. Scranton Prep (7-2) 6.47 3
4. Lake-Lehman (7-2) 4.97 4
5. Lakeland (5-4) 4.65 5
6. Old Forge (7-1) 4.53 6
7. Lackawanna Trail (6-3) 4.19 8
8. Riverside (5-4) 3.72 NR
9. Dunmore (5-4) 3.50 7
10. Northwest (4-4) 3.44 9