The Rick, Week 2 – 2019
By Rick Notari, BDFN
(1250-342 overall, .784 winning percentage)
Down and Distance
So the sit down that my agent set up for The Rick wasn’t exactly what I thought. They are my parole officers!!! The Rick is not sure why someone who was released from witness protection needs a P.O., but they seem like good dudes, so I am going to continue to check in with them week to week.
The first thing Sidney and the Sea Monsters told The Rick was that I had to get a job. GET A JOB! HA! How about that one? But I followed direction in Week 1 and ended up landing a gig with the chain gang at one of the local high school football games. It wasn’t easy work I will tell you that! Where’s Charlie Sheen when you need him?
The visiting team kept getting first down after first down, and we had to move up and down the sideline setting up the sticks. The Rick was told it normally isn’t too bad working the chains, but this year, they are paying closer attention to the play clock and the games are moving much faster. So I had to be on the ball and didn’t have time to check the ticket booth cash box.
But the job wasn’t the only thing this wise guy had to do this week.
The jolly boy, Garrison, told me during the probation meeting that I had to give a sample each week. The Rick is not sure what he means by that, but I think I can lay down a few beats on the DJ app on the Mac Powerbook I found on the side of Interstate 81. It must have fallen out of a truck! These guys don’t look like they listen to hip hop or rap, but hey, who knows. Don’t judge a book by its cover!
Speaking of covers, let’s get to the picks!
THE RICK’S PICKS
(15-4 Overall, 13-6 ABPI)
May their first child is a masculine child (Class 6A) 1-0 Overall, 1-0 ABPI
Scranton at Wilkes-Barre Area (+12)
The first of many, many intra-city battles will take place on the famed Wilkes-Barre Memorial Stadium turf on Friday night when Scranton travels to the Diamond City to take on the Wolfpack. The high schools in the two biggest cities in NEPA seek their first win after heartbreaking losses in Week 1 for each. WBA displayed big-play scoring ability on offense, defense and special teams, but the defense couldn’t get the stop it needed in overtime against Crestwood. The Knights were able to move the ball but could not cash in, managing just 10 points against Valley West. The Rick likes WBA outright! Hungry like the Wolf, Hungry like the Wolf, Hungry like the Wolf….
Wilkes-Barre Area 24, Scranton 20
The Luca Brasi (Class 5A) 1-0 Overall, 1-0 ABPI
Hazleton Area (+2) at Wyoming Valley West
Two teams with opposite results in last week’s opener meet in Kingston as Hazleton Area visits Wyoming Valley West in an early matchup of WVC Division 1 contenders. The Spartans are coming off a big win over Scranton High, while the Cougars fell to Pottsville to open the 2019 campaign. The result of this game could be a good indicator of how the season will go for both squads. The Rick likes the school of Cubs skipper Joe Madden to not suck in this one.
Hazleton Area 27, Valley West 20
Don’t ask me about my business (Class 4A) 1-0 Overall, 1-0 ABPI
Western Wayne at North Pocono (-6)
It was an emphatic Week 1 for both Western Wayne and North Pocono as the Wildcats and Trojans rolled to impressive victories over contenders in their respective classifications. Now they meet in Week 2 as North Pocono alum Randy Wolff leads his budding Western Wayne eleven into Moscow. A rebuilt Trojans offense played smash mouth football last week against West and will look to do so again. The Wildcats followed the same formula in a win over Lake-Lehman. Look for both squads again to rely on the ground-and-pound to keep control of this game. Whichever team gets it done in the air will be the winner. The Rick likes North Pocono to cover the Born Power Index spread.
North Pocono 25, Western Wayne 17
Leave the gun, take the cannoli (Class 3A) 1-0 Overall, 1-0 ABPI
Wyoming Area (+19) at Scranton Prep
Super big matchup on Saturday afternoon when Wyoming Area visits Scranton Prep at Scranton Memorial Stadium. The Warriors are the Cavaliers top threat in defending its district crown. We can very well see this rematch in Week 13. Wyoming Area is led by seniors Dominic DeLuca, Sammy Solomon and Brian Williams. The dynamic play of DeLuca and Williams on offense gives the Warriors a chance to score on every snap. Solomon leads the big uglies up front and is a relentless force in the trenches. The Cavaliers are going need a maximum effort to win this game. The Rick is making a rare move. I am taking a WVC team over an LFC team.
Wyoming Area 21, Scranton Prep 19
Going to the mattresses (Class 2A) 1-0 Overall, 1-0 ABPI
Carbondale Area at Riverside (-21)
The Rick is not sure what Carbondale Area did to get on the bad side of the LFC schedule makers, but the Chargers travel to Taylor to take on the LFC’s top offense in Week 2 after getting throttled by Old Forge in Week 1. Next week they go to Dunmore. Wow! Riverside put up 56 points on Susquehanna last week and they are only getting started. Quarterback Johnny Gilchrist threw for six TDs and threw for over 300 yards – a rarity for LFC signal-callers – against the Sabers. Comparing those numbers to the passing numbers the Carbondale defense gave up in Week 1, it could be a record-setting night for the Vikings pass offense on Friday.
Riverside 63, Carbondale Area 12
I ain’t no bandleader (Class 1A) 0-1, Overall, 0-1 ABPI
Hanover Area (+33 ½) at Old Forge
The Bandleader slot featured our first major upset of the season when Northwest beat Lackawanna Trail in Week 1. Could an upset be brewing this week in the Pizza Capital? Old Forge punished Carbondale Area last week while Hanover Area gave first-year head coach Rickey Hummer is first win when they beat District 4 Athens at home. The Blue Devils haven’t lost a home game to a WVC opponent since 2015 when Lake-Lehman picked up a rare victory. That team featured Dallas Cowboys draft pick Connor McGovern. There won’t be any blue stars in town Friday night, so The Rick expects another Old Forge victory.
Old Forge 34, Hanover Area 13
Time to settle all family business (10-3 Overall, 8-5 ABPI)
Delaware Valley (-17 ½) over West Scranton
Wallenpaupack over Honesdale (+18 ½)
Valley View over Abington Heights (+48)
Lackawanna Trail over Susquehanna (+29)
Lakeland (-17) over Lake-Lehman
Dunmore over Mid Valley (+48 ½)
Williamsport (+9 ½) over Altoona
Berwick (-27 ½) over Pittston Area
Dallas (-31) over Crestwood
Nanticoke (-6 ½) over Tunkhannock
Northwest (-40) over Holy Redeemer