The Rick, Week 3 – 2019
By Rick Notari, BDFN
(1263-346 overall, .784 winning percentage)
Wow! What a Week 2 of action in District 2!
It’s a year of upsets and redemption so far in both the Lackawanna Football Conference and Wyoming Valley Conference. Yes, it is only Week 3, but the first two weeks have proven that we are in for a season of change – or at least a fall to remember.
Take a look at the playoff picture after two weeks. There’s a story in each classification, but the biggest stories are in 2A and 3A where both Dunmore and Lakeland would not qualify if the playoffs started this week, and Riverside and Western Wayne would be No. 1 seeds in their respective classifications.
At this rate, Garrison’s Avoca Buffaloes may even make the playoffs.
Speaking of Garrison, the jolly boy warned me that if The Rick kept writing about him, Sid and Dominick that they might have to plant something on me so they could revoke my probation and send be back out west. Now I surely do not what that to happen, so I better just stick to making picks.
Boy is he lucky The Rick doesn’t have a fondness for swords.
Here are the picks!
THE RICK’S PICKS
(28-8 Overall, 25-11 ABPI)
May their first child is a masculine child (Class 6A) 2-0 Overall, 2-0 ABPI
Williamsport (+14) at Berwick
An early easy showdown between the Millionaires and the Dawgs at Cripsin Field is just what the doctor ordered for those that like “Big-Boy Football.” At 2-0, both squads have used suffering defenses to get to this point in Week 3. The real question for many is whether either of these teams is for real! Does Williamsport have what it takes to play with the strong programs of D2? Is Berwick better than the third child in what everyone deemed a two-team race in Class 4A before the season started? Both those questions will be answered on Friday night. What’s The Rick’s answer?
Berwick 28, Williamsport 20
The Luca Brasi (Class 5A) 2-0 Overall, 2-0 ABPI
Wallenpaupack at Delaware Valley (-11)
Wallenpaupack rallied for a win on the road last week over Honesdale in the annual matchup of former Suburban Conference rivals while Delaware Valley trucked West Scranton at Scranton Memorial Stadium. Tomorrow night, the Warriors host the Buckhorns and The Rick expects the Pike County Bowl to be another one-sided affair in favor of Delaware Valley. The Warriors are the big-school king and in reality is the top team in all of District 2. That is not to say that other teams are not good football teams, but when you play in the biggest class, and churn out all-star after all-star each year, regular-season matchups that provide good football games are few and far between.
Delaware Valley 31, Wallenpaupack 10
Don’t ask me about my business (Class 4A) 1-1 Overall, 1-1 ABPI
Dallas at Hazleton Area (+16 ½)
Dallas is in the midst of an interesting stretch of games as three of its next four games are against bigger teams that have played well in the first two weeks of the season, including this week’s opponent, Hazleton Area. The Cougars started slow last week, but exploded for a victory over Wyoming Valley West to grab its first victory of the season. The Rick likes Dallas in this one, but look for the Mountaineers to get its first test of the season.
Dallas 35, Hazleton Area 24
Leave the gun, take the cannoli (Class 3A) 2-0 Overall, 2-0 ABPI
Honesdale at Western Wayne (-17)
In one of the few compelling games of Week 2, Honesdale let a win slip from their grasp in a loss to Wallenpaupack. This week, the Hornets look to get on track this week. However there is only small problem. Western Wayne is the other team in Week 3’s Wayne-Pike Shrine Bowl. And the Wildcats are slowly becoming this year’s District 2 darling. Two convincing wins over two perennial playoff teams have fans and pundits proclaiming Coach Randy Wolff’s eleven a team to beat in Class 3A. The Rick is ready to jump on that bandwagon too!
Western Wayne 34, Honesdale 14
Going to the mattresses (Class 2A) 2-0 Overall, 2-0 ABPI
Riverside (+8) at Lakeland
They are shining up the fire trucks in Taylor and planning the parade route in Moosic after two convincing wins to start the season at Riverside. And while the Vikings have been the most impressive offensive statistical team in District 2, many – including The Rick – are waiting until the schedule gets a little tougher before professing Riverside as the best thing since sliced bread. Well, the schedule does get a little tougher this week, but not as tough as was thought when the schedule was released. Lakeland was shocked last week at Lake-Lehman after an impressive win over Honesdale in Week 1. The Chiefs got banged up last week and their lack of depth may have hurt them. They will need to circle the wagons when they return home tomorrow night and find away to stop the Johnny Gilchrist-Razen Reyes Best Show on Turf if they want to get back on track. The Rick is inching closer to believing in Riverside. If the offensive line and defense hold up this week, The Rick may not be able to stop believin’.
Riverside 24, Lakeland 20
I ain’t no bandleader (Class 1A) 1-1, Overall, 0-2 ABPI
Wyoming Area (-37 ½) at Northwest
While there were some shockers in Week 2, the Week 1 Shocker of the Week featured Northwest in their win over Lackawanna Trail. Now some may see Wyoming Area’s win over Prep last Saturday as a shocker, but after Mid Valley shocked Dunmore on Friday night, and Lake-Lehman shocked Lakeland, and Western Wayne shocked North Pocono, the Warriors win over the Cavaliers seemed more like a formality. And The Rick sees this matchup the same way. Forget that Northwest is 2-0. Forget that Wyoming Area maybe feeling full of itself after two blow out victories. And forget the Born Power Index spread (It’s WA -37 ½). Well maybe don’t forget that. The Rick won’t. (Even though Big John, The Rick’s old English teacher, professed to never bet against a home dog.)
Wyoming Area 47, Northwest 7
Time to settle all family business (18-6 Overall, 16-8 ABPI)
Scranton (+18) over North Pocono
Abington Heights (+22) over Scranton Prep
Valley View over West Scranton (+50)
Trail over Montrose (+53)
Old Forge (-35 ½) over Susquehanna
Dunmore (-38) over Carbondale
Wilkes-Barre Area (-13) over Nanticoke
Valley West over Crestwood (+20.5)
Pittston Area (-3) over Tunkhannock
Lake-Lehman (-31) over Hanover Area
Mahanoy Area (-28 ½) over Holy Redeemer