NEPA Sports Nation

Tom Robinson’s high school football predictions: Week 8

By Tom Robinson,

Valley View recovered from a disappointing opener. A two-touchdown loss coming out of the gates has been followed by six straight wins.

Crestwood, the team that beat Valley View, stumbled the next week. The Comets lost by three touchdowns, but have come back to win five straight, all by at least three touchdowns.

They currently stand 1-2, rated as District 2’s top Big Schools, with Crestwood on top of the Gaughan Auto Store Super Six Power Rankings compiled by our partners at

Scranton Prep went from the devastating combo of losing London Montgomery’s senior season to injury to suffering a blowout loss in its opener. The Cavaliers have won five out of six since to work their way back up to No. 3 among Small Schools.

Teams can come back from losses, even those that are much more decisive than considered possible in advance. They only need look around District 2 for shining examples of how to respond.

Of course, coming up with such a response is far from automatic. That’s what makes what the Cougars, Comets and Cavaliers have done to date so impressive.

How the rest of the season goes in District 2 football will depend heavily on how a new set of teams can respond to the different feel of having a season’s hopes derailed after the midpoint in the regular season.

It is time for Hazleton Area, Scranton, Dallas and Dunmore to be put to a similar test.

Two weeks ago, there were four unbeaten teams in District 2. The first three teams on the above list have fallen in those two weeks to leave Lakeland standing alone as the only 7-0 team. Dunmore is coming off a loss perhaps unlike any other in the history of the storied program.

Hazleton Area went from 5-0, and a dominance level against Big Schools that rivaled what Lakeland was doing to Small Schools, to a stunning pair of losses. The Cougars have since dropped games by 22 and 21 points.

Scranton, the surprise among the 6-0 teams, had its unbeaten season hopes shredded at home in a 41-7 loss to Valley View last week.

Dallas followed a path similar to the one Crestwood took in the first two weeks of the season. The Mountaineers were the ones to inflict the Week Six loss on Hazleton Area in a battle of unbeaten teams, only to hit the road and lose by 17 at Berwick.

Dunmore was on a four-game winning streak, sitting at 5-1 overall with the only loss coming to a state-ranked opponent, Mount Carmel, on the road, outside the district. Then, Lakeland came to town and went through the late stages kneeling down with the ball after reaching the 5 rather than pursue the very likely outcome of putting up more than 60 points on the Bucks.

It’s time to see what four of the most impressive teams of the first half of the 2022 season – the Cougars, Knights, Mountaineers and Bucks – have left.

On to this week’s predictions with, as usual, home teams in bold italics:


The unimaginable happened last week. An opponent came to Dunmore and scored 48 points in a span of less than 17 minutes. Now, after facing one of the teams that shares the Lackawanna Football Conference Division 2 lead, the Bucks must go on the road and face the other. Dunmore is at Western Wayne, a team that could have been included in the lead to this column. The Wildcats lost early, although by a single point to Big School North Pocono, and have since rattled off five straight wins by a 186-41 margin to rise to No. 2 among Small Schools. Before the wheels came off, Dunmore actually was defending Lakeland tough until the late moments of the first half. Playing in this week’s only game between ranked teams, the No. 4 Bucks will need that type of performance throughout, but here’s to the expectations of a bounce-back effort and one of two big upset picks in this week’s predictions.

Dunmore 30, Western Wayne 25


Measuring the responses of Hazleton Area, Dallas and Scranton may take a little more of a long view. They face teams with combined records of 2-19, although there is at least one dangerous game in that mix. The real answers come later, but the response needs to begin this weekend.

Hazleton Area 40, Wyoming Valley West 3

Dallas 48, Wallenpaupack 0

Scranton 31, Abington Heights 17


Coming off its demolition of unbeaten Scranton, Valley View must make a longer road trip for a game at Delaware Valley, a team with a losing record. The current LFC Division 1 leaders go against the defending LFC Division 1 champions. So far, the Warriors’ response to their own disappointing start has not quite measured up to those listed above. After being 0-3 against the toughest schedule in District 2, Delaware Valley has won three out of four, including two straight since slipping to 1-4. The best win so far has been last week’s come-from-behind, 35-24 victory over Wilkes-Barre Area. It will take another level of play to reach .500, but here’s to thinking the Warriors have it in them while perhaps catching the Cougars at the right time.

Delaware Valley 24, Valley View 22


There does not appear to be much other suspense on a schedule that may have the most brutal combination of mismatches District 2 football has ever seen in one weekend. The Mercy Rule and the unofficial Mercy Rule-plus, where officials take it upon themselves to go beyond the written running clock rules to shorten games even more, could get a workout.

Crestwood 59, Hanover Area 0

Lakeland 57, West Scranton 0

Old Forge 52, Holy Cross 0

Pittston Area 53, Tunkhannock 16

Danville 40, Berwick 12

Wyoming Area 34, Lake-Lehman 8

Honesdale 24, Mid Valley 3

Scranton Prep 33, North Pocono 13

Montrose 26, Columbia-Montour Vo-Tech 10

Riverside 28, Susquehanna 13

Nanticoke 35, Holy Redeemer 20

Lackawanna Trail 26, Carbondale 12

Wilkes-Barre Area 28, Williamsport 19


Last week was the second straight week of 15 winning predictions. The picks here went 15-2 (88.2 percent), making it 30-5 (85.7 percent) over the past two weeks. Perhaps, more importantly, the record was 3-1 in the four games that differed with The Rick’s Picks on Those wins – Valley View over Scranton, Scranton Prep over Abington Heights and Honesdale over West Scranton – countered Rick’s correct selection of North Pocono over Wallenpaupack. After his 13-4 (76.5 percent) week, we are once again even on the season at 96-27 (78.0 percent). See where Rick and I differ and read what Rick has to say in this week’s predictions at: 2022 The Rick’s Picks – Week 8 | NEPA Football.

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