Coatesville com­ing-out party a sight to see

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - Peter DiGio­vanni Columnist

Week 7 of the sea­son is in the books, and what a wild week it was.

Down­ing­town West scored the win­ning touch­down with less than one se­cond to go to de­feat West Ch­ester East, and the Whip­pets kept their 6A play­off hopes alive.

For the se­cond week in a row Great Val­ley failed to score in the red zone at the end of the game, help­ing Unionvile come away with a hard-fought vic­tory that put the In­di­ans in the driver’s seat for the Ches-Mont Amer­i­can Di­vi­sion ti­tle. Unionville holds the tiebreaker against both West Ch­ester Rustin and Great Val­ley for the league ti­tle. Unionville head coach Pat Clark also gar­nered his 100th vic­tory as In­di­ans boss.

But, the big news out of the Ches-Mont League — and per­haps all of District 1 — was the 40-7 drub­bing the Coatesville Red Raiders laid on Down­ing­town East. Coatesville jumped out to a 21-0 lead af­ter just six min­utes of play, scor­ing three touch­downs on just five of­fen­sive plays, ef­fec­tively put­ting the Cougars out of the game right

there. Re­mem­ber, Down­ing­town East had al­lowed just 6.5 points per game in its pre­vi­ous five games be­fore be­ing torched by the Coatesville as­sault.

The Coatesville per­for­mance re­minded me of the ex­plo­sive 2012 Coatesville team that ad­vanced to the PIAA Class AAAA fi­nal be­fore fall­ing to North Al­legheny.

Fresh­man quar­ter­back Ricky Ortega showed he is in a class by him­self as far as Ches-Mont League quar­ter­backs go. He throws a deep ball bet­ter than any area sig­nal-caller since Pat Devlin. Ortega’s per­for­mance Fri­day night was one to re­mem­ber.

The big sur­prise of the night may have been the play of the Coatesville de­fense. The Red Raiders took ev­ery­thing away from the East of­fense and hit any­thing in blue and gold that moved. The Cougars were ham­pered by the ab­sence of wide­out Ethan Har­ris, who may be the one play­maker who could give Coatesville trou­ble, but even Har­ris in the lineup would not have al­tered the out­come.

The Red Raiders looked like the best team in District 1 Class 6A Fri­day night. Down­ing­town East played North Penn even for three quar­ters be­fore fall­ing, 23-7. No one is ques­tion­ing the tal­ent at un­de­feated Ne­shaminy, but Coatesville has outscored both Down­ing­town West and Down­ing­town East, 88-16, this sea­son, and I se­ri­ously doubt if any other District 1 team could match that feat.

This was sup­posed to be a tran­si­tion year for the un­der­class­men-heavy Red Raiders. Next year was sup­posed to be the sea­son Coatesville made a deep run to­ward Her­shey.

But all teams come of age at dif­fer­ent times, and the 40-7 rout of a good Down­ing­town East team may just have been the night the Red Raiders grew up.

Coatesville will be fa­vored in its last three games of the reg­u­lar sea­son, and should fin­ish the year at 9-1. With one, or even two home games in the play­offs, it is not a stretch to see head coach Matt Oretga’s group back in the district fi­nal for the first time since 2014 (a loss to Penns­bury).

To cap the the evening, Coatesville won Fri­day night with class. Ortega or­dered his son Ricky to take two con­sec­u­tive kneel­downs with five min­utes to go and the ball deep in Cougar ter­ri­tory. A score there would have put the game into the mercy rule, and would have been even tougher for the Down­ing­town faith­ful to take.

So, as Satur­day’s head­line screamed it was truly a “Wild Night.” And who knows, maybe it was just the first step of a very tal­ented young team’s date with des­tiny in Her­shey.

The trip has to start some­where, and it looked to me like it started Fri­day night.


Coatesville’s Avery Young is con­grat­u­lated by team­mates af­ter scor­ing a touch­down Fri­day against Down­ing­town East.


Coatesville’s Nick Thomp­son bears down on Down­ing­town East quar­ter­back Bryce Lauletta Fri­day night.

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