Coatesville rolls Shanahan, locks up Ches-Mont Na­tional

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Peter DiGio­vanni pd­gio­ @PeteDLN on Twit­ter

CALN >> Many foot­ball ob­servers thought the young Coatesville foot­ball team was a year away from any kind of cham­pi­onship or high seed­ing for the district play­offs.

Well, the Red Raiders grew up in a hurry as Coatesville took the Ches-Mont Na­tional Di­vi­sion ti­tle with a re­sound­ing 41-14 win over Bishop Shanahan Fri­day night at Red Raider Sta­dium. Coatesville picked off four passes by Shanahan’s Nick Skul­ski, three of them by Ed Clark, who was all over the field Fri­day for the ra­bid Coatesville de­fense.

“These were my first three in­ter­cep­tions of my ca­reer,” Clark said. “And it is very ex­cit­ing to get them on a night we won the Ches-Mont League go­ing un­de­feated in the league. It is re­ally a great feel­ing and all the credit goes to my coaches and my team­mates. We are all in this to­gether and we have big­ger goals now in the district play­offs. And our stu­dent sec­tion comes out ev­ery game to cheer us on and it is fun to play for them.”

Coatesville (6-0 Ches-Mont, 8-1 over­all) won its seventh con­sec­u­tive game af­ter a Week 2 loss to Cum­ber­land Val­ley and the

Red Raiders jumped out to a 14-0 lead at half­time over the stub­born Ea­gles (2-3, 6-3). Af­ter Shanahan failed to con­vert on a fourth and six play, it took the Red Raiders just two plays to score the first touch­down of the game.

Quar­ter­back Ricky Ortega bolted 56 yards up the mid­dle to put the ball on the Ea­gles 2 yard line. On the next play, Aaron Young scored from two yards out for a 7-0 lead. Af­ter Clark picked Skul­ski for the sec­ond time of the night, Coatesville struck quickly again as Ortega floated a beau­ti­ful 74-yard touch­down toss to Aaron Young and Coatesville had a 14-0 half­time edge.

The Coatesville de­fense held Shanahan to vir­tu­ally noth­ing

on the ground. The only Shanahan run longer than six yards was a third quar­ter 69-yard burst from Josh Burke around the left side for an Ea­gles touch­down that cut the Coatesville lead to 21-7. Coatesville scored three touch­downs in the third pe­riod, outscor­ing Shanahan 20-7 in the pe­riod to take a 34-7 lead and put the game out of the Ea­gles reach.

Avery Young re­turned Skul­ski’s fourth in­ter­cep­tion of the night, go­ing 26 yards un­touched af­ter Skul­ski tried to hit John Kozin­ski on the right side­line. Aaron Young then fin­ished a short Red Raiders drive at the end of the third pe­riod, go­ing in from two yards out for his third touch­down of the night.

And the Ea­gles’ usu­ally po­tent of­fense could not get any­thing go­ing as the Red Raiders shut down the run and forced Skul­ski to throw on the run most of the night. Take away

Burke’s touch­down run and Shanahan had just 68 yards on the ground. Alex Rai­mondo had a big game up front for the Red Raiders and he talked about win­ning the Ches-Mont and go­ing un­de­feated in the league.

“We re­ally wanted to win the league and we did that,” Rai­mondo said. “af­ter the Cum­ber­land Val­ley loss we worked harder in the weight room and at prac­tice and we took things more se­ri­ously so maybe it was a good thing to get us grounded. Our coaches give us a good plan and we try to ex­e­cute it.”

With Coatesville hold­ing a 34-7 ad­van­tage, head coach Matt Ortega cleared his bench af­ter Jadan Hud­son took a 46 yard pass from Ortega to make it a 41-7 game. Ortega com­pleted 10 of 16 passes for 203 yards and two touch­downs and had to en­dure nu­mer­ous

high snaps from cen­ter most of the night. An­drew Smyth fin­ished the scor­ing as the Ea­gles’ backup quar­ter­back rolled around the left side late in the game to make the fi­nal score 41-14.

Coatesville can now look ahead to the reg­u­lar sea­son fi­nal against West Ch­ester Rustin next week in a game for play­off po­si­tion­ing as the Red Raiders try to land in the top four and se­cure at least two home games.

Shanahan hosts Avon Grove next week in a game the Ea­gles have to win to get a first round home game in the District 1 5A play­offs. Shanahan head coach Paul Mey­ers was not look­ing that far ahead.

“You can­not beat a team as good as they are by turn­ing the ball over five times,” Mey­ers said. “That took us out of the game and we did not take care of the ball.”

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