LOCAL TEAMS KICK OFF POSTSEASON ACTION
Breakout Bryant: Freshman receiver goes off in shutout win
CALN >> In order to hang with the fourth-seeded Coatesville, No. 12 Abington knew it was going to have to play a near-perfect game. Simply put: the Ghosts didn’t. “We told our kids, as silly as it sounds, we really have to play a perfect game or at least a more disciplined game than they did,” Abington coach Kevin Conlin said.
On the other side, Coatesville didn’t put together its most impressive performance of the season, but it was good enough for a convincing 42-0 District 1 6A first-round win.
The thing that really sticks out about Coatesville is its team speed. That speed was on full display Friday night, led by freshman sensation Ricky Ortega at quarterback.
Ortega had a particular connection with a fellow freshman, wide receiver Dapree Bryant, who finished with 144 yards on five catches and scoring two touchdowns.
“Our offense has a lot of playmakers obviously,” said Coatesville coach Matt Ortega. “We had a big breakout game from the freshman Dapree Bryant tonight and that’s what happens when you have so many weapons on offense. One game it’s this guy, one game its that guy and tonight we got a breakout game from the freshman at wide receiver and we knew he was due, and that was going to happen, and he lit it up tonight.”
While the speed of Coatesville was apparent throughout its skill positions, the speed really shined through on the defensive line, where the Red Raiders did an excellent job of shutting down dynamic Abington running back Darryl Davis-McNeil, as they held him to 86 yards rushing on 26 carries.
“We’re always going to try to stop the run first,” Ortega said. “We’re going to do things schematically, not change a whole lot of things, but do certain things schematically, make sure we have guys in the box and make sure we stop the run first.”
“Everybody sees the wideouts and running backs and obviously the quarterback is insanely dynamic for a ninth-grade kid,” said Abington coach Kevin Conlin. “But I think the key is their D-line is just so much faster than anything we’ve seen.”
For the Red Raiders, the quest for a district championship is well in play and off to a great start. Next up for the Raiders, No. 6 Ridley.
“Its just week to week (and) we got to get back,” Ortega said. “We got a couple guys dinged, nothing major, we got to get them back healthy and ready next Friday at home.”
Zach Hillard dives to recover a fumble, setting up Coatesville’s initial touchdown in the first quarter against Abington.
Coatesville’s Ricky Ortega looks for an open receiver in the first quarter against Abington.