Coatesville, Henderson have shots at ti­tle games

COATESVILLE, HENDERSON FACE HOS­TILE CROWDS WITH SPOTS IN CHAM­PI­ONSHIP GAMES ON THE LINE

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - Peter DiGiovanni cov­ers high school foot­ball for Dig­i­tal First Me­dia and PaPrepLive.com. You can reach him at pd­gio­vanni07@gmail.com. Fol­low him on Twit­ter @PeteDLN.

Dou­bling Up: Pete DiGiovanni says Ches-Mont teams will both reach D1 fi­nals

And then there were two. There are only two area foot­ball teams still alive in their quests for dis­trict and state hon­ors. West Ch­ester Henderson must travel to face top-seeded Spring­field (Delco) in the Class 5A bracket, while in 6A, red-hot Coatesville trav­els to Lans­dale to face un­de­feated and num­ber one seed, North Penn.

Both teams face very stern tests, and both area coaches talked about how tough their op­po­nents are go­ing to be.

Coatesville at North Penn, 7 p.m.

“North Penn is very good. This is not your typ­i­cal North Penn of­fense,” Coatesville head coach Matt Ortega said. “They still have some size up front and they have good backs, but their quar­ter­back (Reece Udin­ski) is the real thing. He is tall, stands up well in the pocket, and he has a lot of re­ceivers who can catch the ball, not just (Ricky) Johns. He’s not real fast, but he can run it a lit­tle.

“De­fen­sively, they do what North Penn usu­ally does, and that is play tough, hard de­fense,” Ortega said. “And play­ing at North Penn makes our kids have a chance to make his­tory be­cause they are very tough to beat there. We are play­ing well right now and we are look­ing for­ward to the chal­lenge. They look for matchups to beat you and they have a lot of guys that can make plays. Those kids have been in big games be­fore, so play­off games are no sur­prise to them. It is a great pro­gram.”

Udin­ski, who has thrown for 3,060 yards and 36 touch­downs, has three or four re­ceivers who can go get the foot­ball. Johns is the prime tar­get. The West Vir­ginia re­cruit hauled in 35 passes in 10 reg­u­lar sea­son games, along with seven touch­downs.

Coatesville will be led by the de­fen­sive play of Isiah Hall, Ed Clark and Alex Raminido. The Red Raiders are on a 10-game win­ning streak, and have av­er­aged just over 40 points per game in that span.

North Penn plays very good de­fense, but the Coatesville spread of­fense should give the Knights fits. Udin­ski will put up points, but the Red Raiders put up a lit­tle more.

W.C. Henderson at Spring­field, 7 p.m.

Henderson is com­ing off a thrilling 17-14 win over Up­per Dublin that had coach Steve Mit­ten look­ing back.

“Our spe­cial teams have been great all sea­son, and then against Up­per Dublin, we get a punt block and then Bryce McEl­hiney kicks an­other game-win­ning field goal for us,” Mit­ten said. “He won the Ox­ford game and in the West Ch­ester East game, he hit a big field goal. CJ Pre­ston, be­sides rush­ing the foot­ball for us, had the big punt block that won the Down­ing­town West game for us. And, Joe Saulino set a school record with a 77yard punt to pin Great Val­ley in­side the one-yard line. So our spe­cial teams have been fan­tas­tic.”

Mit­ten then turned his at­ten­tion to the dis­trict’s top seed.

“As far as Spring­field, they are the Cen­tral League cham­pi­ons, and the Cen­tral has Gar­net Val­ley, Spring­field and Marple New­town still left, so to win that league this year is a big thing,” he said. “They play very hard, Have ex­cel­lent skill play­ers and they re­ally rally to the foot­ball. It will be an­other big chal­lenge for us.”

Spring­field and Henderson are al­most car­bon copies of each other. Both like to run the foot­ball, play tough de­fense and have good spe­cial teams. Henderson has a knack of go­ing on the road in the play­offs and knock­ing teams off. And play­ing in the Ches-Mont League Na­tional Di­vi­sion is tougher than any­thing the Cougars will throw at them. They go on the road and do it again tonight.

NATE HECKENBERGER — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Coatesville’s Chris Car­ney forces a fum­ble by Ri­d­ley’s Ma­lik Young in last week’s play­off win.

PETE BAN­NAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

West Ch­ester Henderson’s Nick Mascetti holds onto the ball af­ter in­ter­cept­ing it in the end zone to

RICK KAUFF­MAN — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Spring­field quar­ter­back Johnny Fanelli, cen­ter, hands off to run­ning back Phillip Shovlin, right, dur­ing a play­off game.

BOB RAINES — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

North Penn quar­ter­back Reece Udin­ski passes over Spring-Ford’s Tan­ner Ro­mano in last week’s play­off game.

Peter DiGiovanni Colum­nist

THE PICK >> W.C. Henderson 21, Spring­field 14

THE PICK >> Coatesville 31, North Penn 28

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