NOT THEIR TIME
Coatesville thwarted by North Penn in district semifinal
LANSDALE >> Coatesville was trying to make history Friday night at North Penn High School. The host Knights had never lost a playoff game at Crawford Stadium, winning 22 in a row, and have routinely buried opposing teams mercilessly over the years.
Although the Red Raiders put up a great fight, the top-seeded and undefeated Knights rolled to a 42-25 win in the District 1 Class AAAAAA semifinals, ending Coatesville’s magical run.
Nick Dillon led the Knights with 141 yards rushing and four touchdowns, while senior quarterback Reece Udinski riddled the Coatesville (11-2) defense for 184 yards passing.
“They are a really good team and they had a good game plan,” Coatesville quarterback Ricky Ortega said. “We are a young team, but we worked so hard in the summer and we will work hard again in the offseason.”
Coatesville took a 6-0 lead early in the first quarter when Aaron Young went in from a yard out, but the Knights (13-0) piled on 21 second-period points to take a 21-13 lead at halftime.
Coatesville’s second touchdown came on a 37-yard pass-and-catch from Ortega to Dapree Bryant.
North Penn received the sec-
ond-half kickoff and went down the field, scoring on a hook-and-lateral with Dillon taking the pitch from Jason Henley and running the last 60 yards for the score and a 28-13 advantage.
“We like to do some different things with our passing game,” North Penn head coach Dick Beck said. “We saw something and we tried it and it worked.”
North Penn outscored the Red Raiders, 14-0, in the third on two touchdown runs by Dillon and the Knights had the game in hand.
A Ricky Ortega interception, one of his two on the night, contributed to Dillon’s second score of the third. North Penn went on an eight-play drive after the interception by Dan Roth.
Coatesville came back to score twice in the fourth, and continued to fight in the penalty filled affair. An 85-yard interception TD return by Frankie Del Santos provided one of the scores, then Jadan Hudson hauled in a 38-yard strike late in the game.
North Penn piled up 443 yards of total offense, and it seemed every time they needed a first down, Dillon or Ricky Johns would get it for them on the ground.
Udinski threw for 184 yards on an 11 of 16 passing night. The seniorladen Knights took the steam out of the young Red Raiders. North Penn garnered 21 first downs for the game.
“We trusted in the process and our coaches and that is why we made it this far with all the young players,” Aaron Young said. “We worked real hard in the summer, and we would like to see them again next year In the playoffs.”
Coatesvile was led by Aaron Young, who rushed for 157 yards, and the passing of Ortega, who threw for 221 yards and two touchdonws.
After telling his team how proud he was of them, head coach Matt Ortega talked about what made this group achieve so much.
“This team had great chemistry and all pulled for each other,” Ortega said. “When we would change defenses and take someone out, they ended up rooting for that guy who replaced them. They all played for each other and they did it all year. I am so proud of this group.”
Mekhi Alexander and Dapree Bryant celebrate a second-quarter touchdown for Coatesville against North Penn in the semifinals of the District 1 6A football playoffs Friday.
Nick Dillon scores for North Penn against Coatesville on Friday.
Mekhi Alexander catches a pass from Coatesville quarterback Ricky Ortega on Friday at North Penn.