Coatesville thwarted by North Penn in district semi­fi­nal

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Peter DiGio­vanni pdi­gio­ @PeteDLN on Twit­ter

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.

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