Ortegas keep their fo­cus on big night for the record books

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Randy King For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia @king_randy93 on Twit­ter

CALN >> One ath­letic mile­stone is enough rea­son to cel­e­brate. Two — in one play­off game, for one fam­ily — only seems ap­pro­pri­ate for a team that has re­de­fined dom­i­nance this sea­son.

Coatesville had third and 24 from the Down­ing­town East 47yard line dur­ing Fri­day’s 38-19 Dis­trict 1 play­off win, when quar­ter­back Ricky Ortega found re­ceiver Dapree Bryant for a touch­down to give Coatesville a 7-0 lead with 5:39 re­main­ing in the first quar­ter.

It was Ortega’s 100th pass­ing touch­down of his young ca­reer.

With plenty of game left to play, Coatesville would put the ham­mer down and cruise to a 38-0 half­time lead, which they would use to coast to a vic­tory. Not only did the win ex­tend the Red Raiders sea­son, it gave coach Matt Ortega his 100th win as Coatesville’s coach.

Fol­low­ing the game, the Coatesville play­ers, fans, and cheer­lead­ers were sport­ing white T-shirts with their head coach’s face on it, hon­or­ing Ortega for his 100th vic­tory.

Very rare is it that both coach and player can achieve such mile­stones on the same night, even more rare when it is a fa­ther and son shar­ing that mo­ment.

“Coach­ing over 20 years and be­ing able to ex­pe­ri­ence that with your son is spe­cial,” Matt said. “Look­ing back when I first got my head job he was lit­tle and was on the side­lines and now it’s my younger two guys Tommy and Matt Jr.”

Ricky Ortega would end his night 4-for-11 for 120 yards, but would throw for three touch­downs, bring­ing his ca­reer to­tal up to 102. The cur­rent ca­reer Penn­syl­va­nia touch­down record is held by Matt Bo­damer of Port Al­legheny with 137. Ortega has an­other sea­son left with the Red Raiders, so that record could be in jeop­ardy.

“It is a very spe­cial mo­ment for both me and him,” Ricky said. “We have been grind­ing the past three years and to ac­com­plish two things that don’t re­ally hap­pen of­ten was un­be­liev­able.”

De­feat­ing both Down­ing­town schools is a rare feat, and some­thing that does not come by eas­ily, but Coatesville has done so the past three sea­sons, with Ortega tak­ing the snaps be­hind cen­ter.

“We’re 8-0 ver­sus all Down­ing­town schools the past three sea­sons,” Ricky said. “And that is some­thing that hasn’t hap­pened in school his­tory, so again just an­other great ac­com­plish­ment for us a pro­gram too.”

With this dom­i­nant per­for­mance and vic­tory, this Ortega-led Coatesville side will then put its un­de­feated 12-0 record to the test when it hosts No. 3 Gar­net Val­ley next Fri­day in the Dis­trict 1 Class 6A semi­fi­nals.

With a se­nior sea­son still to come for Ricky, both fa­ther and son know that what­ever prospects lie ahead, their job this sea­son is the only thing on their minds.

“I can’t look back at what I did and rest on the suc­cess that I was for­tu­nate to have,” Ricky said. “I just have to keep mov­ing for­ward and be­ing a bet­ter player ev­ery day.”

“With all the re­cruit­ing that has been go­ing on, we are solely fo­cused on this sea­son,” Matt said. “Meet­ing with col­lege coaches at this point, we have to tell them, ‘No dis­re­spect, but we’ll deal with these kinds of de­ci­sions when the sea­son’s over.’”

NATE HECK­EN­BERGER — FOR DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Coatesville’s Ricky Ortega picks up yards in the first quar­ter against Down­ing­town East. He later threw for his 100th ca­reer touch­down pass.

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