Raiders defeat another league rival, advance to District title game
No matter what the sport is, the Ches-Mont League schedule is a grind. This especially holds true in football. The Coatesville Red Raiders ran the table in winning the National Division Championship this season. The way the district 1 AAAA playoffs played out, Coatesville had to defeat league rival West Chester Henderson a second time to end the Warriors’ season at 8-4 last week. Another round in the playoffs presented another Ches-Mont rival in Downingtown East.
The first game with the Cougars was a grind, with the Red Raiders pulling out a solid 15-9 win over the Cougars. The second game with the Cougars was supposed to be another grind. For the first 36 minutes of the game, the game was a grind, as the Red Raiders established a 13-12 lead, and were clinging to it.
Fortunately for Coatesville, dominating performances by Temple bound Ahkeema Evans, Jalen Hudson, and Division 1 recruit Amir Ealey helped the Red Raiders pull away from Downingtown East in the fourth quarter by a score of 31-12 to secure a date in the District 1 championship game against Pennsbury (who beat Upper Dublin 25-14).
Coatesville knew the re-match with Downingtown East would be a war right away. Following a Jordan Young punt that went minus three yards due to a bad bounce, the Red Raiders’ defense stifled the Cougars, but were on the wrong end of a 3-0 score, due to a 32-yard field goal by Drew Brennan.
Showing their resiliency and steely resolve, the Red Raiders answered right back, when Jalen Hudson scampered 44 yards for a touchdown on an option play (which was available all game) that was used successfully by Coatesville regularly tonight. Downingtown East re-claimed the lead at 10-7 on Keith Conner’s 2-yard run, which was set up by an amazing 61-yard catch and run by Cary Angeline. After a turnover by Downingtown East, it took Coatesville one play to go back ahead 13-10, when Jordan Young hit Coleman on a 35-yard pass.
From there, it looked like the shootout was on. This was proven wrong, with a safety by Downingtown East right before halftime. Jalen Hudson recovered a botched handoff between him and Jordan Young and tried to make too much happen. Instead of falling on the fumble, Hudson tried to bounce it out and make a positive play out of something that was not there. He was tackled in the end zone for a safety.
Neither team could do much offensively in the third frame, as both teams’ defenses were stifling the other. It was only a matter of time before either team broke through for a big play and score, and that team was Coatesville. Jordan Young scampered 15 yards to paydirt, to increase their lead to 19-12. Jalen Hudson scored on a 33-yard run to make it 25-12, and Ahkeema Evans returned an interception 33 yards to paydirt to squash any shot the Cougars had at any comeback.
For Coatesville, Amir Ealey had four sacks on defense, and 52 yards receiving. Jordan Young accounted for two touchdowns (1 passing, 1 running), threw for 171 yards, and ran for 65 more. Jalen Hudson ran for 166 yards and a score on 18 carries.
After the game, Coatesville’s coach Matt Ortega said that this is, “A different team than the team that won districts in 2012. We relied on a high powered offense that year. This year, we rely more on our defense. We realized we had something special here after the Roman Catholic game, and we have won 35 out of our last 40 games. On film the last couple years, when we beat them, the game was won up front. The only concern I had was with our kicking game- which we will work on this week.” Amir Ealey stated, “Our D like to get dirty and grind out wins. Our coaches get all the credit, they put us in positions to make plays.”
Downingtown East’s comeback season ends at 9-4. Meanwhile, Coatesville improves to 13-0, and has the opportunity to bring a second district on title to the Ches-Mont League (Great Valley beat Springfield-Delco 21-0 in the AAA final tonight), when the Red Raiders play Pennsbury in the AAAA finals at a site to be determined.
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