Speed Kills: Red Raiders dominate Cougars
Tonight a highly anticipated contest between 5-1 Downingtown East and 5-1 Coatesville was supposed to be played at Kottmeyer Stadium, with huge title implications in the Ches-Mont League’s National Division. In recent years, most of these games are tightly contested matchups between two evenly matched teams, and this year was supposed to be no different.
Then they played the game, and only one team showed up. The Coatesville Red Raiders rode a wave of big scoring plays to absolutely demolish the Downingtown East Cougars, by a score of 40-7. Tonight’s game was much closer than the score indicated. Coatesville thoroughly outplayed Downingtown East in every facet of the game, which is a rarity when playing the Cougars.
The Red Raiders’ smothering defense forced many three and outs during the first half, and a deluge of big plays put Downingtown East in an insurmountable 27-0 halftime hole. Coatesville’s onslaught of big plays started on their first possession, following a three and out by the Cougars. Freshman quarterback Ricky Ortega while flushed out of the pocket, hit a wide open Mekhi Alexander on a 64-yard scoring pass to establish an early tone for the evening. Following a long punt return, the Red Raiders dipped into their bag of tricks, when Mekhi Alexander connected with Avery Young on a 28-yard wide receiver pass.
The onslaught continued, as Avery’s brother Aaron Young scored on a 68 yard run to make it 21-0. Once Aaron got through the front seven, he turned on the burners, and just hit another gear. Ricky Ortega threw his second touchdown pass on the night to Avery Young, covering 32 yards, then Jaden Hudson for his third score (34 yards). In all, Coatesville had four scoring plays of 32 yards or more, and five scoring plays of 28 yards or more. In all, the Red Raiders gashed Downingtown East for 474 yards of offense.
Downingtown East was able to avert a shutout when Bryce Lauletta threw a 27 yard scoring pass, but Ricky Ortega capped off the scoring on a one-yard run.
I came away impressed with Ricky Ortega, who is having an impressive season for a quarterback, regardless of what year he is. His poise is impressive, he threw for 228 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for another. Running back Aaron Young ran for 125 yards and a score (10 carries), and Avery Young had 121 yards receiving and two scores (six catches). Coatesville will win the league, and do some damage in the district 1 playoffs this season. In the next two seasons, look out for Coatesville, they will get back to Hershey in 2017 or 2018.
After the game, Coatesville head coach Matt Ortega stated, “We really played physical, and it’s something we can build on. We had a good feel with what they run, and made some small tweaks to our game plan from last year. It’s something to take game by game, and we need to keep improving on this. Ricky was chomping at the bit at his next big game. He and I had a talk after we got beat by Cumberland Valley, on how to improve, and he did.” Ricky Ortega commented that, “Our offensive line stepped up tonight. We executed the game plan, and took what they gave us. I trust my teammates, and will continue to get better.”
Like always, Downingtown East coach Mike Matta was to the point. He stated, “They whipped us. We got outplayed, and out coached.”
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