NEWTOWN – Council Rock North cannot seem to catch a break in the early going of the 2016 gridiron campaign. The Indians were denied an opening game when their scheduled opponent cancelled. Last week, they had to travel to CB South only to get handled by a 35-6 score. In week three, they had to battle not only unbearable heat but a loaded Coatesville team, a goliath that laid a 54 to 20 hurting on them Sept. 10 at Walt Snyder Stadium.
Through it all, the Indians have proven they possess the one ingredient so necessary for success on the gridiron. They have heart. North never stopped fighting, long after the contest with the Red Raiders had already been decided.
Coatesville, employing a spread offense that featured jet sweeps and quick outlet passes, struck early and often. Quarterback Ricky Ortega capped off the Raiders’ first drive by bursting up the middle for a three-yard tally. From there, Aaron Young took center stage for Coatesville. The 5’11”, 182-pound speedster scored the next five touchdowns for the visitors.
Young, who would finish the game with 154 all-purpose yards, scampered five yards for Coatesville’s second score, hauled in a quick pass from Ortega and then raced 50 yards to paydirt, and swept the end for the Raiders’ fourth touchdown.
With just 1:29 left in the first quarter, the hometown Indians found themselves on the short side of a 27-0 score.
At this point, the Rock could have easily waved the white flag. They chose not to. Mike Welde gave the fans something to cheer about when he took a handoff from quarterback Evan Devine, spotted a hole in the Coatesville defense and then out-sped the Red Raiders’ defenders for a 75-yard touchdown. Welde would lead all Indian ball-carriers with 79 yards on five carries.
The lightning bolt score only served to arouse Coatesville’s potent offense. Aaron Young once again took charge, scoring on a 38-yard pass from Ricky Ortega and an 11-yard pass from Ortega. Following the second TD, Coatesville opted to go for the Mercy Rule by lining up for a two-point conversion. The Indians would have nothing to do with this strategy, sacking Ortega to thwart the Raiders attempt.
The ensuing kickoff proved just how determined first-year coach Matt McHugh’s charges really are. Mike Welde took the ball at his own 14 yard line, broke through the Raiders kickoff team and sailed 86 yards for the Indians’ second touchdown.
Down 40-14 at halftime, the Indians refused to surrender. Coatesville’s Mekhai Alexander took the kickoff and appeared ready to race to a 90-yard touchdown. Council Rock’s Connor Collins was not about to let that happen.
The 5’10”, 180-pounder never quit chasing, finally catching up to Alexander on the one yard line. Collins not only stopped the proverbial nail-in-the-coffin touchdown but he caused Alexander to fumble the ball out of bounds in the end zone giving the Indians’ possession at their own 20.
Collins would add to his list of heroics in the closing moments of the game when he snagged a 21-yard pass from Evan Devine for the Rock’s final tally. Devine went 4-for-9 in passing for 46 yards. Collins hauled in two aerials for 35 yards.
On the plus side of the ledger, the Indians outrushed Coatesville by a 194 to 115 margin. In addition to Welde’s electrifying scamper, the Rock got solid performances from Matt Shenot and T.J. Ayrer. Shenot rushed 10 times for 72 yards before leaving the game late in the fourth quarter with a serious knee injury. Ayrer would add 50 yards to the Indians’ total.
Though on the wrong side of the lopsided 54-20 score, the Indians showed they have the heart to play a lot of exciting football this season.
Coatesville 54, Council Rock North 20
(Sept. 10 at CR North)
COATESVILLE 27 13 14 0 – 54
CR NORTH 7 7 0 6 – 20
C — Aaron Young 3 run (kick failed)
C — Aaron Young 3 run ((Barsee kick)
C — Aaron Young 50 pass from Ortega (Barsee kick)
C — Aaron Young 10 run (Barsee kick)
CRN — Welde 75 run
C — Aaron Young 47 pass from Ortega (Barsee kick)
C — Aaron Young 11 pass from Ortega (kick failed)
CRN — Welde 84 kickoff return
C — Hudson 8 pass from Ortega (Barsee kick)
C — Brown 27 pass from Ortega (Barsee kick)
CRN — Collins 16 pass from Devine (kick failed)