DOWNINGTOWN >> In a blink of an eye the Coatesville Red Raider offense can score on an opposing defense and put them out of a game in a hurry.
Friday night at sold out Kottmeyer Stadium, Coatesville scored three touchdowns in its first five offensive plays, stunning the heralded Downingtown East defense as the Raiders rolled to convincing 40-7 win over the Cougars in a key Ches-Mont National Division matchup that vaulted the Red Raiders to the top of the division.
Coatesville (4-0 Ches-Mont, 6-1 overall) got huge games from running back Aaron Young (125 yards rushing on just 10 carries), Avery Young (six catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns) and quarterback Rockey Ortega, who shredded the Cougar defense on 8-for-12 passing for 228 yards and three touchdowns.
“We got them down early and they do not like to play from behind,” said Ricky Ortega. “I trust in my teammates and coaches and the gameplan and we work hard in practice and I got some extra motivation from reading the newspapers today and seeing that Downingtown was going to win.”
Coatesville struck early as Mekhi Alexander took a beautiful 64-yard strike from Ortega to the end zone after just two minutes of play for a 7-0 lead.
After forcing a Cougar (2-1,5-2) punt after a three and out, Coatesville again went to the air, this time a halfback pass from Alexander to Avery Young for a 28-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead. Again, Downingtown East went three and out after the kickoff and the Red Raiders effectively put the Cougars out of the game when Aaron Young caught a 68 yard touchdown pass behind Jeremy Jennings for a 21-0 lead.
Again, Downingtown East went three and out after the kickoff and the Red Raiders effectively put the Cougars out of the game when Aaron Young caught a 68 yard touchdown pass behind Jeremy Jennings for a 21-0 lead.
You could hear a pin drop on the Downingtown East side of Kottmeyer Stadium.
The Coatesville defense was equally as impressive, completely shutting down the Cougars. Downingtown East could not get any running game going, rushing for just 66 yards on the night and getting big games from Ed Clark and Alex Raimondo, among others. The Cougars managed just 198 yards of total offense, much of it coming after the outcome was no longer in doubt.
“Our defense has really come together,” Coatesville head coach Matt Ortega said. “We really dominated both sides of the ball tonight and showed the league and District 1 that we can play physically. We know what East runs after these years playing them and the kids executed and now it is time to get ready for the next game.”
The Red Raiders forced Downingtown East into six first half punts, while holding the Cougars to just three first downs in the half. Avery Young finished the first half in style when he made a great catch of an Ortega missile in the end zone for a 27-0 halftime edge, and the shocked Downingtown East crowd started heading for the exits.
It was more of the same in the third period as Aaron Young romped 28 yards down the right sideline but was hit out of bounds very late by the Cougars’ Brassir Stocker. Young left the game at that point, while the Cougars received a 15-yard penalty for the late hit. Despite the early exit, Young seemed fine after the game.
Enter Jadan Hudson, who took a 34 yard touchdown pass from Ortega to make it a 33-0 game. Hudson caught two balls for 71 yards and rushed for 74 more. Coatesville racked up an impressive 486 yards of total offense for the game.
“We played well on offense, well on defense and special teams, the whole team played well,” Hudson said. “And now we get back to practice and try to get better. We have a lot of confidence in each other.”
The Cougars avoided the shutout when Bryce Lauletta hit Zack Burdenski with a 28 yard touchdown pass for a 33-7 score. Ortega finished the scoring, ending a nine-play drive with a a one yard sneak for the 40-7 margin.
The final score could have been even worse, but Matt Ortega ordered his team to take a knee twice in the final minutes to avoid the mercy rule. Quarterback Ricky Ortega played well beyond his freshman years, and his father Matt talked about his son and signal caller.
“He has been chomping at the bit for years to be a part of this team,” Matt Ortega said. “And after the Cumberland Valley loss we talked and figured some things out and he plays with a lot of confidence.”
The crushing loss for a Downingtown East defense that had allowed just over six points per game in its five wins was evident on the face of Cougar head coach Mike Matta. The East boss offered no excuse for the ugly loss.
“No excuses at all,” Matta said. “They whipped us. They outplayed us and really out-coached us.”