CALN >> In order for Abington to hang with the fourth-seeded seeded Coatesville Friday night, the Ghosts knew they were going to have to play a near-perfect game.
Simply put the Ghosts didn’t.
“We told our kids, as silly as it sounds, we really have to play a perfect game or at least a more disciplined game than they did,” Abington coach Kevin Conlin said.
On the other side, Coatesville did not put together its most impressive performance of the season but it was good enough for a convincing 42-0 District 1-6A first round win.
The thing that really sticks out about Coatesville is its team speed. The speed of the Red Raiders was put on full display Friday night led by their freshman sensation Ricky Ortega at quarterback.
Ortega had a particular connection with fellow freshman, wide receiver Dapree Bryant who finished with 144 yards receiving on five catches and two touchdowns.
“Our offensive has a lot of playmakers obviously,” Coatesville coach Matt Ortega said. “We had a big break out game from the freshman Dapree Bryant tonight and that’s what happens when you have so many weapons on offense. One game it’s this guy, one game its that guy and tonight we got a breakout game from the freshman at wide receiver and we knew he was due and that was going to happen and he lit it up tonight.”
While the speed of Coatesville was apparent throughout its skill positions its speed really shined through on the defensive line where the Red Raiders did an excellent job of shutting down Abington’s dynamic running back Darryl Davis-McNeil as they held him to 86 yards rushing on 26 carries.
“We’re always going to try to stop the run first,” Ortega said. “We’re going to do thing schematically, not change a whole lot of things, but do certain things schematically, make sure we have guys in the box and make sure we stop the run first.”
“Everybody sees the wide outs and running backs and obviously the quarterback is insanely dynamic for a ninth grade kid but I think the key is their d-line is just so much faster than anything we’ve seen,” Conlin said.
With the loss, Abington’s season ends but it would be difficult to call the season anything but a success. The Ghosts finished 1-10 a season ago to finish 6-4 this season with all its losses coming to playoff teams while finishing second in the high-powered Suburban One National to the district’s second-seeded team Neshaminy.
“I think we had a great year,” Conlin said. “I think the kids have nothing but to be proud of the way they played.”
For the Red Raiders its quest for a district championship is well in play and off to a great start. Next up for the Raiders, the no.6 seeded Ridley.
“Its just week to week (and) we got to get back,” Ortega said. “We got a couple guys dinged, nothing major, we got to get them back healthy and ready next Friday at home.”
Top Photo: Coatesville’s Ricky Ortega looks for an open receiver in the first quarter against Abington during their District 1-6A first round game on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016. (Nate Heckenberger/For Digital First Media)