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Ortega goes off as Coatesville rolls into semifinals

CALN >> Coming into Friday night’s District 1 6A quarterfinal, Ridley had the top-rated defense in the district, allowing a paltry eight points per game.

Coatesville beat that average five times over.

The potent Red Raiders attack scored three touchdowns in the first eight minutes of play, and fourth-seeded Coatesville rolled to a convincing 41-21 triumph Friday night. The Red Raiders (11-1) will hit the road to face No. 1 North Penn Friday night at 7 p.m.

Coatesville rolled up a whopping 519 total yards of offense as freshman quarterback Ricky Ortega put on quite a show, throwing for 138 yards and two touchdowns and running for another 123 yards and three long TD runs. Both touchdown passes went to the talented Avery Young to open up the early lead. Aaron Young had his usual big night, rushing for 246 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries.

The first score came on the first Coatesville series of the game, as Ortega rolled to his right and hit a streaking Avery Young with a 21-yard TD pass. After a Ridley three and out, the Red Raiders struck again as Avery Young hauled in a 39-yard strike from Ortega for a 14-0 just five minutes in.

Coatesville's Ricky Ortega and Avery Young celebrate after a first-quarter touchdown (Nate Heckenberger - For Digital First Media).

Coatesville’s Ricky Ortega and Avery Young celebrate after a first-quarter touchdown (Nate Heckenberger – For Digital First Media).

“We saw some things that we thought would work,” Ortega said. “They did not have safety help on the weak side so I just found Avery and he made two great catches. We wanted to get the early lead and get out on them early. Now, we look forward to North Penn and get back to practice Monday, and we have another week of hard work.”

Ridley did not help itself as the fifth-seeded Green Raiders (10-2) lost three first-half fumbles and never got the passing game going, as Ridley quarterback Cade Stratton completed just five of 10 passes for 63 yards. After a Ridley fumble was recovered by the Red Raiders’ Zach Hilliard, the Coatesville offense struck again.

This time Coatesville went on a seven-play, 52-yard drive that culminated in a 24-yard touchdown run by Ortega straight up the middle, putting Coatesville up, 21-0, after one quarter.

Ridley did not quit however, as the Green Raiders came back and scored when Malik Young went five yards around the left side to cut the lead to 21-7. But after the Ridley kickoff, Coatesville marched down the field again and Ortega ran 22 yards for a score to make it a 28-7 game at halftime.

Ridley had a chance to make it a two-score game, but the Coatesville defense stuffed Ridley on a fourth down play at the Coatesville 4 yard line just as the first half ended.

Coatesville's Ed Clark delivers a big hit (Nate Heckenberger - For Digital First Media).

Coatesville’s Ed Clark delivers a big hit (Nate Heckenberger – For Digital First Media).

“We have a lot of young players on this team but they are all stepping up,” said Coatesville’s Jadan Hudson. “And the seniors are keeping it together also. We have a close team and we are really looking forward to going up to North Penn next week. It will be a great game.”

Ridley came alive in the second half, when Stratton completed two short passes and a 39-yard toss to Brock Anderson to set up Young’s 23-yard touchdown run around the left side to cut the lead to 28-14 in the third quarter.

But it seemed like only a matter of time before the Red Raiders scored again, and this time Ortega again took matters into his own hands, running 22 yards for a score and a 34-14 lead.

“We saw some things we could do and that is the beauty of the no-huddle offense,” Matt Ortega said. “You can change things at the line. and, this team has great chemistry and they are very close. Ridley deserves a lot of credit. They did not quit and hat’s off to them. We wanted to put them away earlier but they did a good job staying in the game but we got that third period touchdown after they made it 28-14 and we will take the win.”

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