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Top 10 Ches-Mont games of the decade

1. Coatesville 35, Garnet Valley 28 – November 24, 2017, District 1-6A finals

Garnet Valley’s triple offense gave Coatesville fits all night, and the Jaguars led early in the fourth quarter before a pass from Ricky Ortega to Dapree Bryant tied it up. Garnet drove late in the game, and had a fourth-and-two from the Coatesville 35 with 32 seconds left. Avery Young, from his right cornerback position, stepped in front of a pass from Ryan Gallagher and raced 71 yards across the field for the game-winning score. The Jaguars had one last chance to tie it, but Young picked off his second pass in the end zone to clinch the Red Raiders’ first of two consecutive district titles.

2. Coatesville 38, Downingtown East 27 – October 20, 2017, week nine of the regular season 

The top teams of the Ches-Mont National went toe-to-toe with one another, as East entered 8-0 and Coatesville at 7-1. Their styles couldn’t have been more different, with the Cougars running their counter trey over and over and over again. Coatesville rarely stopped it, and the lead changed six times throughout the game. Brassir Stocker scored with 40 seconds left to give East a three-point lead, but Ricky Ortega and Dapree Bryant put the Red Raiders in scoring position. With three seconds remaining, Ortega hit Bryant on a perfect throw in the right corner of the end zone, for the winning score. Aaron Young returned a lateral on the kickoff to push the margin to 11.

3. Downingtown East 35, Coatesville 34 – September 21, 2012, week four of the regular season

East led 21-0 earlier in the game, but on the backs of quarterback Emmett Hunt and receiver Chris Jones, Coatesville stormed back for a 34-28 lead in the third quarter. But like they often do in big games, that missed extra point on the fifth touchdown would come back to haunt the Red Raiders. East made one last-gasp effort in the final minute, and with no time left on the clock, Kyle Lauletta rolled right, threw left, and connected with Jay Harris, just barely over the goal line, to tie the game. Chris White banked the extra point off the left upright, just to keep it dramatic, for the game-winning point, saving East’s perfect regular season.

4. Downingtown West 24, Harry S. Truman 22 – November 9, 2018, District 1-6A quarterfinals

Truman rushed for 258 yards in the first half and rode it to a 14-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Whippets rallied behind Ryan Wetzel, who was starting at quarterback for injured star, Will Howard. After eventually taking a 21-14 lead with under four minutes to go, West needed a stop to preserve the win. The Whippets didn’t get it, and Truman scored with 30 seconds to go, using a two-point conversion to claim the lead. Following a short kickoff after a celebration penalty, Wetzel found Jackson Luneburg for a 30-yard strike to the Truman 22. With three seconds to go, Dan Byrnes lined up for a 39-yard field goal and drilled it to send West to the semifinals.

5. West Chester Henderson 14, Ridley 13 – November 12, 2010, District 1-4A first round

Henderson gave Downingtown East its only league loss the week prior, to sneak into the playoffs as the No. 16 seed. The Warriors’ reward was to travel to Ridley to play the 10-0 returning district champs. They trailed by a touchdown just 88 seconds into the game, but that’s when their defense took over. Led by TJ White and Quincy Rhoads, Henderson recovered three fumbles and came up with some huge stops. Early in the fourth, Ridley had a first-and-goal from the two, but Henderson stuffed four straight run plays to preserve the lead. Ridley returned a punt for a score late in the fourth, but the extra point sailed wide and the Warriors ran out the clock for one of the biggest upsets in District 1 postseason history.

6. Coatesville 42, La Salle 35 – December 7, 2012, Class 4A PIAA semifinals

It was a run no one really saw coming, especially when Coatesville dropped to 2-2 earlier in the season. But the Red Raiders hit their stride and were dominant in the playoffs, blowing teams out for the first big school district title in the Ches-Mont in 16 years. With a trip to the state championship game on the line, Coatesville shook off an early 7-0 lead and eventually led 42-21 early in the fourth. The Explorers scored twice in the fourth, but a late Devonte Suber interception sealed the victory. Emmett Hunt threw for 234 yards and three scores, two to Chris Jones, and Daquan Worley ran for 146 yards and two TDs as Coatesville racked up 512 yards of offense.

7. Unionville 35, Springfield (Delco) 25 – November 24, 2017, District 1-5A final

Springfield’s defense had been dominant all season, holding teams to 8.7 points and 213.7 yards per game, resulting in an undefeated regular season and No. 1 seed in the playoffs. One-loss Unionville navigated its way to the final, taking the trip to Springfield. The Indians got off to a fast start when Joe Zubillaga picked off the first of two passes and took it to the house for a 7-0 lead. The Indians led 14-9 at halftime, but the Cougars responded in the second half and the two teams traded leads. A 50-yard TD from Alex Gorgone to JT Hower gave Unionville its lead for good late in the third, and Zubillaga scored his third touchdown to expand the lead. When Alijah Woodall recovered a fumble off a sack a strip, late in the fourth, Unionville won its first district title since 1994.

8. Downingtown West 48, Coatesville 36 – November 23, 2019, District 1-6A final

It’s hard to forget this one, less than a month removed, but the significance of having two Ches-Mont powers face off for a district title, for the first time ever, is undeniable. The Whippets led 21-0 early and 27-14 at halftime thanks to a strong half by quarterback Will Howard and two forced fumbles by Tyriq Lewis. The two-time defending district champs would not go out without a fight, and made it a six-point game early in the third. West matched Coatesville’s scores and finally hit the dagger when Howard found Julian Williams for a 37-yard touchdown, for the Whippets first district title in 23 years.

9. West Chester Rustin 28, West Chester Henderson 27, OT- September 5, 2014, week two of the regular season

In a rivalry that has given fans plenty of compelling matchups, this was arguably the most thrilling. It was started as a battle of star running backs, with Henderson’s Tre Green leading the game with 172 yards and two touchdowns. Rustin’s Terry Loper churned up 130 yards and two scores, and the teams were tied at 14, at halftime, and again at the end of regulation, 21-21. Rustin started with the ball in overtime and Loper scored, setting the scene for Henderson. Noah Richard found West Smith to make it a one-score game, when Henderson decided to go for the win. After a controversial flag for too many men on the field against Rustin was waved off, the Warriors lined up to kick the extra point, but Richard took the snap, ran to the right pylon, only to be stuff by Jordan Fulton a yard short.

10. Springfield (Delco) 56, Bishop Shanahan 49 – November 13, 2010, District 1-3A first round

There have been some epic shootouts in the Ches-Mont League over the years, but this was one of the wilder ones. Four receivers went over 100 yards in this one, the teams combined for 1,180 total yards and 15 touchdowns were scored. Ryan Egolf threw for 482 yards, second-most in league history, including 268 in the second half, bringing the Eagles back from a 22-point halftime deficit. Shanahan took a 49-48 lead with five minutes to go, but Matt Craig, who rushed 226 yards and six scores, cashed in with two minutes left to steal the win on Shanahan’s field.

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