Coatesville routs Downingtown W., 52-20

Hunt powers powerful Red Raider offense, throws for 300 yards

By Kyle Carrozza, Staff Writer, The Times

Coatesville’s Daquan Worley races for daylight Friday against Downingtown West. The Red Raiders made another argument for being the best team in Chester County by routing their neighbors — in a game many expected to be close and hard-fought.

DOWNINGTOWN – Behind another outstanding game by senior quarterback Emmett Hunt, Coatesville rolled to a 52-20 victory at Downingtown West on Friday night.

The clash of the 6-2 teams, which was featured on local TV as WPVI’s High School Huddle game of the week, looked like it would be a close one, but by halftime, Coatesville held a comfortable 38-14 lead and never looked like they would give it up.

With the win, the Red Raiders likely need only a win over Avon Grove (1-7) to qualify for a PIAA District One AAAA playoff spot. Coatesville came into this week’s action tied for 11th (the top 16 teams get in and the top eight get home games), the win should jump them up and give them a shot to host the opening round game with a win over the Red Devils.

In front of energetic crowds on both sides of the stadium, Coatesville’s offense once again came out firing. After receiving the opening kick, the Red Raiders scored on their second play. Hunt, who had over 300 yards passing and four touchdowns on the night, hit senior wide receiver Dre Boggs with a swing pass. A play they have had success with all year, the pass allowed Boggs to showcase his athleticism, running around and past defenders on his way to a 72-yard touchdown.

“We came out with a chip on our shoulder,” Hunt said about going against a 6-2 rival.

The special teams also had an excellent night. After the defense stopped Downingtown’s following drive, they punted, and the ball bounced near the sideline; it looked like Coatesville would be starting pinned deep in their own territory. But senior wide receiver Chris Jones picked the ball up and beat the coverage unit, running from sideline to sideline for a big return that allowed the Red Raiders to start at their opponents’ 38. Coatesville drove the rest of the way, with junior running back Daquan Worley scoring on an 11-yard run to put his team up 14-0 midway through the first quarter.

After stopping Downingtown again, the special teams came up with another big play, blocking the Whippets’ punt to start their offense inside the red zone. However, a series of penalties sent the offense backward, eventually putting them in a first and 35 situation. Not intimidated, Hunt went straight for the end zone—and was picked off. The interception was Hunt’s first all season.

“I knew it was going to happen eventually,” said Hunt, “and when it happened, I knew I had to bounce back.”

On the ensuing possession, the defense also turned in an uncharacteristic performance, allowing a 52-yard touchdown run to put West within a possession of tying the game.

That’s the closest they would come. After a few plays for solid yardage, Hunt passed to senior wide receiver Vinnie Williams. Williams bobbled and then lost control of the ball, but it bounced straight to Boggs, who made the catch and went the rest of the way for a touchdown. However, a sideline encroachment penalty nullified the score; Coatesville would have three touchdowns called back during the game. But on this drive, Boggs would get his touchdown in the form of a 15-yard run. He went on to add over 100 receiving yards and another touchdown.

Still, West stuck around longer than most teams Coatesville has faced.

“I’m very happy we could handle adversity,” said coach Matt Ortega.

A failed fake punt gave the Whippets a short field. Finding more success on the ground, they made it 21-14. Though the Red Raiders still had the lead and over half the game to play, this was indeed the closest thing to adversity the team had faced recently.

Like he had in the game after losing to Downingtown East, Worley stepped up to the adversity. On the first play of the following drive, he broke key tackles to turn a routine run into a 79-yard gain, eventually resulting in a field goal by junior kicker Jon Bollenbach.

“They’re getting better every week,” said Ortega of his special teams. “I’m happy with all phases of the game.”

The Red Raiders’ defense returned to form on the ensuing possession, recovering a fumble on the first play to start the offense in West territory. A couple of penalties and a sack took Coatesville backward to a third and 23. Unfazed by his earlier misstep, Hunt once again went to the end zone in a long yardage situation, but this time, he found Jones for a score.

Coatesville added one more before halftime. Getting the ball with 16 seconds to go, a 46-yard pass to Boggs set up a 2-yard pass to Williams for a touchdown on the final play of the half. The final 3:21 of the half saw the game go from a nervy 21-14 to a comfortable 38-14.

“They’re a good team, fundamentally sound,” Hunt said of the challenge Downingtown provided.

A flat second half performance from the Whippets ensured a Coatesville victory. The Red Raiders starters stayed in for two more possessions, scoring on both. Worley, who finished with over 200 yards and two touchdowns, flew over a pile of bodies at the goal line for the first, and Hunt hit Jones at the beginning of the fourth quarter for the second. Jones finished the day with over 150 yards and two touchdowns.

“I was hoping [the starters] would play in the fourth quarter,” said Ortega, who has been trying to keep the first team sharp for when they have to play full games. “The practices are up tempo; we’re adding small things and getting fundamentally better each week.”

Downingtown went on to score one more but with Coatesville up 52-20 at that point, the game was already over.

Coatesville, now 7-2, returns home to face a 1-8 Avon Grove team next week. The last game of the season, the matchup looks like an easy one, but coming off two big wins and playoffs looming, the Red Raiders will have to stay focused.

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