Coatesvile blasts Avon Grove, awaits playoff matchup

42-13 win for Red Raiders means spot in AAAA playoffs

By Kyle Carrozza, Staff Writer, The Times

CALN – Equal parts offense, defense, and special teams lifted Coatesville to a 42-13 home victory against Avon Grove Friday night. Each unit scored two touchdowns apiece, allowing the Red Raiders to finish their regular season at 8-2. Coatesville’s first playoff opponent will not be decided until all teams finish their regular season schedule, Saturday.

As its has done all year, Coatesville started quickly. Following the opening kickoff, senior Dre Boggs caught the ball on the right sideline and crossed to the left, outrunning the defense in the process for an 85-yard touchdown pass.

After an Avon Grove three and out, senior wide receiver Chris Jones scored on the Red Raiders’ second play from scrimmage. Jones caught a swing pass from senior quarterback Emmett Hunt and raced down the sideline for a 64-yard touchdown to make the score 14-0 with only three minutes gone.

A good kick return and a roughing the kicker penalty helped Avon Grove on their next drive. However, Coatesville’s defense once again frustrated the Red Devils. Senior defensive lineman Leslie Clinton earned two sacks during the possession, and junior linebacker Tyler Burke ended it with an interception.

The Red Raiders’ junior running back Daquan Worley took over the ensuing drive, moving the ball 63 yards on seven consecutive running plays. But the offense stalled on a failed fourth down attempt in Avon Grove’s red zone. Perhaps due to the wind and misting rain, Coatesville struggled through the air all night.

Coach Matt Ortega said he was not too concerned with his passing game, which has been strong through most of the season.

“Going up big early, you don’t want to throw if you don’t have to,” said Ortega.

The defense’s outstanding perform took pressure off the offense, holding the Red Devils to 50 yards in the first half, while both teams starters were playing. Constantly quicker and stronger off the line, they forced three and outs on Avon Grove’s next two possessions. On the second one, Jones weaved in and out of the punt team to for a 58-yard touchdown. All year, opposing teams have struggled to deal with the Boggs-Jones combination both as wide receivers and explosive return threats.

“We commit a lot of time to special teams every week,” said Ortega. “When you have playmakers across the board, they’re going to be a threat every time.”

Avon Grove’s only first half touchdown came from rare mistakes by the Coatesville’s special teams and defense. After the defense forced another three and out, Jones muffed the punt, and the Red Devils recovered at the Red Raiders’ 39. The defense forced two incomplete passes but then allowed a 34-yard completion and then a five yard touchdown completion to make the score 21-7 with four minutes left in the half.

Coatesville attempted to answer immediately, with Boggs returning the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, but an illegal block brought the ball back to Avon Grove’s 21. The following play also finished with Boggs in the end zone, only to be called back by another penalty. Running the same play, this time to the other side, Boggs ran the ball again for 12 yards, which set up Worley for a 14-yard touchdown run.

In just over a minute, Worley would score again.

On the second play of the next Avon Grove possession, Worley, playing cornerback this time, matched up in one-on-one coverage against a Wildcats receiver. The quarterback lofted a pass that the wide receiver jumped to get his hands on to but could not bring in. In close coverage, Worley matched the receiver’s jump, controlled the ball, and raced down the sidelines to the end zone for a 38-yard return.

Worley, who also scored on a kick return earlier this year, enjoys all aspects of the game equally.

“Wherever I’m playing, I want to be an impact player,” he said.

Matching their offensive and special teams counterparts, the Red Raiders’ defense scored a second touchdown three plays later. Avon Grove’s quarterback and running back botched a handoff, allowing Coatesville’s sophomore linebacker Steven Pawling to recover the fumble. Pawling lost control of the ball as he was being tackled, which caused the ball to pop up into the air and find the hands of senior defensive lineman Joe Phillips who took it the rest of the way. With 48 seconds left in the half, Coatesville took a 42-7 lead.

Coatesville would actually make another trip to the end zone before the half was over, but a penalty brought the play back. After the Coatesville’s squib kick bounced off of an Avon Grove player, the kicking team recovered the ball to regain possession for their offense. Worley ran the ball 40 yards for a touchdown on the first play, but an illegal shift nullified the score, and Coatesville’s lead stayed at 42-7 going into halftime.

“I’m not too worried about the penalties. We have a high focus level in big games,” Ortega said about penalties possibly carrying into the playoffs.

Though only three of the touchdowns counted, the Red Raiders actually reached the end zone six times in the final four minutes of the half, displaying a big play threat in all aspects of the game.

Coatesville has now outscored opponents 358-115 in their 10 regular season games. Hunt, Worley, Jones, and Boggs have all proven themselves as threats to score every play on offense, with the same true of Jones and Boggs on special teams as well as Worley when he returns kicks. Opposing offensive lines have struggled to maintain consistency against the defense’s front seven, and athleticism in the secondary makes big plays difficult.

If the passing game can provide consistency and special teams can cut down on the number of big kick returns they give up Coatesville will prove to be one of the toughest teams to beat in this year’s state playoffs, which start next week.

Pin It

Share this post:

Related Posts

Leave a Comment