DISTRICT CHAMPS! Late INT/TD by Young spurs Coatesville to 35-28 win

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CONCORD — Thanks to a dramatic late score, Coatesville will be advancing to the state 6A state semi finals, after defeating Garnet Valley, Friday night, 35-28. The Red Raiders won the District 1, 6A title and are now just one win from a return to the state championship game in Hershey.

With the two teams tied 28-28 with less than a minute to go and the Jaguars (12-2) driving into field goal range, Garnet QB Zeke Elisio dropped back to throw but Coatesville star defensive back Avery Young read the pass and stepped in front of it at the Raiders’ 29 and then raced down the left sideline for a game breaking touchdown with just :19 left in the game.

The contest was a tight, back and forth matchup. Coatesville scored first on an Mekhi Alexander halfback option pass to Avery Young to Coatesville a first quarter 7-0 lead. After Garnet tied the game early in the second quarter, Aaron Young scored on a one-yard run to make 14-7. The Jag’s Danny Guy scored from 7 yards out to tie the game again, 14-14 midway through the second quarter.

But sophomore QB Ricky Ortega answered right back, hitting Dapree Bryant for a 44-yard TD score, to make it 21-14.

Garnet Valley struck back before the half, with Matt Lassik scoring on a 10-yard run to knot the game at 21-21.

After a scoreless, tense third quarter, the Jags grabbed the lead early in the fourth, 28-21, again prompting an immediate response from Ortega — who connected again with Bryant, this time from five yards out, to tie the game again, at 28-28.

Coatesville looked to be in trouble in the final minutes as Garnet — led by Guy’s stellar running — methodically moved the ball down the field, closing slowly but steadily within field goal range. But Avery Young — one of Chester County’s top football players — read Elisio perfectly, jumped in front of the pass and raced down the left sideline for the score. He was mobbed by his teammates and celebration ensued.

Coatesville (13-1) will face St. Joseph’s Prep (13-1) this weekend, time and site to be determined, for the 6A East championship. The Raiders won the 4A East title in 2012, but lost in the state final at Hershey.

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