Coatesville continues winning ways over Henderson

Coatesville bests Henderson in field position battle to become 8-0

By Kyle CarrozzaStaff Writer, The Times


Keenan Coleman gets some yards after the catch. The senior wide receiver had over 100 yards and a touchdown on the night.

CALN – When analyzing football teams, people often discuss Xs and Os, game plans, physical qualities like speed, size, and strength, but just as important is a team’s culture, the foundation that permeates the team’s actions from the first reps in practice to the snaps late in the fourth quarter of an undecided game.

That culture, intensified by the homecoming atmosphere, carried Coatesville to a 21-3 win over West Chester Henderson on Friday night.

“These guys believe in this program. They get it done in the classroom, and it carries over to the football field. It’s the concept of a small community. Sports is a major deal. Along with that, our kids are going to college, and I hope people start realizing what we have special in Coatesville,” said Coatesville Head Coach Matt Ortega.

Along with that culture, Coatesville put another of its familiar qualities on display Friday, scoring on the opening drive of the game. Junior quarterback Jordan Young, who has become one of the Ches Mont’s standout stars, showed his multifaceted game, connecting with multiple receivers and taking the ball himself for a two yard touchdown run.

An ensuing unsuccessful onside kickoff gave Henderson the ball near midfield. The Warriors took to the inside option game to nickel and dime their way down the field, eventually breaking a 27 yarder to make it into the red zone. They finished with a 26-yard field goal to make it 7-3 with 2:32 left in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Coatesville would come up with the first of its four takeaways, forcing a fumble and recovering at Henderson’s 15. Young again showed his athleticism, running the ball twice to put the home team up 14-3 near the beginning of the second quarter.

However, defense took over much of the rest of the game. Though Henderson found moderate success switching up blocking schemes to confuse Coatesville on inside option, the Warriors could not make it into the red zone for the rest of the half.

“Our kids understand our defense. They understand what their fits are, and that’s defensive football,” said Ortega.

Likewise, Henderson held the Coatesville offense at bay. Stacking the box and getting swarming to the ball carrier, the Warriors limited the Young and senior running back Jalen Hudson’s explosive attack out of the backfield and did not let wide receivers get big gains after the catch. An interception by senior defensive back Jason Bady made the preserved the 14-3 score line at halftime.

Shannon McGlaughlin (inside right) learns of her election as homecoming queen. Right to left: Jay Stocker, Darrien Allen,  Shannon McGlaughlin, Kyle Starcheski

Shannon McGlaughlin (middle right) learns of her election as homecoming queen. Right to left: Jay Stocker, Darrien Allen, Shannon McGlaughlin, Kyle Starcheski

The contest became one of field competition in the third quarter with both defenses making stops. Coatesville’s senior cornerback Ahkema Evans, who has been strong all year, gave his team an edge in field position when he grabbed an interception near midfield with just under five minutes to go in the quarter.

“It was just me and him one-on-one, so somebody had to move,” said Evans.

After a punt, the defense held the Warriors to their own 23, allowing Coatesville to get the ball back in opponent territory. The offense then showed why it is a threat to score at any time. Young took the snap at the 37. Downfield, senior wide receiver Keenan Coleman faced tight single coverage, but Young placed his lofted pass perfectly, allowing the receiver to catch it in stride and take the ball the rest of the way to make it 21-3 at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Coleman also had over 100 yards on the night.

Henderson answered with a big play of its own on the following drive. Henderson took advantage of its success with the inside run by tossing the ball to senior running back Tre Green. The Warriors’ line gave Green an edge, and Green sprinted down the left sideline on what looked to be a sure touchdown. But Coatesville’s Evans stayed with the play and made a big hit to keep the ball out of the end zone.

The defense seemed to feed off the big hit, taking what could have been a momentum-grabbing play by Henderson and reminding the defense of its resilient culture.

“The scoreboard was 21-3, and if they would have scored, they still would have been in the game,” said Evans.

With first and goal from the five, Henderson could not punch the ball in. Even with a penalty giving the visitors two fourth down attempts, the defense held out as senior safety Ricky Southcott took down the rolling quarterback to force the turnover on downs.

“You look at our stands, and you see the support we have. We’re one of those throwback-type towns and schools, not many of them left. We still have a steel town flavor,” said Ortega. “Guys lead, other guys step in, step it up. It’s a great program, and the community is unbelievable,” said Ortega.

Late in the fourth quarter, the defense stepped up two more times with senior corner Stevie Pugh grabbing an interception and Southcott grabbing another on the last play of the game to take it to the 21-3 finish.

Coatesville (8-0) will face another West Chester team next week, traveling to East for a conference matchup. Henderson will go back home to face Avon Grove.

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