Indians now may need to win remaining games to keep playoff hopes alive
By Mike McGann, Editor, the Times
EAST MARLBOROUGH — No one saw this coming.
While either team winning Saturday’s anticipated matchup between Coatesville and Unionville wouldn’t have been shocking, the manner in which the Red Raiders completely dismantled the Indians was nothing more than shocking.
With Unionville coming off a big win over West Chester Rustin and Coatesville coming off a tough, last-minute loss to powerful Downingtown East — on paper, this seemed like a game that would be close and could come down to one play late.
But within the first 10 seconds, when Daquan Worely raced 99 yards with the opening kickoff for a score — it was clear that Coatesville had driven down Route 82 with the idea of delivering a message: don’t count us out.
“We had those two tough losses to great teams, and we had a lot of confidence as a team, but we had to come out and show it,” Coatesville head coach Matt Ortega said afterward. “We had to make a statement game, where we come out and win convincingly in a game like this that was picked to be close, and just dominate. Especially after those tough losses, it shows the character of this football team.”
And just minutes later, the Raiders (3-2, 1-1) scored again, on Dre Boggs 11-yard run, and that was a little more than three and a half minutes into the game. And while Coatesville came about as ready as a team can be, Unionville appeared to struggle across the board.
“We were outplayed in every segment of the game,” a visibly disappointed Unionville head coach Pat Clark said. Clark said he felt the team had a good week in practice — so he said he and his staff would be looking at everything to see what went wrong.
Clearly some of what went wrong for Unionville was how right Coatesville was.
Although last week’s loss to Downingtown East left the Raiders with little in the way of margin in terms of making the state playoffs, the win Saturday sends a message, Ortega said, that they will not go down without a real fight.
“Our big thing is to make the playoffs and go further than we did last year, that’s been our no. 1 goal since day one,” Ortega said. “We just feel like if we stay healthy, take it one game at a time…they key is that we have to get better every day in practice. We can control that and that’s all we care about right now.”
Just a week after feeling good about their chances to win the ChesMont American, the Indians now have to worry whether they can stay in the hunt to make the state playoffs — and now may need to run the table, no easy task with the very improved Oxford, Sun Valley, Great Valley and Kennett — among others — looming on the schedule.
“We’re not worrying about the state playoffs, we’re worrying about playing Oxford next week and fighting for the conference title,” Clark said.
After Sr. QB Emmett Hunt scored late in the quarter on a one-yard plunge, the Raiders led 21-0 — even with three quarters left, Unionville was quickly running out of time. Still the Indians found a little life, mounting a strong drive deep into Coatesville territory — only to see it stall.
“When we were down 21-0, we felt like we could have gotten some momentum with a score, but we couldn’t get it done,” Clark said.
And once stalled, Coatesville struck quickly — scoring on a Hunt pass to Jay Stocker, putting Unionville down 28-0 at the half.
With time slipping away — although being the opening minutes of the half, another Indians drive sputtered, Coatesville took over and scored on one play: a 55-yard pass from Hunt to Vinnie Williams. Although mercy rules kicked in — the clock kept running for all but turnovers, penalties and changes of possession — Hunt threw one more TD pass, again to Boggs to complete the scoring, with 4:56 left in the third.
After that, both teams went to younger players — the outcome decided and neither team mounted a serious scoring threat.