Worley’s 228 yards too much for Indians in playoff battle
By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times
EAST MARLBOROUGH — Talent tells. It shows up on the stat sheet and most importantly, it shows up on the scoreboard.
Despite what was arguably its best effort of the 2012 season, Unionville could not contain a skilled and motivated Coatesville squad — in particular Daquan Worley, who rushed for 229 yards in a dominant performance — as the Red Raiders won 38-21 in the opening round of the PIAA District One playoffs.
Coatesville, now arguably the best team in Chester County, will face Wissahickon — which stunned top seed Downingtown East — next Friday. The Red Raiders were denied a shot to get revenge on East, they lost a 35-34 heartbreaker in September, but don’t seem to mind much.
“I don’t care who we play,” Coatesville head coach Matt Ortega said, before it was clear who his team would face, although he acknowledged he wouldn’t have minded another matchup with East.
For the Indians (8-3, 6-0), the loss is a bitter end to what had otherwise been a sweet season, including their first ChesMont American title since 2007.
“Our kids played with phenomenal effort tonight,” Unionville head coach Pat Clark said. “I thought our level of effort was the best its been all year against an exceptional team. They made a few more plays than us, we had our shots
Still Unionville made it clear from the early going that anyone expecting a repeat of Coatesville’s easy 42-0 win in September would be disappointed. The Indians came ready to play and the Red Raiders knew quickly they were in for a battle.
“We came out in that first game and we jumped on them early, took them out of their game plan,” Ortega said. “This game, we knew it was going to be tough. I told our guys that we were going to get their best game that they played all year. But our guys stepped up and made the plays and ran the ball.
And while Coatesville has typically been powered on offense by senior QB Emmett Hunt’s throwing, Unionville focused on shutting down the air game, which meant more Worley and power running.
“We took what they gave us, they were taking our wideouts away, they were playing way off, they were dropping eight guys,” Ortega said. “We said we’re going to run the ball and pound it, and that’s what we did.”
And it was effective.
“They attacked the entire field,” Clark said. “You’re going to get caught sometimes.”
And Worely, who may not have gotten his due because of Coatesville’s powerful passing attack, was almost unstoppable at times just when his team needed him.
“It’s a sign of our guys believing,” Ortgea said. “Worely is a heck of a teammate and that’s what it comes down to. He’s a teammate first and we feed off of him. he hasn’t been selfish all year, we’ve been passing the ball. But we knew at some point in time, we were going to need him down the road and that’s what happened tonight.”
Slowed by injuries — junior lineman Mark Caputo went down with an ankle injury in the early going — Unionville patched as well as possible, and while the defense quickly steadied, the offense couldn’t get the ground game going.
Frustrated by the inability to get the running game going, Unionville went to the air with some success. Senior QB Tom Pancoast threw for 175 yards and three TD, giving the Indians a quick strike capability to allow them keep up with the explosive Worley and the Red Raiders’ power run game.
Coatesville looked early to be its dominant self, after both teams traded turnovers, grabbing the early 7-0 lead on a 1-yard run by QB Emmett Hunt, extended to 10-0 on a 32-yard field goal by Jon Bollenbach, midway through the second quarter.
But Unionville found a way to slow Worley and gets its offense moving. And it involved throwing the ball. Pancoast hit a key pass to senior Tim Christopher, pushing the ball down to the Coatesville 29 and then Pancoast hit Garrett Scargill from 19 yards out to cut the gap to 10-7, which is where the game stood at halftime.
But Worely took the first snap of the second half and raced 37 yards to give the Raiders the ball inside the Indians’ 10. Five plays later, Hunt scored again, again from a yard out to make 17-7.
Unionville, though, refused to submit. Again, Pancoast hit Christopher with a long pass to push the ball inside the Coatesville 25 and again, Pancoast threw for a score, this time hitting Patch Johnson from 22 yards out. At the end of three quarters, the score was 17-14.
Worley took control from there, though, slashing through the Unionville defense, sparking a time-consuming, 59-yard drive. His five-yard run capped it and made the score 21-14.
After stopping Unionville on a four-and-out, Worely did it again, needing just two plays to move 38 yards for another score, this time a 13-yard run. With 5:22 remaining, the Raiders grabbed a 31-21 lead.
The Indians would not quit and rapidly was deep in Coatesville territory, Pancoast hit Christopher with a long pass and hit Johnson again with a scoring pass to cut the lead to 31-21 with 4:46 left.
Unionville managed to recover and onside kick and looked to be in business — but a Pancoast pass was picked off by Tyler Burke and then Dre Boggs put the game away with a 68-yard explosion, capping the scoring at 38-21.