DOWNINGTOWN - The bigger they are the harder they fall. And no one fell harder than the Coatesville football team Friday night At Kottmeyer Stadium as the previously undefeated Red Raiders were dominated by Downingtown West in a game for the Ches-Mont League National championship.The Whippets got a big game from their defensive and offensive lines and senior quarterback Nick Pagel threw for 196 yards to earn their first outright division title with a 24-7 victory to set off a will celebration.
In winning its seventh straight game, West finished the regular season at 6-0 in the division, 8-2 overall. They held the high-powered Coatesville offense to 180 yards on offense and no touchdowns.
"It feels really amazing to win the Ches-Mont and go undefeated in this league,' Pagel said. "I never felt we had the game won until (Brendan) Bowler kicked that field goal in the fourth period. Our defense played so great tonight. They did not let them score a point and the offense got just enough.'
The Whippets dominated the game right from the outset. The defensive front of Pat Coyne, Mike Withka, Brandon Peterson and Eric Stanko were getting penetration on the huge Coatesville (5-1, 9-1) offensive line and keeping quick back Isaiah Flamer from getting outside. Flamer, subbing for Daquan Worley, who is out for the season with an ACL tear, rushed for 90 yards on 22 carries, but did not break a run longer then nine yards all night."Our defensive line was embarrassed a little bit last week against East,' Downingtown West head coach Mike Milano said. "East has a big line and a power back and these guys have a bigger line and a speed back, but our kids accepted the challenge and got it done."These kids have worked and worked all year and tonight they played great. I know Coatesville did not have Worley, but Flamer is one heck of a back that could play for anybody.'
After a scoreless first quarter, Downingtown West struck twice in the second. Pagel hit Jake Barr with a 49-yard catch-and-run to make it 7-0. The Coatesville defense was fooled by Pagel, who faked a throw left and then hit Barr, who raced down the sideline.
After a three-and-out by Coatesville, West took over on its 43. After four plays, Pagel hit a wide-open Derrick Boyer down the center of the field for a 32-yard score to put the Whippets up, 14-0 going into halftime.
"We fought and fought tonight,' Boyer said. "What this team is all about is heart and we showed it tonight. It was a tough, physical game and to win the Ches-Mont is an amazing feeling.'
Downingtown West looked like they were on their way to a rout when Elijah Tinson scooped up a fumbled punt by James Clark and went 14 yards to make it 21-0 late in the third. But, two can play the fumble game.
With the Whippets driving to score again and the third quarter near its completion, Stephen Pawling scooped up a Barr fumble at his own six and raced 94 yards untouched to cut the West lead to 21-7 after three periods.
But the night and the championship clearly belonged to the Whippets. After Sami Warren hit Burke with a 39-yard pass deep into Downingtown West territory, thet defense came up big again as they stopped Coatesville on a fourth-and-one and took control of the football with under seven minutes to play.
Pagel hit Dion Lattanzi on a 20-yard pass to put the ball at the Red Raiders 30. Four plays later, Bowler put the nail in Coatesville's coffin as he drilled a 43-yard field goal to make it 24-7."We came out flat tonight,' Burke said. "We wanted this championship, but maybe they wanted it more than us. Their defensive line did a good job of slanting up front and hitting gaps.'
Coatesville head coach Matt Ortega may have summed up the night best."We got outplayed, outcoached and they did everything right,' he said. "Tonight was their night.'
With the wild celebration going on, Milano took time to credit his kids effort."These kids have been tremendous all year,' he said. "To beat a really good football team like Coatesville and win the league is a great feeling.'
Note: Both Coatesville and Downingtown West will have home games in the first round of next week's District 1 playoffs against opponents to be determined.Downingtown West 24, Coatesville 7
Coatesville 0 0 7 0-7
Downingtown West 0 14 7 3-24
DW-Barr 49 pass from Pagel (Bowler kick)
DW-Boyer 32 pass from Pagel (Bowler kick)
DW-Tinson 14 fumble return (Bowler kick)
C-Pawling 94 fumble return (O'Deens kick)
DW-Bowler 43 FG
First downs 9 13
Yards rushing 90 118
Yards passing 95 200
Total yards 185 318
Passing 15-26-0 10-18-1
Fumbles-lost 4-0 2-1
Punts.avg 6-34.5 4-38.0
Penalties-yds 7-55 2-15
Rushing: Coat: Flamer 22-90; Stocker 1-9; Burke 1-1; Warren 3-(-10). Down: Barr 14-72; McNulty 1-13; Pagel 12-28; DiSantis 9-5.
Passing: Coat: Warren 15-26-0 98 yards. Down: Pagel 9-16-0 196 yards 2TDs; McNulty 1-1-0 4 yards; Mattioni 0-1-0.
Receiving: Coat: Stocker 8-37; Clark 1-8; Burke 1-37; Hudson 4-16; Eally 1-(-3). Down: Boyer 3-81 TD; Barr 3-59 TD; Lattanzi 2-32; DiSantis 2-28.
Sacks: Coat: Burke. Down: Myers.
Interceptions: Coat: None. Down: None.