Knights fall to Red Raiders in District Title Game

Shamar Edwards carries the ball for the Knights in the 3rd quarter.

PERKASIE- It seemed as if the Red Raiders went Black Friday shopping for touchdowns in the District One 6A Title Game, while the Knights couldn’t get much clicking on offense.  It was a disappointing loss but a tremendous season for the Knights football team, however they will not be suiting up for one more week.

With a district title on the line, the Coatesville Red Raiders (14-0) beat the North Penn Knights (13-1) 42-13 at Pennridge High School.  The Knights offense almost doubled possession time and ran 16 more plays than the Red Raiders, but still had less yards than the Red Raiders (337-264 yards).

The game began with the Knights having possession but the Red Raiders forced a three and out.  However, Coatesville senior Aaron Young fumbled the ball and North Penn senior Kaleem Corbin recovered it at the Knights 48-yard line and gave the Knights a second chance.  But it would only take three plays before the Knights’ offense was off the field again.

With 52 seconds left in the first quarter, Young rushed for a 57-yard touchdown for the first score of the game.  The PAT from senior Than Hylen was good and gave the Red Raiders a 7-0 lead.  The Knights would answer back however.  Senior QB Solomon Robinson connected to senior Julian White on screen pass that was ran for a 45-yard gain.  Three plays later, Robinson faked the handoff and hit junior RJ Macnamara for a 27-yard touchdown.  The score remained 7-6 after the snap for the PAT didn’t even make it to the holder, junior Nate Brown.

It wouldn’t be too long until the Knights got the ball back.  Coatesville QB Ricky Ortega handed the ball off to receiver Dapree Bryant who then threw the ball deep down the field into double coverage.  Senior Andy Cole came down with the interception and gave the Knights another opportunity to put points on the scoreboard.  However, the Knights were not able to do much and punted the ball away.

With 2:20 left in the first half, the Knights had the ball at the Coatesville 33 and called a timeout to discuss a 4th and 4 play.  The timeout lasted a little longer than most expected because play had to stop due to a drone that flew over the field.  Eventually play resumed and the Knights tried to run a trick play of their own.  Robinson handed the ball off to Shamar Edwards and then reversed it to junior Evan Spann.  Spann tried to throw a pass to Robinson down the field but was hit as he threw it, which meant a short throw intercepted by Young.

The Red Raiders went down the field especially thanks to a 51-yard rush by Ortega, to setup the Red Raiders at the Knights 5-yard line.  Then yet another trick play was brought out.  Ortega handed the ball off to Young and then Young found Ortega in the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown.  The PAT was good and made it a 14-6 game headed into halftime.  Surprisingly, the running back, Young, completed two passes in the game compared to the quarterback Ortega, who only completed one pass.

The Red Raiders did not waste any time after halftime as Young returned the second half kickoff to the Knights 9-yard line.  On the next play, Bryant rushed the ball into the end zone and the PAT was good to make it a 21-6 game.

The Knights marched down the field on their offensive possession, but Robinson fumbled the ball and Coatesville senior Tione Holmes recovered it to gain possession for the Red Raiders.  Young then had another monster run, this time a 53-yard touchdown and the lead grew to 28-6 after the PAT.  The Knights knew they had to get points on their next possession to have a shot at a comeback.  However, the Red Raiders came up with two big stops against seniors Julian White and Edwards (Edwards finished with 120 yards rushing) on the ground.  They then sacked Robinson and forced the Knights to punt the ball away.  The Coatesville defense finished the game with a total of six sacks.

“[Coatesville] did a lot of blitzing and a lot of zone blitzing and kinda freeing up the middle and we just couldn’t get the ball off in time,” Head Coach Dick Beck said.

The Red Raiders lead continued to grow as Ortega ran for a 46-yard touchdown followed by a 4-yard touchdown run by Young to make it 42-6.  Ortega finished with 119 yards rushing and Young with 173 yards.  The Knights drove down the field and scored on a 7-yard touchdown run by Macnamara but it was a little too late as the Red Raiders ran out the clock and got the District Title.

The Friday night lights for the Knights will be turned off until next season but it was football season to be proud of at North Penn.  The Knights finished the regular season with a perfect 10-0 record and won the conference title along with clinching the first seed in the district playoffs.

“[The team] should be proud of themselves.  It’s been an outstanding year, they are gonna look back at this and really be proud and they should be cause, boy it was fun,” Coach Beck said.