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Red Raiders Sports

There's always a lot of juice when Raiders, Cougars collide

Posted Friday, September 24, 2010 by staff writer Peter DiGiovanni

There's always a lot of juice when Raiders, Cougars collide

This is the time of the season when every come is crucial. But none will have as much juice as the Downingtown East-Coatesville showdown tonight.

Coatesville has had a real good season so far. The Red Raiders almost beat Ridley in the opener, then blew out Academy Park and a overmatched McKinley team from Washington D.C. The defense has only allowed nine points per game and is getting big contributions from Chase Lloyd, Kevin Berry and Shawn Brannon. Unlike Coatesville teams of the past, the defense is not big — but they're blindly fast and they swarm to the football.

But, like Coatesville teams of the past, this Red Raiders team plays with an attitude. Yes, even after last year's 6-4 season, this team feels like they are ready to win the Ches-Mont League National Division title and march on to the district playoffs.

They'll have to start tonight against the mighty Cougars from Downingtown. It's hard to get a much better offense than the Cougars have with quarterback Trey Lauletta, running back Drew Harris and tight end Tyler Kroft running the show. And the Cougars have that tough Downingtown winning attitude, also.

On offense, the Red Raiders have not yet hit on all cylinders. Oh, the pieces are there, but they have not meshed together yet. Tonight would be a good time to start. The Red Raiders boast a good junior quarterback in Manny Stocker, who can make all the throws and is a threat to run, as well as a future big time receiver in 6-foot-4 Kyle Kerrick. They also have about four or five guys who can carry the ball into the end zone at any time.

Coatesville head coach Matt Ortega was brought in to restore the glory of Coatesville football. And make no mistake - in Coatesville, that means beating Downingtown. The Red Raiders' fan base and administration has grown tired of getting beat by the Cougars and Whippets in recent years. There is no love lost between the two communities and on the football field, it reminds me of Ohio State-Michigan.

So it brings us to this. Everyone knows how good the Cougars are. People are talking in some circles of this team playing North Penn or Ridley in the District 1 Class AAAA title game.

The question is: how good is Coatesville? Is this team ready for the big time, or just another good team? Smartly, no one associated with the team is talking too much. They will let their actions speak for them.

Football is a great game that tests the limits of those involved like no other sport. On Friday night, the hunted Cougars and the hunters from Coatesville will get it on. Downingtown East has earned the respect and praise they are receiving. The Cougars have something Coatesville wants. It will be a test of wills to the end.

Is the time now for the hungry Red Raiders? Kickoff is 7 p.m.

To contact staff writer Peter DiGiovanni, email pdigiovanni@dailylocal.com

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