Saturday's Pa. high school football roundup: Coatesville run their own 'Philly Special' in win over Harrisburg

Ricky Ortega, left, of Coatesville tries to break awy from Tom Deaver, center, of Garnet Valley in last year’s District 1 Class 6A championship game. Ortega accounted for four touchdowns in a 37-6 win over Harrisburg on Saturday.

The Coatesville Red Raiders pulled off their own version of the “Philly Special” during a 37-6 win over Harrisburg on Saturday.

On 4th-and-9 from just outside the 10-yard line, running back Aaron Young threw a touchdown pass to quarterback Ricky Ortega. Young lined up in the slot before taking a handoff from Ortega, who found an opening in the left side of the end zone with 23 seconds left in the half. The score made it 23-6. Ortega also threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score.

“We have had that play in our playbook for two years now,” said Ortega, who caught the first touchdown pass of his high school career. “We ran it once my freshman year and it went for a big play. We have practiced that play many times. Coach called a timeout and made the right call at the right time.”

Despite a lot of similarities to the famous play run by the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII, Ortega said the play wasn’t run with that in mind.

“There actually wasn’t any connection to the ‘Philly Special,’ but afterwards it made us think of that play in the Super Bowl,” stated Ortega.

Coatesville, the defending Ches-Mont League National Division champions, lost to St. Joseph’s Prep, 53-49, in last year’s PIAA Class 6A semifinals.

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Lonnie Rice, Joachim McElroy, and Jon Luke Peaker had two touchdowns apiece in Bishop McDevitt’s 42-7 victory over Central. The Lancers jumped out to a 14-0 lead on a pair of Rice touchdown runs. McElroy returned a punt for a score and added a 55-yard touchdown run to put the game out of reach.