MLK Cougars look ahead after tough season-opener loss

The Martin Luther King High School Cougars began their first season in AAAA division on Friday with a 45-19 loss to the Coatesville Red Raiders.

While it was a disappointing way to begin the season after last year’s history-making run to the school’s first Public League Championship in football, the Cougars didn’t lose resolve.

“Let’s get back to work. Don’t go home and cry. Let’s go get even,” said coach Ed Dunn during a post-game pep talk. 

The Coatesville squad took advantage of early momentum after the Red Raider’s James Clark took off with the opening kickoff and raced 57 yards, deep into Cougar territory. Coatesville would score on the opening drive.

Three plays into King’s opening drive, a fumble resulted in a second Coatesville touchdown.

The Raiders would score again before MLK got on the board. Sophomore quarterback, Nasir Boykin, completed a 38-yard-pass to Dominique McNeil. A short pass to Emmanuel Clarke and a successful extra point put the tally at 19-7 at the end of the first quarter.

Coatesville, looking more like a team in the mid-season groove, continued to pound the Cougars on both sides of the ball for the rest of the half running up the score to 38-7 at halftime.

In the locker room Coach Dunn urged his players to, “keep chopping wood.”

The Cougars plugged away during the second half and allowed only one more Coatesville touchdown.

Boykin led a pass-heavy offense in two successful drives, each ending with him running the ball in for six-points.

“We’ve still got work to do. This is just the beginning”, said Dunn.

Senior captain Jayni Harris told his team afterward, “we got points on that board,” reminding teammates from last year of the tough loss against Archbishop Wood in the City Championship Game. 

Harris assured players that he was not disappointed by any player on his team.

The Cougars take on Archbishop Wood Friday.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.