St. Joseph's Prep survived a major scare to keep alive its two-year winning streak and its bid for a second consecutive state title and fourth in five seasons.

The Hawks found themselves in an 18-point hole against upset-minded Coatesville early in the third quarter of Friday night’s PIAA Class 6A semifinal.

But the Hawks rallied with six second-half scores and held off the Red Raiders, 53-49, in a wild and thrilling contest before an estimated 5,000 spectators at Downingtown West's Kottmeyer Stadium.

Quarterback Marquez McCray and running backs Marques Mason and Kolbe Burrell played key roles in the come-from-behind triumph.

Over the final 21 minutes, McCray found paydirt on a 16-yard keeper and added three scores on 1-yard plunges. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior completed 16 of 24 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns.

Following a 22-yard field goal by the Prep's Anthony Tigano, Coatesville registered three second-quarter tallies to take a 21-3 advantage with 2 1/2 minutes remaining in the first half.

Ricky Ortega's 9-yard pass to tight end Nik Thompson, halfback Aaron Young's 4-yard run, and Ortega's 44-yard toss to wideout Dapree Bryant put the District 1 champions in position to pull the shocker.

The Prep, which extended its winning streak to 27 games, cut the gap to 21-10 just before the break on McCray's 24-yard pass to Mason.

Five plays into the third quarter, Ortega hooked up with Bryant on a 23-yard, right-side fade to make it 28-10.

McCray's first TD run and his 18-yard pass to wideout James Cherry trimmed Coatesville's lead to 28-25. Three plays later, Bryant took a pass from Ortega and dashed down the sideline for a 76-yard TD.

Three straight 1-yard dives by McCray put the Prep ahead, 46-35, with just under eight minutes remaining. Burrell’s 44-yard, right side dart upped the lead to 53-35 with 5:13 to play.

The Hawks (13-0) will try to capture their second consecutive crown at 6 p.m. next Saturday at HersheyPark Stadium. They will face the winner of Saturday afternoon’s semifinal between District 3’s Manheim Township (12-1) and Pine-Richland (14-0).

Turning in another brilliant performance for the Red Raiders (13-2), Ortega hit on 25 of 40 throws for 434 yards and six scores.

The Prep's defense was aided in the third quarter by strong safety Dawson DeIuliis' interception and 73-yard return to the Coatesville 14.

St. Joseph's Prep      3      7    22     21  –  53
Coatesville               0    21    14     14  –  49

SJP: FG Anthony Tigano 22

C: Nik Thompson 13 pass from Ricky Ortega (Patrick Mihalak kick)

C: Aaron Young 3 run (Mihalak kick)

C: Dapree Bryant 44 pass from Ortega (Mihalak kick)

SJP: Marques Mason 24 pass from Marquez McCray (Tigano kick)

C: Aaron Young 23 pass from Ortega (Tigano kick)

SJP: Marquez McCray 16 run (Brandon Sanders pass from McCray)

SJP: James Cherry 18 pass from McCray (Tigano kick)

C: Bryant 76 pass from Ortega (Mihalak kick)

SJP: McCray 1 run (Tigano kick)

SJP: McCray 1 run (Tigano kick)

SJP: McCray 1 run (Tigano kick)

SJP: Kolbe Burrell 44 run (Tigano kick)

C: Bryant 42 pass from Ortega (Avery Young pass from Ortega)

C: Kahtero Summers 9 pass from Ortega (kick failed)