JENKINTOWN – While the final score indicated a 26-0 Bristol shutout win Friday night (Sept. 30) at Jenkintown, the Warriors didn’t dominate the Drakes so much as they wore them down quarter by quarter.
Bristol tallied a touchdown in each period including two TD passes from senior quarterback Parker Kelley (6-for-10, 54 yds.) to junior Samir Brisbon (5 receptions, 47 yds.) along with a second-half fumble recovery by junior Danny Collins that went for another score on its way to its third win of the season, its second against a Bicentennial Athletic League foe.
“They beat us in every aspect,” commented Jenkintown head coach Tony Owens. “I thought they were more physical, they got to the outside well, their quarterback is an outstanding player, they outcoached us and they made the big plays when they had to.”
With the Warriors (3-2, 2-1: BAL) holding a 14-0 lead at the half, this game – which took place under a steady mist and on top of a muddy field – could have gone either way. The difference may have been the contrast with which each offense responded to being pinned at the one yard line.
Holding on to a precarious 6-0 lead in the second quarter, Bristol took 20 plays but finally punched it in on its third possession in the contest when Kelly tossed a 4-yard scoring aerial to Brisbon, who was wide open in the left-hand corner of the end zone. Junior Eric Bell (12 carries, 65 yds.) got into the end zone for the 2-point conversion and a 14-0 Warrior lead.
Three times on the drive, the Warriors converted on fourth down.
“That really had (their defense) out of breath and we kept a fresh rotation of running backs,” said Bristol QB Parker Kelley. “They’re healthy and (have) a lot of energy so we used that to help us drive all the way down the field.”
Coming back from the locker room, the Warriors nearly went all 60 yards they needed to extend their lead but Kelley was ruled down at the one yard line on a 4th-and-4 draw play up the middle, giving the ball back to the Drakes (2-2, 1-2: BAL) at the one.
Working out of the shotgun, Jenkintown – which had been having trouble snapping the ball in the first half – muffed another snap and the result was another touchdown for the Warriors. Sophomore Allen Reyes put the hit on Drakes senior QB Jake McGrath as he tried to pick the ball up and Collins pounced on the loose rock for the score.
“We had them pinned inside the one and they take it all the way down and score. We’re pinned inside the one and they score,” was the way the Drakes coach put it. “That’s a really big swing; you have to give them credit.
“That takes the gas out of anybody.”
Bristol then went for broke, electing to go with an onside kick following the TD by Collins and the move seemingly paid off when freshman Lynn Anthony recovered the ball at the Warriors 35 yard line. But a slew of penalties on a first down rush by Dante Lombardi and two more flags on the visitors sent the ball back to the 10 and the drive stalled from there.
Jenkintown failed to capitalize on its next drive, which began in Bristol territory – one of two times the Drakes came away empty on a possession that began on the Warriors’ side of the field. A 10-yard pass to senior Michael DeValentino got Jenkintown a first down at the visitors’ 31 yard line but a big tackle on another pass play by Bristol sophomore Lucas Bogarde at the line of scrimmage, and another fumbled snap recovered by Jenkintown brought up fourth-and-long.
With time winding down on the third quarter, a pass gathered in by Jenkintown senior Steven Charlemagne had legs with the Drakes captain netting 16 yards on the play. But Bell brought Charlemagne down short of the first down marker, resulting in a turnover on downs.
One of ten 12th-graders recognized on Senior Night, Charlemagne gained 13 yards on his first two carries in the game but was hurt on his fourth tote of the pigskin. That hurt the home team’s cause and helped send Jenkintown to its second loss of the season against a BAL foe.
Starting its first possession of the fourth quarter at the 45, Bristol needed only six plays to put the ball into the end zone again. On 4th down-and-4 from the Drakes’ 38 yard line, Kelley dropped another nifty pass into the hands of Brisbon. Streaking down the right sideline, the 5-11, 165-pound split end went in for his second score of the contest, putting the Warriors on top 26-0 with 9:13 to go in the fourth quarter.
Coming off of a heartbreaking 23-20 loss suffered at the hands of BAL rival New Hope-Solebury, Bristol welcomed the win. Facing the highly-touted Nick Garritano on their home field a week earlier, the Warriors held the Lions senior quarterback to 89 yards passing.
Last year, Garritano threw for over 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns, despite missing the first three games of the season with an injury. In his first four games this season, the senior signal-caller for NH-S has already thrown for over 450 yards.
“We faced a really tough offense against New Hope and that really prepared our defense to never think less of any (opponent) and throw our best out, no matter who the team is,” said Kelley.
“We did that tonight.”
For the game, Bristol held McGrath to 49 yards passing on 5-of-11 attempts. After the injury to Charlemagne – who returned in the fourth quarter – the Drakes found it almost impossible to gain any ground on foot.
Bell opened the scoring for the Warriors on the visitors’ third play from scrimmage, bouncing off left tackle up the middle for a 20-yard score. Bristol was gifted with having to travel just 20 yards on the drive when Jenkintown failed to execute its first punt in the contest.
While the Drakes did hold the explosive Bell to 65 yards on a dozen carries, at times, the Jenkintown defense could not get off the field on fourth down and the offense failed to hang onto the ball just when it mattered most.
Anthony recovered two kicks for the Warriors including a second-half kickoff dropped by the Drakes immediately after Bristol’s last score. He finished the game under center for the Warriors.
NOTES: The duel took a grim turn on a punt return with 22 seconds remaining in the first half when Bristol junior Samir Brisbon was pushed out of bounds into Courier Times correspondent Bill McFarland, who was standing at midfield along the left sideline. The Bucks County sports scribe briefly lost consciousness and had to be transported to Abington Hospital. McFarland is said to be recovering at home today, though somewhat worse for wear.
Contact Steve Sherman at ssherman@21st-Centurymedia.com or @BucksLocalSport on Twitter
Bristol 26, Jenkintown 0
(Sept. 30 at Jenkintown)
BRISTOL 6 8 6 6 – 26
JENKINTOWN 0 0 0 0 – 0
B — Eric Bell 20-yd. run (run failed)
B — Samir Brisbon 13-yd. pass from Parker Kelley (Bell run)
B — Danny Collins rec. fumble in end zone (run failed)
B — Brisbon 38-yd. pass from Kelley (run failed)