Parker Kelley steps up in Bristol’s opening win over Kensington

PHILA. – Subbing for the injured Bristol senior running back Eli Moore, junior Parker Kelley played the part of a suitable replacement for the 12th-grader, racing for three touchdowns in the Warriors’ season-opening win over Kensington Sept. 4 at Simon Gratz.

Kelley also added a 2-point conversion on a botched point-after kick on Bristol’s initial scoring drive in the first quarter. That meant the junior tailback tallied all 20 of the Warriors’ points.

“We practice that all the time,” said Kelly. “If it goes down and catches fire, someone’s supposed to try and run it into the end zone. I had a seam so I used my speed to get outside and dive into the end zone for it.”

Moments earlier, Kelley notched his first touchdown of the season when he broke loose off right tackle for a 20-yard scoring jaunt.

“I feel comfortable with my speed,” added Kelley. “I can just run through anyone. I’ll put moves on anyone that comes in my way. If I have blockers, it’s a perfect path for me to go down.”

Kelley’s first trip to the end zone capped a seven play, 78-yard drive on the Warriors’ second possession of the game. Eric Bell ripped off a huge 33-yard gainer on the second play of the drive.

Like the first half, Bristol reached the end zone again on their second possession after the break. It came on a 70-yard scoring drive that began moments after an interception by Kelley, the Warriors’ second pick of the contest.

Parker stepped in front of a Bela Donnelly aerial at the 1-yard line and returned it all the way to the 30. Seven plays later, Kelly reached paydirt again, this time on a pitch from quarterback R.J. Collins. The Tigers were tagged for multiple penalties on the drive, a theme that continued throughout the afternoon.

Another theme in the contest was some poor kicking by Bristol. An onsides kicking attempt did not go as planned following Parker’s second touchdown, giving Kensington a short field at the Warriors’ 47 yard line.

Just when it looked like the Bristol ‘D’ would once again hold, Donnelly found flanker Dante Wlson along the right sideline for 20 yards on 4th-and-7 from the 45. On fourth down from the 18, Donnelly again connected, this time on an 18-yard pass to Henry Williams in the flat that the tight end took to paydirt with 9:23 to go in the contest.

The Tigers returned the favor however when their botched onsides kick attempt went wrong, giving the Warriors the ball at the Kensington 47. Six plays later, Kelley went in again, this time on a 13-yard scoring jaunt off right tackle that put Bristol on top, 20-6.

Defensively, the Warriors’ front seven forced the Tigers to the air. When Kensington threw, there was usually a Bristol defender to intercede. Junior Austin Knox intercepted Donnelly on the Tigers’ final possession. Classmate Jose Marte picked off a pass of his own on Kensington’s final drive of the first half.

“Coach says watch outside – peddle back outside, come up and pursue,” said Kelley of the three picks by the Warriors. “We know what to do. As soon as we catch it, we block and go toward the (other) end zone.”

Offensively, Kelley carried the football 12 times for 62 yards, classmate Rodney Courtney rushed a dozen times for 48 yards, Bell notched 47 yards on four carries and sophomore Samir Brisbon took the ball once for four yards.

Quarterback RJ Collins threw the ball just four times, connecting on two passes for 60 yards. His counterpart Donnelly hit on just five of 14 aerials.

Sophomore Danny Collins jumped on a loose ball on the Tigers’ third possession of the game. Bell then ripped off a solid 44-yard gainer on a dump pass from Collins that looked like it came off a broken play. That put the Warriors inside the red zone at the 11 yard line, though they failed to convert on 4th-and-24 when Collins couldn’t connect with Brisbon on a pass that just slipped through the receiver’s fingers in the right hand corner of the end zone.

Penalties were a problem for both squads: Bristol was flagged 10 times for 95 yards with five of the penalties called for offensive holding. Kensington was no better, flagged for 53 yards in penalties on the Warriors’ second touchdown drive that came in the third quarter.

Shortly after the break, junior Arren Pulinario put a huge sideline lick on kick returner Tayvon Johnson at the Tigers’ 45. Another Bristol defender whiffed on the tackle, however, 15 yards back at the 30.

Bristol 20, Kensington 6

(Sept. 6 at Gratz)

Bristol0 8 6 6 – 20

Kensington 0 0 6 0 – 6


B — Kelley 20 run (Kelley run)

B — Kelley 8 run (pass fail)

K — Williams 18 pass from Donnelly (kick fail)

B — Kelley 13 run (run fail)

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