New Hope-Solebury slams the door on Bristol ground assault (VIDEO)

NEW HOPE – Entering last night’s Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) battle with Bristol, unbeaten New Hope-Solebury just knew if it could stop the visitors’ ground game, it could stop the Warriors. Consider the mission accomplished as the Lions (5-0) limited Bristol to just 40 yards rushing in a solid 25-8 triumph over the Warriors (2-3).

NH-S defenders spent nearly the entire game in Bristol’s backfield and didn’t allow halfbacks Daryl Mehn and Eric Bell any room to roam at all. In the previous week’s win over Calvary Christian, Mehn and Bell accounted for 288 of the Warriors’ 364 rushing yards. Against New Hope, the duo mustered a mere 80 rushing yards between them.

“Our defense was just lights out. I can’t give enough credit to our D-line; they just couldn’t be blocked,” said NH-S defensive captain Franco Mannino. “They were just unstoppable.”

What’s more, the Lion defenders put plenty of pressure on Bristol quarterback R.J. Collins, sacking the senior QB seven times in the battle.

In the four years Mannino has started for New Hope, these two BAL rivals have split the series with each team going 2-2. After the Warriors crushed the Lions, 42-0 in last year’s battle in Bristol, New Hope went into this one seeking revenge.

“We knew we had to win tonight after what happened last year,” said Mannino. “We needed to get that commanding win.”

It was indeed a solid victory with New Hope ball-carriers averaging more than 4-and-a-half rushing yards per attempt. Junior halfback Jack McKenna carried the motherlode with 94 yards rushing on nine carries including a 51-yard scoring scamper down the right sideline on the Lions’ first play from scrimmage.

Before the final gun, McKenna reached the end zone two more times including a 29-yard TD jaunt up the middle that put New Hope out in front, 12-0 with 5:04 remaining in the first half.

The Lions had their passing game going too with sophomore quarterback Nick Garritano throwing for 111 yards after completing 5-of-9 attempts.

NH-S senior wideouts Blake Hildebrandt (3-58) and Alec Coburn (3-50) accounted for over 100 yards receiving with Hildebrant’s 33-yard pass reception on third and long setting up McKenna’s third trip to the end zone on the Lions’ first possession coming out of the locker room.

McKenna’s 1-yard burst up the middle capped New Hope’s longest scoring drive in the game – 64 yards. With Parker Kelley still sidelined with an ankle injury, the Warriors were forced to send Collins out to kick and several of his punts went for little yardage.

That gave the Lions good field position all night long with a pair of New Hope’s scoring drives – one in each half – beginning on Bristol’s side of the field.

One such kick set the Lions up at the Warriors’ 37 yard line early in the third quarter and the home team already up, 19-0. Three plays later, New Hope was in the end zone again, this time with junior RB Brendan Shadle blasting up the middle for an 11-yard scoring run. A 22-yard pass to Coburn set up the Lions’ fourth and final touchdown in the battle.

Bristol finally got on the board on the following possession with Mehn returning the kickoff 40 yards to midfield and Bell capping the drive off with a 19-yard scoring burst. A pair of 15-yard penalties on the Lions set the Warriors up at the New Hope 31 yard line.

For the game, the Lions were flagged 12 times for 130 yards.

Defensively, they limited Bristol to 70 yards total offense. The NH-S defense forced the Warriors to go 3-and-out on three of its six first-half possessions. For the game, the home team forced a turnover on downs on four occasions.

Of course, it all starts up front where Bristol senior tackle Devon Adams had a front row seat.

“We’re trying to be a well-rounded offense,” explaned Adams. “We can’t really get discouraged if we can’t run the ball. We have to be able to pass the ball and do everything else.”

For New Hope, the win pushes the Lions to 5-0, overall, 4-0 in BAL.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Mannino. “New Hope’s never gone five-and-oh before; it’s the biggest win streak n New Hope’s history. We just want to take that and keep on rolling.”

NEXT: Bristol hosts Jenkintown (2-3) Friday, Oct. 9 while the Lions travel to Academy of the New Church (2-2) on Saturday, Oct. 10. ANC is coming off a 20-7 win over Sussex Tech while the Drakes have lost three straight and is winless (0-2) in the BAL.

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New Hope-Solebury 25, Bristol 8

(Oct. 5 at NH-S)

BRISTOL       0 0 8 0 – 8

NEW HOPE  6 6 13 0 – 25


NH-S — McKenna 51 run (kick failed)

NH-S — McKenna 29 run (pass failed)

NH-S — McKenna 2 run (Waterman kick)

NH-S — B. Shadle 11 run (pass failed)

B — Bell 19 run (Mehn run)


B             NH-S

First Downs        10           13

Yards Rushing    40           140

Yards Passing     30           111

Total Offense    70           251

Comp. Passes, Int            4-11-0   5-9-0

Fumbles-lost      1-0          1-0

Penalties-yards 7-35       12-130

Punts-Avg.          4-13.0    1-34

Sacked-Yds. Lost              6-36       1-11



RUSHING: Mehn 15-43; Bell 12-37, TD; Courtney 1-0; Collins 8-(-40).

PASSING: Collins 4-11-0, 30 yards.

RECEIVING: Mehn 2-4; Chea 1-18; Bell 1-8.


RUSHING: McKenna 9-94, 3 TDs; B. Shadle 8-33, TD; Capriotti 9-16; Mannino 1-1; Garritano 4-(-4).

PASSING: Garritano 5-9-0, 111 yards.

RECEIVING: Hildebrandt 3-58; Coburn 3-50; B. Shadle 1-10; Abernethy 1-3.

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