Bristol gets much needed win over Valley Forge Military Academy

BRISTOL BORO – After Bristol took a 26-7 halftime lead in its Bicentennial Athletic League (BAL) battle against Valley Forge Military Academy (VFMA), that’s when the Warriors really turned up the heat.

First, sophomore Eric Bell took the second half kickoff 72 yards for a touchdown that extended Bristol’s edge to 33-7. Then, the Warriors’ defense forced a pair of turnovers and turned both changes in possession into points. By then, Bristol was up 46-7, well on its way to its third league win of the season with an upcoming winnable game at Lower Moreland next Saturday afternoon to wrap up the regular season.

“It was the perfect game; we should play like this every week,” said senior defensive tackle Devin Adams. “If we play like this every week, nobody can stop us.

“Everybody showed up.”

What the Warriors (4-5 overall, 3-2 BAL) had going for them in this one was a rushing attack, one that netted 258 yards rushing on 52 attempts, an average of almost five yards per carry. Six running backs had at least five carries and the group was led by junior Daryl Mehn, who reached the century mark after gaining exactly 100 yards on 10 carries.

A single carry by Mehn came on Bristol’s last possession of the first half and netted 45 yards when the junior transfer broke free off right tackle and would have reached paydirt if not for the efforts of senior linebacker Anthony Howard, who brought Mehn down at the Trojans’ 20 yard line.

“It’s great having the amount of athletes that we do,” said quarterback R.J. Collins. “We can break off big runs or big passes with Eric (Bell), Darryl (Mehn), Samir (Brisbon). We have so many athletes that we are able to do so much.”

“I love having just one main key guy – when you can do anything with anybody on the field,” added Adams. “Everybody is capable of doing whatever they put their mind to.”

Of course, the Warrior defense gets props for wrapping up those turnovers. Valley Forge coughed the ball up seven times, three of which Bristol recovered. The ‘D’ also came through with three sacks and forced the opponent to punt five times.

On VFMA’s last possession in the first half, junior linebacker Arren Pulinario brought the pressure on Trojans QB Gavin Chaffee and the sophomore tossed the ball up only to be hauled in by Warrior defensive back Austin Knox.

On VFMA’s second possession of the second half, Adrian Ellerbe brought the pressure on Chaffee and that time, the quarterback fumbled, giving Bristol a short field at the Valley Forge 25 yard line.

“The defense played outstanding – my brother Danny, Big Dev, Adrian (Ellerbe), (Austin) Knox, and everyone else that I didn’t mention – they played a great and amazing game,” exclaimed Collins.

“It was fun watching them do their thing, making plays and helping us on the offense get back out there and do what we gotta do to help us win.”

The Trojans simply had a hard time holding onto the ball in this one. Indeed, VFMA fumbled the opening kickoff and it took the Warriors just two plays to make them pay with Bell jaunting 19 yards off left tackle for the first of seven touchdowns for Bristol.

After a 3-and-out by the visiting offense, the Warriors took seven plays to extend the lead with Mehn racing a defender 17 yards to the right side pylon for a 14-0 Bristol edge.

The Warriors’ next possession reached all the way down to the Trojans’ 10 yard line but a 20-yard pass to Samir Brisbon was five yards short of the marker, resulting in a turnover on downs.

While Bristol’s defense held on the ensuing possession, VFMA struck quickly on its next touch, a 52-yard touchdown pass to junior RB Audley Isaacs.

The Warriors got the ball on three more occasions before the half and they turned two of those into touchdowns with Bell going three yards up the middle for a 20-7 edge and senior Eli Moore taking the ball eight yards around the right end for another TD that set the score at 26-7 going into the locker room.

The leading rusher on the team, Mehn has taken on a leadership role at Bristol, even though he came on late, after transferring from Glen Mills.

“Daryl means a lot; he’s a good, strong leader,” said Adams. “Even though he didn’t get here until the middle of the year, he acts like he’s been here longer than we have, sometimes.”

“He’s a great kid and he’s really bought into our system,” added Greiner. “He’s adjusted well to the expectations that we put on him and those we put on the team.”

“He works hard and the kids really respect what he does.”

After back to back losses to Middle Township and then to BAL rival DelCo Christian a week earlier, this was a win the Warriors really needed to keep their playoff hopes alive. A victory next week versus Lower Moreland gives Bristol the No. 2 or 3 seed heading into districts.

“This was all about just pushing ourselves, not worrying about the last game that we played and just moving forward,” said Adams. “We use it as motivation for our next game and keep going.”

“We’re always confident that we’re going to come out and get a win, no matter who we play,” added Collins. “Just because one team is bigger or smaller, we come out, we play, have fun and we enjoy the game.

According to Greiner, the Warriors had kept the scores close in its last two games before the wheels fell off in the second half. In a non-league battle on Oct. 16, Bristol led Middle Township 14-6 at the half.

He credits coordinators Jack Arndt (offense) and Mike Ciotti (defense) for making adjustments that helped the Warriors make substitutions more fluidly in the Valley Forge matchup.

NOTES: Valley Forge assembled a 10-play, 65-yard scoring drive late in the fourth quarter that was capped by a 1-yard TD run by freshman Naseer Gilbert. Originally scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, next week’s battle at Lower Moreland has been moved to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7. Alex Cooperman & Katie Morris were nominated Bristol’s Homecoming King & Queen for 2015.

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Bristol 46, Valley Forge Military Academy 13

VALLEY FORGE  0   7   0 6 – 13

BRISTOL               14 12 20 0 – 46


B — Bell 19 run (kick failed)

B — Mehn 12 run (Mehn run)

VFMA — Isaacs 52 pass from Chaffee (Carl Goebel kick)

B — Bell 3 run (pass failed)

B — Moore 8 run (pass failed)

B — Bell 72 kickoff return (Kevin Buck kick)

B — Pulinario 4 run (kick failed)

B — Lombardi 9 run (Buck kick)

VFMA — Gilbert 1 run (kick failed)



First Downs        3              12

Yards Rushing    49           258

Yards Passing     66           54

Total Offense    115         312

Comp. Passes, Int            2-6-1      4-7-0

Fumbles-lost      7-3          3-1

Penalties-yards 6-60       3-30

Punts-Avg.          5-36       0-0

Sacked-Yds. Lost              3-16       2-13



RUSHING: Small 5-30; Gilbert 5-27, TD; Howard 2-12; Rosa 3-6; Isaacs 6-1; Butler 2-(-11); Chaffee 3-(-16)

PASSING: Chaffee 2-6-1; 66 yards, TD

RECEIVING: Isaacs 1-52, 1 TD; Small 1-14



RUSHING: Mehn 10-100, TD; Bell 11-55, 2 TDs; Moore 6-41, TD; Lombardi 5-24, TD; Courtney 5-13; Marte 2-10; Jackson 1-7; Pulinario 3-7, TD; Figueroa 1-6; Collins 5-(-2); Brisbon 3-(-3)

PASSING: Collins 4-7-0, 54 yards

RECEIVING: Brisbon 2-25; Ellerbe 1-25; Bell 1-4


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