Bristol uses balanced attack in win over Morrisville (GALLERY)

BRISTOL BORO – Any scholastic coach will tell you that a balanced attack is the key to victory. A single star can generate fan excitement but a team that comes out strong on both sides of the ball ultimately takes home the victor’s trophy.

Bristol certainly proved this theory in their big 38-0 win over Morrisville on Thanksgiving Day. This was the 84th meeting of the cross county rivals in a showdown that dates back to 1928. Two games ended in a tie and three resulted in forfeits. Bristol entered this year’s contest holding a 48-34-2 winning edge. The Warriors have not lost on the field since 1998.

The odds certainly seemed to favor Bristol as they boasted a 5-6 overall record this season. Morrisville, on the other hand, after starting strong with two straight victories, lost eight straight games.

Yet this is a traditional rivalry and history has shown anything can happen. Though never having directly experienced a Bulldog-Warrior battle, Bristol’s first-year head coach John Greiner sensed the game’s intensity.

“I am enjoying the rivalry, tradition and pride of the Bristol and Morrisville school districts. This has been passed down from generations with big crowds.”


In addition to the warm weather, the standing room only crowd attending this year’s affair enjoyed the halftime show as Bristol honored 11 new inductees into their Hall of Fame. The newly enshrined members were Margaret Adams Welsh, Larry Cohen, Mike Kervick, Jerome Mead, Dominick Petrino, John Pindar, Marryann Taylor Morris, Joyce Frake and the four runners on the 1953 State Champion 880 Relay Team.

When the game action began, Morrisville seemed the most unnerved by the gala surroundings. Bristol won the coin toss and opted to defer. The decision proved fortuitous as the Bulldogs could not generate any positive offense. Sporting only five seniors on their 36-man roster, Morrisville showed big game jitters as bad shotgun snaps and a fumbled handoff moved them back to their own 1 yard line.

The ensuing punt gave the Warriors excellent field position on Morrisville’s 36 yard line. Sophomore Eric Bell capped off the short drive with a 20 yard TD run. The mercurial speedster, who is listed at 133 pounds, would end up the game’s leading rusher picking up 143 yards on 12 carries.

The Bulldogs could not get settled on their next possession. Harassed by a strong Bristol defensive line anchored by two 300-pound seniors, Devin Adams and Byron Livingston, Morrisville coughed the ball up again. Senior defensive end Andre Moore scooped up the errant pigskin and raced 23 yards for the Warriors’ second touchdown.

Minutes later, yet another Bulldog fumble gave Bristol great field possession. This time, the Warriors took to the air. Wide receiver Samir Brisbon ran a perfect corner route and hauled in quarterback R. J. Collins’ 10-yard pass. With 2:58 left in the first quarter, Bristol had already increased its lead to 20-0.

From there on, Bristol spread the scoring wealth around. On their fourth possession, the Warriors marched 67 yards with Eli Moore capping off the drive with a 23-yard burst up the middle. Collins would add another TD on a five-yard third quarter run. Adams finished off Bristol’s scoring with a one-yard plunge in the final quarter.

Bristol’s running attack ended up with 267 yards rushing. In addition to Bell’s yeoman effort, Moore had 52 yards, Mehn had 47 and Brisbon had 13. The defense, however, really set the game’s tone as they forced Morrisville to turn the ball over eight times. Dante Lombardi, Samir Brisbon, Austin Knox and Eric Bell all picked off Bulldog passes.

A balanced showing by both offense and defense had helped Bristol win their 16th straight Thanksgiving Day showdown.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply