Surg­ing War­riors hold off pesky Lower More­land

The Advance of Bucks County - - SPORTS - By Vince Par­avec­chia

For Buck­sLo­calS­ports

A year ago, things were much dif­fer­ent at this point.

Bris­tol has been through two tough football sea­sons re­cently, the worst of which ar­guably came in 2011. Last Oc­to­ber, the War­riors fi­nally got into the pos­i­tive side of the win col­umn with a 4714 home vic­tory over Lower More­land.

The War­riors did go on to win three of their last four con­tests, but still mus­tered only a 3-7 mark af­ter go­ing 4-7 in 2010, a cam­paign that in­cluded a shutout loss to the Lions.

That’s what made this sea­son’s Oct. 20 matchup with Lower More­land a com­plete con­trast to that sit­u­a­tion. This time around, Bris­tol was on a roll head­ing into the game, one which was go­ing to go a long way in de­ter­min­ing this year’s Bi­cen­ten­nial Ath­letic League (BAL) ti­tle.

It wasn’t pretty, nor was it easy for the War­riors at a place that has given them trou­ble over the years. vet, Bris­tol came up with just enough of­fense to com­ple­ment sev­eral big plays on the de­fen­sive side to es­cape vic­to­ri­ously, 14-10, on a trip to the Lions’ den for the first time since 2007.

“Just to­tal team ef­fort, be­tween the coach­ing staff putting good game plans in, and the team ex­e­cuted it, for the most part,” said War­riors coach Leo Plen­ski.

The win gives Bris­tol two in a row in the se­ries, but more im­por­tantly, im­proved it to 6-1 over­all on the sea­son. That mark also in­cludes an un­blem­ished record in the BAL, which is good enough for at least a share of the con­fer­ence ti­tle.

And, that’s with three games still to go in the reg­u­lar sea­son.

“To be hon­est with you, af­ter the first week, it kind of made us step back and reeval­u­ate what we had, said Plen­ski.

In­deed, there were ques­tions fol­low­ing a 38-20 sea- son open­ing loss to Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Tech. Since then, how­ever, the War­riors have found a rhythm on both sides of the ball and have given up no more than 16 points in a given game since.

That de­fen­sive con­sis­tency has kept Bris­tol in con­trol of all of their con­tests, though the War­riors were cer­tainly tested by the Lions. The of­fense proved to strug­gle in the sec­ond half with­out Donte Simmons, their out­stand­ing sopho­more run­ning back who had over 450 yards on the ground in their pre­vi­ous two games.

Simmons was nurs­ing an in­jury that prompted the War­riors to keep him out of ac­tion against Lower More­land, and his ab­sence cre­ated a chal­lenge for the of­fense, which churned up just 39 yards in the sec­ond half while giv­ing the ball away to the Lions three times. Even that, how­ever, wasn’t enough to make the de­fense cave. On those three turnovers, the War­riors sur­ren­dered just three points, and ac­tu­ally came up with a pair of take­aways of their own.

The big play came early in the fi­nal quar­ter dur­ing a po­ten­tially game-chang­ing drive spawned by a fum­ble from War­riors full­back Wil­lie Sut­ton. Lower More­land pounded down the field and got inside Bris­tol’s 10 yard line when a penalty backed them up. A play was then called for run­ning back Ryan Killion, but while he was pound­ing for yardage, se­nior de­fen­sive back Sean Cough­lin pulled the ball out and darted away for a re­turn that went nearly 90 yards.

“He was hold­ing the ball out, and I stripped it and took off,” re­called Cough­lin of his play, which was set up by Kieran Green­field and Markell Snell wrapping up Killion enough for him to come in.

Cough­lin’s re­turn set the War­riors up from the Lions’ 5 yard line, but they were turned away on an­other fum­ble on fourth-and-goal. This one came from Green­field, who is nor­mally an of- fen­sive/de­fen­sive line­man but lined up at full­back for two plays on the af­ter­noon. His other carry was a 2-yard touch­down plunge to open the scor­ing.

This one, though, gave the Lions one more chance with 6:33 re­main­ing. From their Please see the rest of this

story on­line at: Buck­slo­cals­

File photo by Steve Sher­man

The War­riors’ of­fense strug­gled at times last Satur­day at Lower More­land with­out stand­out run­ning back Donte Simmons, seen here in the win at home over Pen­ning­ton.

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