Bristol upsets Williams Valley in state opener
Nobody thought to tell David he was ‘peaking’ when he felled doliath with a slingshot but every local gridiron fan will tell you Bristol reached peak form when they downed Williams salley 20-0 last Saturday in the opening round of the PIAA Class A playoffs.
Nick Pavone, stellar senior lineman for Bristol, appraised his team’s success, VDyLnJ, “We GefinLWeOy IeeO we have meshed together as a team. We really can count on one another. When you can look to the man next to you on the line and know he is going to do his job and you can trust him, then there is no doubt and no stopping you.”
doing into Saturday’s showdown, Nick and his fellow Warriors knew it would take a total team effort to down the Division 11 champs. . “We knew they were a pretty good WeDP. We VDw VoPe fiOPV on them and realized they had a good quarterback. They were good throwing the ball. They also had some decent runners in the EDcNfieOG. We Nnew whDW we were getting into. That is why the defense played as good as it did.”
Season statistics supSorWeG Whe VcouW fiOPV WDOe. Williams salley certainly sported some lofty credentials. Coming off a 49-0 drubbing of Tri-salley in the district title game, the sikings had averaged 37 points a game. Their balanced and explosive attack included running back Cole Barnhardt, 1,542 yards and 22 touchdowns for the season; receiver Owen Daniels, 48 receptions and 1,041 yards; and quarterback Stephen Sedesse, 1,764 passing yards and 25 TD tosses.
In the cold, windblown Souderton stadium, those impressive stats would vanish in the face of Bristol’s tenacious defense. The Warriors would record their firVW VhuWouW oI Whe VeDVon. Daniels would not catch a pass. Sedesse would complete only six passes for 48 yards, and Barnhardt would gain only 114 yards on the ground.
The pattern was clearly eVWDEOLVheG Ln Whe firVW hDOI as both offenses fought the blustery winds. Nick knew the weather would factor in Whe finDO GecLVLon. “,W wDV GefinLWeOy wLnGy ouW Where. We played that to our advantage. Our running game is really strong so as the wind was coming toward us we would not risk passing the ball. That worked to our advantage on defense because it helped take out their passing game.”
Yet the wind alone could not totally stop the sikings. That would take some real hustle on the part of the Bristol defense. Late in the firVW hDOI, BDrnhDrGW rDceG 18 yards toward the Bristol end zone only to have the ball stripped out of his hands on the one yard line by Derrick gackson. Dylan Shamwell and Tariq Wilson covered the ball for a touchback.
Nick realized, “That was a huge momentum switch. Everyone was expecting that the Williams offense was going to put a touchdown on us and try to get the momentum on their side and make us quit. But that didn’t happen. gackson stripped the ball. It was a great play and gave us the energy we needed.”
With the score knotted at 0-0 at halftime, Bristol coach Leo Plenski reminded his charges what it would take to win. “We switched up a few blocking schemes. The coach reminded us that we came in the game with a chip on our shoulders. We’re looking to prove something in states. That kept us hungry and got us going.”
The hunger was partially
sated when with 5:21 left in the third quarter, Donte Simmons would dodge, spin and race 61 yards for the JDme’V firVt tDOOy. “7hDt wDV D 22-drDw. :e rDn it uS the middle and Donte, being the amazing back he is, got hit a few times, spun off, got hit a couple more times and VSun oII Dnd went 61 yDrdV. It was a great play because no one VtoSSed. AV Voon DV Donte got hit, everyone was still making blocks and that allowed him to open the fieOd Dnd Jet the biJ VFore Ior uV.”
7he touFhdown Srovided a real adrenaline rush Dnd booVted the :DrriorV’ FonfidenFe. “,t wDV D key moment because we realized the other team is humDn. 7hey Dre not the VtDte powerhouse that everyone wDV hySinJ them uS to be. 7hDt’V when we fiJured iI we put one score up, why not Sut uS D Iew more.”
7he Iourth quDrter wouOd see Simmons reach paydirt two more times on runs of Vix Dnd 10 yDrdV. Behind DJgressive line blocking, the mercurial back would net 209 total yards on 37 carrieV. “CoDFh Leo (3OenVki) stressed for this game in particular that it all starts on the offensive and defensive OineV. ,I we mDde the biJ push up front, everything wouOd IoOOow. 7hDt reDOOy won uV the JDme.”
:hen the horn finDOOy sounded sealing the 20-0 viFtory, :Drrior IDnV Dnd players alike, broke into a Irenzied FeOebrDtion. “:e were Vo exFited. BriVtoO’V never been in a position like thiV beIore. :hen we Jot back, we even had a little SDrDde throuJh town.”
BriVtoO Sride wDV out in IuOO IorFe, D VSirit the :Drriors hope will carry right throuJh their VemifinDO match-up with Dunmore thiV FridDy niJht in 3eFkVviOOe.
Warriors junior quarterback Trevor Leone looks for outlet pass.
Bristol fullback Willie Sutton gains positive yards for the Warriors.
Bristol junior defensive back Tyriq Wilson has Williams Valley ball carrier firmly in the grasp in Warriors’ shutout win in the opening round of states Nov. 24 at Souderton High School.