Bris­tol up­sets Wil­liams Val­ley in state opener

The Advance of Bucks County - - SPORTS - By John Glee­son

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.

Photo by John Glee­son

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.

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