Bristol's Lalli Too Much For Jenkintown

Posted: October 02, 2000

JENKINTOWN — Bristol coach Frank Perri stood with beads of water clinging to his eyeglasses. He was wearing a soaking red polo shirt and a big, big smile.

Perri's team had just beaten host Jenkintown, 20-0, Friday afternoon. The joy was evident on Perri's face.

Why the dousing, he was asked.

"Because we had a shutout this year," he said. "This was a very important game in the Bicentennial League."

The victory was Bristol's second in the four-team Bicentennial League and gave the Warriors (3-1), who already defeated Lower Moreland, the inside track on winning their second straight title. All Bristol has to do now is defeat visiting Morrisville (0-5, 0-1 Bicentennial, 0-3 Independence) on Thanksgiving to defend its crown.

Defeating Jenkintown (2-3, 0-1 Bicentennial, 0-2 Independence) also boosted Bristol's stock in the Independence League, in which the Warriors are 2-0. It also set up a big game with visiting Springfield (4-0, 1-0 Independence) on Saturday.

"The [Bicentennial] league's everything to us right now," Bristol quarterback Gregg Lalli said. "Coming out and being able to go 2-0 in the league is the best thing that has happened to us so far."

Lalli took over the offense at the beginning of the season. The 6-foot, 185-pound junior quarterback didn't have impressive statistics against Jenkintown, but he did demonstrate an ability to lead.

Lalli completed 6 of 15 passes for 82 yards and one interception. He also scored all three Warriors touchdowns, on runs of 30, 4 and 9 yards in the first, third and fourth periods. Lalli gained 56 yards on 11 carries.

"He is a good player, a tough runner," said Jenkintown senior linebacker Nick Gallo, who collected two sacks. "He's hard to contain, and that was our biggest problem.

"Our defense didn't play up to our expectations, and that is usually our solid point. We couldn't contain."

That became evident in the first 38 seconds, when Bristol scored in two plays. From the Bristol 44-yard line, Lalli connected on a 26-yard pass to senior wide receiver Pete Sanchez, who was tackled by Jim Romano on the Jenkintown 30.

On the next play, Lalli bootlegged left and streaked down the sideline to the end zone. Paul Guido kicked the first of two extra points and Bristol had a 7-0 lead. The quick touchdown stunned the Drakes.

Sanchez led a defense that held Jenkintown to 64 yards rushing. Romano completed 6 of 17 attempts for 92 yards but was intercepted three times. Sanchez had two picks.

Bristol's second score came at the 10-minute, 52-second mark of the third quarter when Lalli capped an 11-play drive with a 4-yard run.

"I don't think we came out as intense as we should have been," Romano said. "They scored early, and I guess it put the whole morale of the team down."

Jenkintown's morale wasn't helped by an injury to tailback Nick McKeon, either. The talented sophomore suffered an injury to his right knee with 3:03 left in the second period. He sat with a bag of ice on it for the rest of the game. McKeon finished with 14 yards on 10 carries.

Bill Iezzi's e-mail address is biezzi @phillynews.com

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