Dathan Hickeyâ€™s spectacular offensive performance in Thursdayâ€™s 59th renewal of the Battle for the Bell fell a few yards short of a record-breaking performance, but the teams did manage to break or tie several records in Centralâ€™s 33-27 win.
The only individual mark claimed was by Eastern sophomore Elijah Gagliardo, who snared eight passes to tie one of the longest standing marks in the series. His eight receptions tied him with the Lancersâ€™ Rick Schmaltz, who set the original mark in 1970.
Hickey rushed for 333 yards and four touchdowns in the game, both just short of the records set by the Ramsâ€™ Tim Washington in 2000. Washington had 353 yards on 41 carries and scored five touchdowns in Centralâ€™s 39-0 win.
Hickey finished the year with 1,402 rushing yards on 199 carries. That put him in 15th place all time among Bristolâ€™s public school single season marks and in ninth place on Bristol Centralâ€™s all time list.
Eastern quarterback Justin Marshall completed an outstanding junior year, completing 18 of 28 passes for 173 yards on Thursday.
Marshall threw for 1,472 yards this year and joined a short list of Bristol quarterbacks who have passed for over 1,000 yards in a season. In two years at the helm of the Lancers, Marshall has thrown for 2,291 yards and currently stands in 10th place all-time for career passing yards with a season still to play.
Several team records were broken in Thursdayâ€™s game. Bristol Central set records for both the best and worst offensive performance. The Rams had 437 yards rushing in Thursdayâ€™s game to break the single game mark of 411 set by the Lancers in 2011. But the Rams had only one pass completion and it went for negative three yards, giving them the record for least yards passing in a game, breaking the minus one mark of the 1975 Rams.
Eastern rushed for 136 yards in the game and the combined total of 573 yards for the two teams also set a new record, six yards better than the total of the 1998 teams.
The two teams combined for 741 yards in total offense, falling just two yards shy of the record set in 2007.
On a relatively dry field and under near perfect football weather conditions, there were no fumbles by either team in the game, matching the record of the 1966, 1968, 1993 and 2004 games.
The Thomas M. Monahan Player of the Game Awards were presented to Gagliardo and Ariza Kolloverja of the Lancers and Hickey and Devon Dawson for the Rams. Gagliardo had a great two-way performance Thursday and earned the defensive award for his interception and long return to set up a Lancer touchdown early in the second half. Kolloverja combined for 97 yards rushing and receiving and scored two touchdowns to win the offensive award
Dawson anchored a Central defensive line that battled the Eastern front four throughout the game. He was awarded the defensive award as he narrowly beat out teammates Michael Guzman, Isak Gonzalez, Jakob Salinas and Dom Va as the Ramsâ€™ leading tackler. Hickey was the offensive award winner.
With the win Central increased its series lead to 34-23-2.