Tyrone dominates Lewistown using big plays to humble undefeated Panthers

To understand how thoroughly Tyrone dominated Lewistown last night at Gray Veterans Memorial Field, consider this: the Golden Eagles logged 10 plays from scrimmage that went for 15 yards or more, and which, numbered together, accounted for 270 of the team’s 408 total yards.
The figures are even more impressive when compared to what the Panthers managed because while Tyrone was piling up big play after big play, all Lewistown could muster was seven first downs and 145 yards in offense.
So its little wonder Tyrone’s 47-6 shellacking of the Panthers in what was widely perceived as the MAC game of the week got out of hand early. The Golden Eagles, now 3-0, simply had too much speed, too many weapons, and too much quickness on defense.
“Our guys were very quick and I think that was the key,” said Tyrone coach John Franco. “I think we really beat them to the punch.”
Running backs Brinton Mingle, Tyler Gillmen and Johnny Franco each had big games on the ground, led by Mingle’s 109 yards on 12 carries. Gillmen netted 84 yards on eight carries, Franco had 66 on 6, and all three had one play of 27 yards or more as the Eagles out-rushed Lewistown 296-59.
Quarterback Leonard Wilson and receiver Trey Brockett again hooked up for a pair of big plays, including a 63-yard touchdown by Brockett in the second quarter. Wilson finished the game 4-for-6 for 114 yards and two touchdowns, and he also had an interception of Lewistown quarterback Chad Snook from his safety position on the Panthers’ first possession that set up the Eagles’ opening score, a 6-yard run by Mingle.
But it was a pair of plays in the last seven minutes of the first quarter that changed the complexion of the game and changed the momentum irrevocably in favor of the Golden Eagles.
The first came on Tyrone’s first play following a Lewistown punt when Gillmen took a handoff off left tackle, bounced outside and sprinted to the end zone untouched for a 52-yard touchdown on a play that vividly exposed the Panthers’ disadvantage in speed. Buddy Stotler’s PAT made it 13-0 with 7:08 left in the period, and Tyrone was rolling until on the next series Wilson mishandled an exchange that was covered up by Nick Knable at the T-36.
It took seven plays and an encroachment penalty, but finally Lewistown scored with 54 seconds left in the period on a 3-yard run by Knable that cut it to 13-6.
And it was then that the Panthers’ lack of speed was demonstrated once again. Young Franco took the ensuing kick at his own 20-yard line, burst through a seam in the wedge, and cut to the sideline. Once near the boundary, two Lewistown players were within striking distance, but by the time Franco made it to the end zone, his pursuers were 15 yard behind.
The play made it 20-6 at the end of the first quarter, and drained much of the fight out of Lewistown for the rest of the half.
“That was tough,” said Lewistown coach Allen Muir. “It’s difficult to overcome that kind of stuff. I’m proud of our kids for fighting the entire game, but we did dig ourselves a deep hole there.”
It was one the upstart Panthers would never climb out of, losing for the first time in three games. Tyrone scored twice more in the second quarter and added two more scores in the third, but none were prettier than Wilson’s picturesque passes before the end of the first half.
It began with a bomb to Brockett, who broke wide open after juking his defender on an out-and-up move. That capped a four-play 75-yard drive and made it 27-6 with 6:18 to go in the half.
Later Wilson tossed a perfectly timed pass to Shane Barr in the end zone to make it 34-6 with 54 seconds until halftime. On the play, Wilson dropped straight back and patiently waited for Barr to clear his defender in the middle of the end zone. After pumping once, he zipped his pass across the goal line where it was tipped by a defender, bobbled by Barr and then cradled into the senior receiver’s chest as he fell to the ground.
Tyrone converted long drives on its first two possessions of the second half, again exploiting its big-play edge and game-breaking speed. The Eagles drove 69 yards on their first possession of the half, with Gillmen and Mingle splitting carries until Mingle broke free for a 27-yard touchdown at 9:44 that made it 41-6.
When Tyrone got the ball back, the Eagles marched 71 yards in nine plays, including a Franco run for 43 yards to put the ball on the Panther 7. Four plays later he burst in from the 1-yard line for his second touchdown at 2:35.
“Their offensive line just took it to us,” said Muir. “Their running backs ran extremely hard. You saw play after play where they were just breaking tackles. You’ve got to give credit to those guys.”
Coach Franco was actually somewhat surprised his team was as successful as it was running the football because the Panthers’ forte in their first two games was stopping the inside running game.
“We played very well and our offensive line did an excellent job,” Franco said. “I thought it was important for tonight, after playing two emotional games, to really prepare well for this team because they were 2-0. We didn’t want to take anything for granted.”
GRID TIDBITS: Gillmen led the defense with eight tackles, including one quarterback sack … Barr added an interception in the third quarter, and Bo Latchford recovered a fumble in the second … Tyrone stopped seven plays behind the line of scrimmage … Tyrone turned the ball over twice on fumbles, giving the Eagles six turnovers in three games … Tyrone travels to Bald Eagle Area next Friday.
Tyrone 47 Lewistown 6
LEWISTOWN 0 6 0 0 – 6
TYRONE 20 14 13 0 – 47
First Quarter
T – Mingle 6 run (PAT failed) 9:03
T – Gillmen 52 run (Stotler kick) 7:08
L – Knable 3 run (Kick blocked) :54.2
T – Franco 80 kickoff return (Stotler kick) :40.5
Second Quarter
T – Brockett 63 pass from Wilson (Stotler Kick) 6:18
T – Barr 20 pass from Wilson (Stotler kick) :52.4
Third Quarter
T – Mingle 27 run (Stotler kick) 9:44
T – Franco 1 run (PAT failed) 2:35
First Downs 18 7
Yards Rushing 39-296 29-59
Pass Att.-Comp. 5-7 7-19
Pass Yards 114 86
Total Yards 408 145
Fumbles/Lost 2-2 3-1
Interceptions Thrown 0 2
Penalties/Yards 6-30 3-15
Punts/Avg. 2-34 7-32.1
Tyrone – Mingle 12-109; Gillmen 8-84; Franco 6-66; Wilson 1-15; Williams 4-16; Tate 4-9; Walk 2-6; Emigh 1-1; Golden 1-(-6); Team (-6).
Lewistown – Knable 10-39; McClellan 5-27; Tressler 9-13; Conrad 1-0; Snook 4-(-13); Team (-7).
Tyrone – Wilson 4-6-114, 1 TD, 0 Int.; Golden 1-1-9, 0 TD, 0 Int.
Lewistown – Snook 7-18-86, 0 TD, 2 Int.
Tyrone – Brockett 2-79; Barr 1-20; Morrow 1-15; Catich 1-9.
Lewistown – Tressler 3-66; Baker 2-16; Montanez 1-3; Deans 1-1.