|Coming at you Looking over the shoulder of an official, you see Tyrone senior Shayne Tate looking for an opening on Friday night at Wingate against Bald Eagle Area. After their usual slow first half, Tyrone won 28-6. (The Daily Herald/Steve Michaels)|
Tyrone coach John Franco said he had a serious talk with sophomore quarterback Levi Reihart before last night’s 28-6 win over Bald Eagle Area at Alumni Stadium in Wingate.
The coach known for his knack for developing quarterbacks told Reihart he was done being a sophomore. “It’s time to grow up,” Franco said.
If his young prodigy takes everything his coach says to heart like he did that message, he may be living a Doogie Houser existence in a year or so because against BEA, Reihart grew up in a hurry. He started the game completing his first 10 passes and finished 11-for-13 for 117 yards and his first varsity touchdown pass as the Golden Eagles improved to 4-0 with their highest offensive output of the season.
“He did some nice things,” Franco said of Reihart.
Reihart’s proficiency complemented the Eagles’ running game nicely. Behind Shayne Tate’s 116 yards on 17 carries, Tyrone piled up 192 yards on the ground.
Even bigger, Tyrone began finishing drives with touchdowns, something that was becoming problematic last week against Penns Valley, when the Eagles moved the ball at will but came away with just one touchdown.
But it didn’t start out that way. The Eagles ran 35 plays to Bald Eagles’ 13 in the first half, but had only a 7-0 lead to show for it. After scoring on their first possession, Tyrone moved the ball inside Bald Eagle’s 25-yard line twice and came away empty-handed.
That changed in the second half when they scored on their first two possessions in building a 28-0 lead.
“We kept shooting ourselves in the foot in the first half,” said Franco. “We had so many plays and just couldn’t finish drives.”
In the end, the Golden Eagles again leaned on their vaunted defense until the offense came around. Tyrone stopped eight plays behind the line of scrimmage, sacking Bald Eagle quarterback AJ Robinson twice, and held BEA without a first down until 15 seconds remained in the third quarter.
“We’re winning with our defense, and we expected that,” Franco said. “We’re doing what it takes to win games.”
“They’re defense is as advertised,” said BEA coach John Bathurst, whose team dropped to 0-4 (0-3 MAC). “We knew what we were in for.”
Senior running back Johnny Franco, out since the second week of the preseason with a broken left fibula, saw his first action of the season, starting the game as a contain man on the kickoff team before getting his first carries on Tyrone’s second possession. He finished the game with one tackle to go along with two carries for 20 yards.
Johnny Franco left the game after his second carry – a 17-yard run – and spent the rest of the night icing his injury, but coach Franco said it was expected.
“He didn’t re-injure it, but there’s a lot of pain there,” he said. “The doctor told him it would be very painful when he started cutting on it and it was something he would have to go through. After that run, the trainer looked at it and said that’s too much, settle it down. But he should be about 100 percent by next week.”
Even without Johnny Franco, Tyrone’s offense ran smoothly, starting with its first series. The Eagles drove 58 yards on seven plays, with Reihart completing four passes for 53 yards, including a 32-yard pass to tight end Johnny Shaffer for the game’s first score. Shaffer also added the extra-point, and Tyrone led 7-0 with 5:39 to go in the first quarter.
From there, the Eagles moved the ball, but had trouble cashing in. Their second possession went 20 yards before a Reihart fumble on the heels of a sack was smothered by Gary Hicks.
On Tyrone’s next possession, the Eagles moved from their own 14 to the BEA 18, but on third down, Reihart was sacked for a 3-yard loss. Shaffer came for a 39-yard field goal attempt that fell short.
Tyrone’s next drive covered 51 yards, with the Eagles twice converting on third-and-long. On the first, a third-and-11 play from the 25, Reihart and Mark Mingle hooked up for 12 yards on a screen. Then, on third-and-16, Reihart found Shane Emigh open down the right sideline for a 33-yard gain. But the drive stalled at the Bald Eagle 23 when Tyrone was flagged for holding.
The Eagles got things rolling out of the locker room with a 70-yard drive to take a 14-0 lead. Tate carried for 13 yards on the first play before breaking loose for 31 yards to the BEA 26. After Reihart hooked up with Brandon Gehret for 15 yards on third-and-5, Emigh took a reverse left six yards into the end zone at 6:53.
Tate ended BEA’s next drive after two plays when he intercepted Robinson at the Tyrone 45 and returned it 17 yards to the 38. Five plays later, Emigh took another reverse – this one heading right – and went 25 yards untouched to make it 21-0.
“The reverse is just another part of our iso-package,” Franco said. “Shane runs it well and has a knack for it. We though that it would work, as aggressive as they were on defense.”
BEA converted its first first down on the final play of the third quarter, but three plays later, Gehret picked off Robinson at the BEA 39 and returned it for a score at the 10:32 mark of the fourth quarter.
With most of the Eagles’ starting defense on the sideline, BEA answered with a 9-play, 56-yard drive, capped by a 4-yard run by Justin Koleno, to get on the board with 6:48 left in the game.
“I thought our team was pretty game for four quarters,” said Bathurst. “People may be tired of hearing me say it, but I think we have a pretty good team, and were going to Philipsburg-Osceola next week expecting to whack them.”
GRID TIDBITS: Matt Murray and Shaffer each recorded a sack and two tackles for loss … Emigh finished with 51 rushing yards and 102 yards of total offense … Koleno became the first back this season to gain 100 yards against Tyrone with 106 yards on 24 carries. Ninety of his yards came in the second half … Bald Eagle has now gone four straight games without scoring in the first quarter … Tate now has 567 rushing yards this season … the Eagles host Lewistown next week.
Tyrone 28 Bald Eagle Area 6
Tyrone 7 0 14 7 – 28
Bald Eagle Area 0 0 0 6 – 6
T – Reihart 32 pass to Shaffer (Shaffer kick) 5:39
T – Emigh 6 run (Shaffer kick) 6:53
T – Emigh 25 run (Shaffer kick) 5:16
T – Gehret 39 interception return (Shaffer kick) 10:32
B – Koleno 4 run (PAT failed) 6:48
First Downs 16 5
Yards Rushing 192 102
Pass Att.-Comp. 11-13 2-7
Yards Passing 117 8
Total Offense 304 109
Fumble-Rec. 2-1 2-0
Interceptions By 2 0
Pen./Yards 6-35 5-25
Punts/Avg. 1-45 4-32.5
Tyrone – Tate 17-116; Emigh 3-51; Franco 2-20; Mingle 6-16; Reihart 2-(-10); Team 2-(-5).
Bald Eagle Area – Koleno 24-106; Hoffman 2-3; Burns 1-(-3); Robinson 3-(-7).
Tyrone – Reihart 11-13, 117 Yds., 1 TD, 0 Int..
Bald Eagle Area – Robinson 1-5, 9 Yds, 0 TD, 2 Int.; Drapcho 1-2, (-1) Yds., 0 TD, 0 Int.
Tyrone – Emigh 5-51; Shaffer 1-32; Gehret 2-25; Mingle 2-12; Ingle 1-4; Tate 1-3.
Bald Eagle Area – Burns 1-9; Koleno 1-(-1).