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First seven minutes tell the tale for Tyrone against Lewistown

Going downfield
With the ball a blur in this photo, Tyrone junior Levi Reihart (6) throws the football during Friday night’s 48-7 Eagle Homecoming victory over Lewistown. Reihart completed five of nine passes for 125 yards. (The Daily Herald/Vergie Werner)

In a game against Tyrone, there are two really big things a team like Lewistown can’t afford to do: turn the ball over or give the Eagles short field.
The Panthers did both of those within the first seven minutes last night, and within the first 12, they found themselves trailing 21-0.
Things only got uglier from there as Tyrone went on to record a 48-7 mercy rule victory at Gray-Veterans Memorial Field on Homecoming.
“We’re not at the point mentally where we can overcome stuff like that,” said Lewistown coach Allen Muir. “It hurts us, but our kids are getting tougher being able to handle that adversity.”
The Panthers (0-8, 0-6 MAC Nittany Division) were dealing with adversity from Jump Street. The Eagles scored twice in a minute-and-a-half in the first quarter, and the rout was on. The first came after Cody Weaver returned a punt 79 yards to the Lewistown 2, and the other came after Shane Walker recovered a fumble at the Panthers’ 45.
“We just had things all go our way tonight,” said Tyrone coach John Franco, whose team won its fourth straight game to improve to 7-1 (5-1 MAC).
In terms of numbers, it wasn’t the same dominating performance Tyrone had grown accustomed to over previous three weeks, but it was close. The Eagles rushed for 250 yards behind Mark Mingle and Larry Glace, who went for 98 and 81 yards, respectively, and passed for another 145. Junior Levi Reihart completed 5 of 9 passes for 125 yards, in the process eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark for the season.
Four different players scored touchdowns as the Eagles scored on their first seven possessions. It was Tyrone’s fourth game with more than 40 points in its last three.
“We’re trying to get better each week so we can peak for playoffs,” Franco said. “We’ve had a lot of tough games this year. Winning and playing well are habits. You can’t do things some of the time, and you can’t turn it on and turn it off. And you need to show respect for a team by playing hard against them. We did that tonight.”
Did they ever. The Eagles limited the Panthers to 131 yards and 8 first downs while making five stops in the backfield. Quarterback Connor Muir finished just 7-for-16 for 73 yards and an interception.
“They were forcing us to throw the ball short, and their coverage, with their speed, they were able to contain us, to where we didn’t have any big plays,” said Muir. “Without big plays, it’s tough to score because then you’re forced to be perfect, and that’s a difficult thing to ask 14-, 15- and 16-year old kids who don’t come from a winning program to do.”
Tyrone’s first score was set up by a pair of Reihart passes that gave the Eagles the kind of big plays Lewistown could never muster. He hit Ben Ingle on a 27-yard catch-and-run on the first play of the game to move the ball to the Lewistown 32. Three plays later, on fourth-and-4, he connected with Desch for 20 yards to the 6. Glace crashed in from the three two plays after that, and John Shaffer’s first of six PAT kicks made it 7-0.
Lewistown punted on their first series, after a sack by Dustin Weaver blew up the drive. Cody Weaver fielded the kick at his own 26, cut to the left sideline where he juked one defender to the ground, and then exploded through a seam. He was tripped up at the Panthers’ 2, setting up Mingle’s first score, a 2-yard run, with 6:10 expired in the first quarter.
When the Panthers got the ball back, they moved the ball 11 yards in two plays before Kody Stein fumbled an option pitch at the 40. The ball squirted up field, where it was smothered by Walker at the 45.
Reihart hit Desch on third down for a 36-yard gain to the 14 on the ensuing series, and Gault capped the six-play drive with a 2-yard run for the score.
Tyrone’s next drive went 75 yards, and again was set up by a Reihart pass, this one a 25-yard completion on a screen to Mingle, who did most of the work, rambling to the 13-yard line. Glace covered the last 13, blasting off tackle for 7 on first down, before carrying Lewistown defenders into the end zone on a 6-yard score, making it 28-0 with 9:13 left in the half.
A holding penalty stalled Lewistown’s next series, and the Panthers were forced to punt. On the Eagles’ first play, Mingle broke free off left tackle, broke to the sideline, and outran the defense on a 46-yard touchdown run to make it 35-0.
Tyrone scored once more before halftime on an 11-play, 72-yard drive. Mingle shook loose for runs of 12 and 10 yards, and Reihart completed a 17-yard pass to Derrick Emigh on third-and-5. Mingle scored the touchdown on a 1-yard plunge to make it 42-0 at the break and put the mercy rule in effect.
The Eagles used another 11-play drive to score its last touchdown in the third quarter. Cody Smith carried four times for 15 yards on the series, and Andrew Clark cashed in on a 2-yard run to make it 48-0 with 2:09 left in the first quarter.
Lewistown’s only score came in the fourth quarter after Tyrone had pulled its starting defense. The Panthers went 62-yards on 7 plays, aided by a personal foul penalty for a hit out of bounds. Muir got the score on a quarterback draw from 8 yards out.
Grid Tidbits: Ben Ingle snagged his third interception with a pick just before halftime … Tyrone has outscored its last four opponents 168-21 … Reihart joins Jarrod Anderson, Brandon Hoover, Tyler Mertiff, Leonard Wilson and Tyler Golden as the 1,000-yard passers during the John Franco era … the last time Tyrone scored 40 or more in three of our games was in 2005.
Tyrone 48 Lewistown 7
Tyrone 21 21 6 0 – 48
Lewistown 0 0 0 7 – 7
First Quarter
T – Glace 3 run (Shaffer kick) 9:11
T – Mingle 2 run (Shaffer kick) 6:10
T – Gault 1 run (Shaffer kick) 2:15
Second Quarter
T – Glace 6 run (Shaffer kick) 9:13
T – Mingle 46 run (Shaffer kick) 7:25
T – Mingle 1 run (Shaffer kick) :56.8
Third Quarter
T – Clark 2 run (PAT failed) 2:09
Fourth Quarter
L – Muir 8 run (Peachey kick) 10:56
Team Statistics
T L
First Downs 17 8
Yards Rushing 250 58
Pass Att.-Comp. 7-11 7-18
Yards Passing 145 73
Total Offense 395 131
Fumbles Lost 0-0 1-1
Intercepted By 1 0
Punts/Avg. 0-0 5-30.2
Penalties/Yards 6-20 2-22
Individual Statistics
Rushing
Tyrone – Mingle 9-98; Glace 13-81; Ripka 7-24; Smith 5-21; Gault 4-9; Clark 3-8; Brunner 3-6; Burke 2-2; Reihart 1-1; Walker 1-0.
Lewistown – Stein 5-28; Muir 8-23; Madden 1-9; Hilton 1-4; Knable 1-(-1); Gantz 1-(-5).
Passing
Tyrone – Reihart 5-9-125, 0 TD, 0 Int.; Franco 1-1-11; Walker 1-1-9.
Lewistown – Muir 7-16-73, 0 TD, 1 Int.; Madden 0-1-0; Stein 0-1-0.
Receiving
Tyrone – Desch 2-56; Mingle 1-25; Ingle 1-24; Emigh 1-17; Weaver 1-11; Smith 1-9.
Lewistown – Wheeler 5-58; Madden 1-9; Scheffel 1-6.