TYRONE - Like different types of poison, Tyrone's offense can kill an opponent slowly and methodically, or with lethal quickness.
The Golden Eagles showcased their potent offensive balance Friday night with a deliberate ground attack that netted 185 yards and three touchdowns, along with two quick-strike scoring passes.
Tyrone's latest display came at Central's expense as the Golden Eagles rolled to a 35-7 Mountain League Nittany Division victory at Gray Veterans Memorial Field.
John Franco discusses Tyrone's win over Central
Senior quarterback Steve Franco completed 9 of 17 passes for 174 yards and touchdown throws of 53 yards to Nick Patton in the first quarter and 41 yards to Charles Wilson-Adams in the second as Tyrone (2-0 division, 4-1 overall) took a 21-0 halftime lead.
Senior halfback Christian Getz rushed for 110 yards on 15 carries and third-quarter scoring runs of 17 and 8 yards as Tyrone compiled 185 of its 359 total yards over the ground.
"This was a good win against a good team,'' said Tyrone coach John Franco, who praised his team's offense for functioning so well on a muddy field that was made even more treacherous by Friday night's intermittent drizzle. "This was a tough field with the mud tonight, but I was impressed with the way our kids handled it. We had a nice balance between the run and the pass tonight, and you always strive for that, no matter who you're playing.''
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Tyrone’s Christian Getz dives into the end zone while being tripped up by Central’s Matt Ritchey on Friday.
After senior fullback J.D. Dorminy dove 1 yard into the end zone to cap a nine-play, 72-yard drive on Tyrone's opening possession, Steve Franco rolled out on a play fake and found the speedy Patton open down the left side of the field with 15 seconds left in the first quarter. The 53-yard pass ambushed Central and put Tyrone ahead, 14-0 after one period.
In the second quarter, after senior Markus Wagner's nice punt return gave Tyrone a short field at the Central 41, Steve Franco play-faked again and hit junior wideout Wilson-Adams down the middle of the field with a touchdown pass that covered 41 yards and gave Tyrone its 21-0 lead at the break.
"I ran a post, Steve basically aired it out for me, and I went out to get it,'' was how Wilson-Adams described the play.
Central coach Dave Baker, who took over the reins of the Scarlet Dragons this year at age 66, was matter-of-fact in his description of how Tyrone handled his squad Friday.
"They outplayed us in about every way,'' Baker, formerly the long-time Williamsburg High School head coach, said of the Golden Eagles. "They were just better than we were tonight.''
Tyrone benefited from a couple more short fields to punch in a pair of Getz running touchdowns in the third quarter for a 35-0 lead that set the mercy-rule clock into effect.
A Steve Franco interception gave Tyrone the ball at the Central 30 and paved the way for Getz's 17-yard scoring burst off right tackle with 6:07 left in the third quarter.
After Central turned the ball over on downs at its own 26 later in the quarter, Getz rumbled into the end zone from 8 yards out with 3:18 left to make it 35-0.
Central (2-3 overall, 1-1 league division) avoided the shutout on a 67-yard scoring run by sophomore running back Bradi Moore with 6:37 left in the game.
"This was a good win,'' John Franco reiterated. "Any time you're playing a Dave Baker-coached team, you're going to be playing against a good team.''
Game notes: Tyrone travels to Central Mountain next Friday, while Central visits Penns Valley. It will be the second time in three weeks that the Scarlet Dragons play Penns Valley, whom Central pounded, 53-14 at Roaring Spring last Friday night. The double-dip was necessitated by the Indian Valley-Lewistown consolidation into the new Mifflin County High School program this season that left an opening on Central's schedule.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Central0 0 0 7 - 7
Tyrone14 7 14 0 - 35
T-Dorminy 1 run (Dorminy kick), 6:37.
T-Patton 53 pass from Franco (Dorminy kick), :15.
T-Wilson-Adams 41 pass from Franco (Dorminy kick), 10:45.
T-Getz 17 run (Dorminy kick), 6:07.
T-Getz 8 run (Dorminy kick), 3:18.
C-Moore 67 run (Leupka kick), 6:37.
RUSHING: Central-Moore 7-72, Knisely 13-52, Hamm 2-25, Wilt 2-9, Lingenfelter 2-4, Ritchey 2-4, Emerick 1-4, Slick 1-0, Garber 1-(-4). Tyrone-Getz 15-110, Oliver 8-48, Franco 6-15, Dorminy 4-12.
PASSING: Central-Ritchey 9-21-2-43, Smith 0-1-0-0. Tyrone-Franco 9-17-2-174.
RECEIVING: Central-Smith 3-21, Cunningham 2-11, Knisely 2-(-11), Slick 1-14, Moore 1-8. Tyrone-Patton 6-104, Wilson-Adams 1-41, Dorminy 1-24, Woomer 1-5.
INTERCEPTIONS: Central-Kreider. Tyrone-Patton, Franco.