TYRONE - Tyrone coach John Franco called this year's District 5-6 Class AA playoff field the deepest he can remember, and based on the stiff test eight-seed Bedford gave the top-seeded Golden Eagles, he may be right.
Tied 14-14 midway through the third quarter, Tyrone's offensive line took control of the game, and the Golden Eagles pulled away from Bedford for a 34-14 win Friday at Gray-Veterans Memorial Field.
"Bedford played with a lot of heart and desire. They outplayed us in the first half," Franco said. "The score is not indicative of how close the game was. Bedford's a heck of an eight seed. They beat the seven seed [Chestnut Ridge] by four touchdowns last week."
Tyrone coach John Franco
Tyrone (10-1) advanced to the district semifinals. The Golden Eagles will host the winner of tonight's Forest Hills-Penn Cambria contest next weekend. Bedford's season ended at 6-5.
"At times we had some momentum. Their kids made a few more plays than ours did," Bedford coach Kevin Steele said. "Our kids left it all out on the field. [Tyrone] wore us down a little in the second half."
Tyrone's offensive line cleared the way for Christian Getz. The senior back ran for 159 and two touchdowns on 30 carries.
Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski
Tyrone senior Nick Patton celebrates after one of his two touchdown receptions on Friday night against Bedford at Gray-Veterans Memorial Field.
Quarterback Steve Franco, who started the game just 1-of-8 for 3 yards, tossed two touchdown passes and ran for another in the win. Franco finished 10-of-23 for 121 yards.
Bedford's Marcus Shippey left the game early in third quarter with a shoulder injury. The senior quarterback returned for one series later in the quarter but couldn't continue after that.
"Taking him out of the game didn't help matters," Steele said. "Dakota Hess did a nice job stepping in at quarterback, but it did make our offense one-dimensional."
Before leaving the game for good, Shippey had 98 yards passing and 86 yards rushing, including a 35-yard touchdown run that the tied the game 7-7 midway through the second quarter.
Tyrone reclaimed the lead just before the half when Franco connected with Nick Patton for a 19-yard touchdown.
Franco rolled left to buy more time and found Patton wide open in the front corner of the end zone after a Bedford player slipped down on the play. Jordan Miller's extra point gave the Golden Eagles a 14-7 lead.
Corbin Nevling-Ray set up the score with a fumble recovery. After Shippey fumbled the snap, two Tyrone defenders tried to scoop up the ball and run with it only to have it knocked away. Nevling-Ray finally fell on the ball at the Bedford 45.
The fumble came one play after Shippey hit Luke Campbell on a slant pattern that went for 55 yards and set the Bisons up with a first down at the Tyrone 35.
Bedford took the second half kickoff and put together an 11-play, 88-yard drive that tied the game.
Hess took over midway through the drive for the injured Shippey and ripped off a 16-yard run before finishing the drive with an 8-yard touchdown run through the middle of the Tyrone defense.
After Franco scored on a 20-yard option keeper, Tyrone went exclusively to Getz on its next drive. Getz ripped off runs of 17, 14, 6 and 12 yards before scoring on a 6-yard run up the middle.
"Nick Wolf, Ryan Fink, Lucas Woomer, Mav Mills, Courtland Pannebaker and Seth Umholtz did a super job up front," Franco said. "They've really started coming together as a unit the last couple weeks."
Bedford got another heavy dose of Getz on Tyrone's next drive as well. The 160-pound senior toted the ball nine times as the Golden Eagles sealed the win with a 14-play, 56-yard drive.
"The offensive line did an extremely good job blocking," Getz said. "Everyone did their assignments, and the holes started opening up. A lot of people could have run through those holes."
Franco finished the drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Patton.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bedford0 7 7 0 - 14
Tyrone0 14 13 7 - 34
T-Getz 4 run (Miller kick), 6:31.
B-Shippey 35 run (Piatt kick), 5:05.
T-Patton 19 pass from Franco (Miller kick), 1:04.
B-Hess 8 run (Piatt kick), 7:02.
T-Franco 20 run (kick failed), 4:46.
T-Getz 6 run (Miller kick), :09.
T-Patton 11 pass from Franco (Miller kick), 3:10.
RUSHING: Bedford-Shippey 13-86, Hess 14-88, Henry 3-4, Koontz 6-18, Evans 1-(-1). Tyrone-Getz 30-159, Dorminy 3-10, Franco 3-22, TEAM 2-(-3).
PASSING: Bedford-Shippey 5-14-1-98, Hess 0-2-0-0. Tyrone-Franco 10-23-0-121.
RECEIVING: Bedford-Campbell 2-76, Hess 2-16, Wirick 1-6. Tyrone-Patton 4-48, Getz 4-42, Adams 1-19, Woomer 1-12.