WINGATE - James Oliver knows his Tyrone football history, especially the single-game rushing record that was held by Jesse Jones.
So, when the speedy junior tailback had 202 yards on his first eight carries against Bald Eagle Area and 272 yards at the half, he knew he had a shot at Jones' record of 314 during the 2000 season.
With his team leading by an unexpected 35 points at the half Tyrone coach Steve Guthoff was only giving his starters one series in second half of the mercy rule game. Oliver took advantage by churning out 70 yards on three carries to finish with 342 yards and six touchdowns on 18 carries in a 54-6 romp to spoil homecoming night at Alumni Stadium.
"It means a lot," Oliver said of the record. "I did my research on Jesse, and I thought that I wanted to break one of his records. The feeling that I actually did is undescribable. I could't have done it without my fullback, and I definitely couldn't have done it without my line. They made the holes for me to actually get the yards, so they deserve all the thanks."
Oliver, the area's leading rusher with 1,209 yards and 18 touchdowns on 108 carries , did allow some of the credit to come his way when he talked about mental approach to the game after a sub-100 yard rushing performance last week against Bellefonte.
"I've never been so focused," he said. "It definitely made me realize there are teams that can stop me, but I my goal is I want them to know they can't stop me."
Oliver served noticed on his first carry on the field turf that this was going to be his night, churning out 21 yards. He finished off the 58-yard drive with a 2-yard run.
Tyrone (4-2), which amassed 538 yards, got it right back when Ben Makdad intercepted Cole Long. Four plays later, Oliver scampered into the end zone on a 35-yard run. The Eagles responded with a Nate Sharkey 1-yard TD run with 3:07 left in the first quarter.
On the first play of the second quarter, Oliver scored on a 21-yard run. He got the ball back at his own 9 after the defense recovered a fumble on a long pass play. Oliver got the ball, cut to the outside and outraced everybody to the end zone. With Seth Umholtz's PAT, the Eagles were up, 27-6.
"Charles Wilson-Adams had a good hook block," Oliver said. "I saw it and just cut back to the outside, and I kind of coasted from there."
BEA got to the Tyrone 3 on the ensuing drive following a Dakota Bartley 71-yard run, but the defense prevented a score. Tyrone then went on an 11-play, 97-yard drive that ended with Oliver scoring from 5 yards out.
Tyrone wasn't done scoring. BEA was at the Tyrone 19 with time running out, but Wilson-Adams picked off Long at the goal line and returned the ball to his 32. On the last play of the half, Tyrone QB Erik Wagner, who was picked off twice in the first half, threw a dart to Corey Snyder for a 68-yard TD pass as time expired. Wagner threw for 125 yards in the first half.
"Erik is a cool customer," Guthoff said. "Regardless of what's going in the game, he has that demeanor that you want to have in a quarterback. He's poised and he doesn't get shaken. More and more we're leaving some things in his hands to do."
Oliver broke the record on his first carry of the second half, going 45 yards to the BEA 25. He followed that with a 14-yard run and an 11-yard TD run.
"We told them you have one series," Guthoff said, "and that's what we always did with coach [John] Franco. We said 'Hey, if you're going to do it, then you're going to have to do in the first series.' The offensive linemen really got on board. They wanted to be part of that."
The Golden Eagles have scored 227 points (56.7 points per game) in their four-game winning streak, and their latest was a quality BEA team that was 4-1 coming into Friday.
"It was an important game from all different aspects," Guthoff said. "We did beat some teams who are struggling right now, but last week, we felt we played a quality Bellefonte team [a 48-10 win], and we do have a lot of respect for Bald Eagle. The big thing was keeping the guys together in the first couple weeks and for them to understand we've got some different people, and it's just going to take some time."
One of those is Oliver, who is in his first year as a starter after playing behind Christian Getz last season. He was given the game ball by Guthoff afterward.
"It means a lot," he said. "I did not expect that at all, but I'm grateful for it."
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Tyrone13 28 7 6 -54
Bald Eagle Area6 0 0 0 - 6
T-Oliver 2 run (kick failed), 10:49
T-Oliver 35 run (Umholtz kick), 7:09
BEA-Sharkey 1 run (kick failed), 3:07
T-Oliver 21 run (Umholtz kick), 11:53
T-Oliver 91 run (Umholtz kick), 10:58
T-Oliver 5 run (Umholtz kick), 1:39
T-Snyder 68 pass from Wagner (Umholtz kick), :00
T-Oliver 11 run (Umholtz kick), 7:13
T-A. Hunter 26 run (kick failed), 2:21
RUSHING: Tyrone-Oliver 18-342, A. Hunter 7-31, Wagner 2-14, Wilson-Adams 1-10, Snyder 2-8, Muir 1-3, G. Hunter 1(-8). Bald Eagle Area-Bartley 15-134, Sharkey 4-4, Weaver 1-2, Struble 2-1, Tice 4-(-5), Long 6-(-9), Jones 3-(-14).
PASSING: Tyrone-Wagner 5-9-2-125, G. Hunter 1-2-0-13. Bald Eagle Area-Long 3-9-2-68, Jones 2-6-0-37.
RECEIVING: Tyrone-Snyder 3-88, Wilson-Adams 2-37, J. Makdad 1-13. Bald Eagle Area-Romine 2-56, Kobularcik 1-36, Greene 1-10, Shreffler 1-3.
INTERCEPTIONS: Tyrone-B. Makdad, Wilson-Adams. Bald Eagle Area-Greene, Cowher.
Passing (comp.-att.-int)6-11-2 5-15-2