TYRONE — Tyrone coach John Franco has said all year that he wanted his team to do their best at the end of the season, and that might be just what his Golden Eagles did Friday night at Gray Veterans Memorial Field — but he did Little did I know, about an hour before Tyrone’s 41-28 win over Hollidaysburg, that this might already be the end of his team’s regular season.
The Golden Eagles undoubtedly played their best half of the season, going into a running clock with a 35-0 half-time lead. They also passed the Golden Tigers, 325 yards for 14.
Hollidaysburg actually got back into play in the second half with the help of four touchdown passes from Tucker Rossman to Caden DeLattre, but the running clock came back to pursue the Golden Tigers and they were forced to take an onside kick with just under 10 minutes to try to lose 14 minutes. Tyrone recovered and three games later Brady Ronan sealed the game with a 41-yard touchdown run.
“We had three timeouts, so we had to get an onside kick and use our timeouts to get two possessions.” said Hollidaysburg coach Homer DeLattre. “You either call the timeouts and then try the onside kick, or you try the onside kick and use the timeouts the next time you have possession. Anyway, we knew we had to have two possessions, and we chose that order because we thought it would surprise her a little more to do it sooner.”
Ronan, who missed most of the season through injury, finished with 142 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
“I thought our offense played pretty well,” said Franco. “All week we said we have to let the ball go. That was Brady’s best week. He’s finally feeling healthy and you can see the difference he makes when he’s in there.”
Game off for Saint Marys: Before the game, word broke that Tyrone’s last game of the regular season at Saint Marys had been cancelled. The news was confirmed by a post-game announcement on Friday.
At press time, Tyrone athletic director Luke Rhoades wasn’t sure if the game would be settled as a no contest or a loss, but the difference could mean the difference between Tyrone hosting Central in the District 6 Class 3A semifinals or whether the Golden Eagles go on the way to Roaring Spring. Central started the day just ahead of Tyrone, but the Golden Eagles’ win over Hollidaysburg – a Class 5A school – put them ahead of the Scarlet Dragons for now.
“Now we must consider what in God’s blessed name to do next week.” said Franco. “I’m really pissed off. Saint Marys I think really screwed us. They said they texted us. A text message – call us and talk to us – that for some reason they didn’t want to play us.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, District 6 playoff placement was based on total points. During the COVID years it shifted to an average score as not all teams played the same number of games.
District 6 football chairman Ralph Cecere confirmed to the Mirror on Friday night that the district had switched back to points totals, meaning Central will be No. 2 if Tyrone doesn’t play next week and Saint Marys’ game as a no contest it beats Somerset with a win at home next Friday.
“You know how we heard that? (Hollidaysburg coach) Homer (DeLattre). He comes up to us and says, ‘I thought you guys were playing Saint Marys next week? I spoke to their coach just today and he said they wouldn’t play you. He called me and asked for film on Clearfield. I told them to just get it from Tyrone because you’re playing them. He says we don’t play them.” and (Tyrone Athletic Director) Luke (Rhoades) and I looked at each other and just said, ‘No, that’s wrong.'” said Franco. “Luke is calling the Saint Marys athletic director before the game and he’s yelling at her over there. I’m like, ‘what the hell?’ and he said that they called us in the summer and left a message. I haven’t received any messages. I checked my lyrics and there were no lyrics. It’s like – that’s cop. You don’t do that shit. So, like I said, I don’t like not having that 10th game. It might work in college and the pros, but in high school it’s so much rhythm. Boy I just don’t want us to lose this. Hopefully we can find something out.”
Play: With 10.3 seconds left in the first half, Tyrone quarterback Ashton Walk found Ross Gampe with a 6-yard touchdown pass and Rocky Romani’s extra point made it 35-0 to set the mercy rule in effect. Without a running clock in the second half, Hollidaysburg would have had a much better chance to rally, especially when it cut the Tyrone lead to 35-21 with 9:59 left.
Player of the Game: Walk went 22 of 32 for 263 yards and four touchdown passes. He also ran for 20 yards and a couple of important first downs.
Unsung Hero: Senior Colton Veres celebrated senior night with two interceptions for Tyrone and also caught a 16-yard touchdown pass.
Key stat: Tyrone had 16 first downs in the first half. Hollidaysburg had zero.
Franco: “Let’s talk about the first half. Fuck the second half. … As much as you tell high school kids you can’t relax and you have to play an entire game and they repeat the words, we came out and we were kind of careless. The first touchdown was a blown cover. But after that it was like last week. But the good thing was putting that touchdown drive together. That was a very important part of the second half.”
Homer DeLattre: “If that touchdown doesn’t happen at the end of the first half, obviously it’s not a running clock. We might have a better chance. We had two guys in position on (Gampe) when he made that catch but it was a good game from him. That was a big possession just before halftime to give up that touchdown.
Hollidaysburg wide receiver Caden DeLattre, who had six catches for 196 yards and four touchdowns in the second half: “In the second half my adrenaline was pumping and I just tried to keep playing hard. This running clock really got us. If we could have kept them to a goal less in the first half I think we could have done it. I’m serious. I definitely felt confident that if it hadn’t been for a running clock we would have at least been closer.”
Tyrone’s defensive back Dravyn Crowell, who sealed the game with his team-leading fourth interception: “We had a few misunderstandings with the defenders. Our corners could have been played a bit too aggressively at one point. We lost a couple of times (DeLattre) but it felt really good to get that pick to kind of seal it. If Brady (Ronan) hadn’t tipped it, I probably wouldn’t have caught it. So props to him, but it felt really good.
Notable: Tyrone honored his youth soccer champions. The Saints won the Peewee League and the Steelers won the 10-12 year olds division. … Hollidaysburg blocked a punt from Tyrone in the fourth quarter. … Andrew Weaver caught a pass for 26 yards and had to walk with a leg injury, but he returned late in the game to help Tyrone regain an onside kick.
Records: Hollidaysburg (1-8); Tyrone (7-2).
Next week: Hollidaysburg travels to DuBois. Tyrone is in limbo.
RESULT AFTER QUARTERS
Hollidaysburg 0 0 14 14 – 28
Tyrone 14 21 0 6 – 41
T-Ronan 4 run (Roma kick), 6:40.
T-J. Patterson 6 pass by A. Walk (Roma Kick), 3:14.
T–Veres 16 Pass by A. Walk (Roma Kick), 8:25.
T–Gampe 21 Pass by A. Walk (Roma Kick), 2:10.
T–Gampe 6 pass by A. Walk (Roma Kick), :10.
H–DeLattre 54 Pass by Rossman (Sosnowski kick), 5:45.
H–DeLattre 54 Pass by Rossman (Sosnowski kick), 2:27.
H–DeLattre 51 Pass by Rossman (Sosnowski kick), 9:59.
T–Ronan 41 run (kick missed), 8:14.
H–DeLattre 2 pass by Rossman (Sosnowski kick), 1:21.
TEAM STATISTICS HT
First downs 7 20
Total meters 246 427
Rush Yards 16-35 34-164
Yards past 211,263
Fit (comp.-att.-int.) 9-21-3 22-33-0
Punts Avg. 5-33.4 5-25.4
Fumbles lost 0-0 2-0
Penalties 2-22 3-20
RUSHING-Hollidaysburg, White 8-19, Baronner 3-8, Rossman 2-5, Wyland 2-4, Steiner 1-(-1). Tyrone, Ronan 22-142, A Walk 7-20, Miller 3-4, TEAM 2-(-2).
OVER – Hollidaysburg, Rossman 8-20-3-202, Wyland 1-1-0-9. Tyrone, A. Walk 22-32-0-263, TEAM 0-1-0-0.
RECEPTION—Hollidaysburg, DeLattre 6-196, Bell 2-17, Wyland 1-(-2). Tyrone, Gampe 9-120, J. Patterson 3-27, Baldauf 2-40, Ronan 2-24, Veres 2-20, L. Walk 2-8, Weaver 1-26.
Today’s breaking news and more in your inbox