Golden Eagles Fall Short In a Backyard Brawl for the Ages

John Franco’s much anticipated return to the Tyrone sidelines did not disappoint as the Golden Eagles and Blue Devils fought a double overtime instant classic, with the Golden Eagles just falling short by a score of 35-32. 

“We need to limit the big plays, plain and simple. That’s one of our five keys to winning and honestly that’s the only thing we had trouble with. I feel a lot of it also had to do with us shaking off the rust from last year,” said Brandon Homan when asked about moving forward.

Tyrone had the advantage in almost every statistic category but were unable to pull through with a victory. Tyrone gained 22 first downs compared to Bellwood’s 14. They tallied 377 total yards of offense with 170 coming on the ground and 199 through the air. 

“It felt good knowing that our offense was coming together as one and playing as a team,” said Damon Gripp

Noah Zimmerman led the rushing attack for the Golden Eagles racking up 76 yards on 8 carries. 

“I will take it from day to day and get better as time goes on with every practice, practice makes perfection,” said Noah Zimmerman

The connection of quarterback Brandon Lucas to wideout Damon Gripp proved to be a dangerous matchup for the Blue Devils. Gripp finished the game with 6 receptions for 100 yards and one touchdown. Lucas completed 14 passes for 167 yards and one score.

The game kept fans on the edge of their seats from the first snap. The defenses battled it out for most of the first quarter until Bellwood broke the tie with 3 minutes left off a 2 yard run from Zack Mallon. 

The Golden Eagles dominated the second quarter holding Bellwood’s offense silent.

The Eagle offense responded in the second quarter when sophomore Corrie Beck scored from one yard out tying the game at 7.

Tyrone took the lead less than four minutes later when senior Noah Zimmerman found a hole and did not hesitate as he burst through for a 54 yard touchdown. Tyrone took a 15-7 lead when Brandon Homan found the corner of the endzone for the successful two point conversion. The first half ended with Tyrone holding a 15-7 lead.

Bellwood came out of the gates hot in the third quarter marching down the field and scoring on a 22 yard pass from Trevor Miller to Troy Walker, tying the game at 15 after a successful two point conversion. Both defenses held tough for the rest of the quarter.

The fourth quarter was offensive explosion for both teams with a combined 28 points scored. Bellwood scored on a Zach Mallon 19 yard touchdown, his second of the game, giving Bellwood a 22-15 lead. 

After Tyrone stalled on their next drive, Bellwood got the ball back and looked like they would add to their lead but the Tyrone’s defense forced a fumble that was recovered by Kaleb Snook. 

The turnover proved key as later that drive Brandon Lucas found Damon Gripp who broke through the Blue Devil secondary on his way to a 47 yard touchdown, knotting the game at 22 with 6 minutes remaining.

The tie was short lived, however. On the ensuing kickoff Bellwood’s  Zach Mallon blazed past the Tyrone kick return team for his third score of the game.

Tyrone responded by marching right back down the field tying the game at 29 with 40 seconds left on a one yard run by Tommy Hicks, sending the game to overtime.

In the first overtime Bellwood faced a fourth and goal from the one yardline and elected to go for the touchdown instead of attempting the field goal.

The Golden Eagles defense stonewalled the Blue Devils giving the ball back to their offense looking for the victory. Tyrone was unable to get that game winning score after a false start moved them back making the game winning field goal attempt just a few yards back too much. 

In the second overtime Tyrone took a 32-29 lead over the Blue Devils when a field goal off the leg of Keegan Raabe soared straight through the uprights.

Those mistakes in the first overtime proved to be costly when Zach Mallon scored from 7 yards out for his fourth TD of the game giving Bellwood a 35-32 victory.

Tyrone looks to rebound and pick up win number one in the new Franco Era this Friday when the Central Dragons come to town.



Tyrone 0 15 0 14 0 3 — 32

Bellwood-Antis 7 0 8 14 0 6 — 35

First Quarter

BA–Mallon 2 run (Pellegrine kick), 3:44

Second Quarter

T–Beck 1 run (Raabe kick), 7:26

T–N. Zimmerman 54 run (Homan run), 5:06

Third Quarter

BA–Walker 22 pass from Miller (Kost run), 9:25

Fourth Quarter

BA–Mallon 19 run (Pellegrine kick), 11:27

T–Gripp 47 pass from Lucas (Raabe kick), 6:01

BA–Mallon 87 kickoff return (Pellegrine kick), 5:39

T–Hicks 1 run (Raabe kick), 39.6

First overtime

No scoring

Second overtime

T–Raabe FG, 0:00

BA–Mallon 7 run (no conversion attempt), 0:00


  T BA

First downs 22 14

Total yards 337 255

Rushes-yards 47-170 26-112

Yards passing 199 143

Passing (comp.-att.-int.) 15-27-2 10-25-1

Punts-avg. 1-38 2-38.5

Fumbles-lost 1-0 2-1

Penalties-yards 5-41 5-45


RUSHING–Tyrone, N. Zimmerman 8-76, Hicks 26-64, Lucas 8-17, Beck 3-13, Clifton 1-1, TEAM 1-(-1). Bellwood-Antis, Mallon 12-53, Plank 8-41, Kost 5-16, Boyer 1-2.

PASSING–Tyrone, Lucas 14-25-1-167, Hicks 1-2-1-32. Bellwood-Antis, Miller 10-24-1-143, TEAM 0-1-0-0.

RECEIVING–Tyrone, Gripp 6-100, Homan 3-34, N. Zimmerman 2-27, T. Hicks 2-23, B. Zimmerman 1-10, Blazer 1-5. Bellwood-Antis, Walker 5-87, Mallon 3-25, Shedlock 1-18, Kost 1-13