TYRONE — The players for Philipsburg-Osceola and Tyrone who played in last year’s game must have felt a little bit of a déjà vu on a chilly Friday night at Gray-Vets Memorial Field.
Last year, Tyrone quarterback Brandon Lucas took over on the ground after two of his running backs suffered injuries.
In this year’s game, Lucas stifled a valiant effort by the Mounties on homecoming and senior night by running for 112 of his 154 yards in the second half, scored three touchdowns, including a 61-yard run, and passed for another to lead the 5-0 Golden Eagles to a 35-27 win.
“The effort was there,” P-O coach Jeff Vroman said. “We gave up too many big plays. Overall, I thought we played fairly well. “(Lucas) scrambled around, and we didn’t contain him. They weren’t designed runs, but he made the plays. He’s a good athlete. He got outside of our contain, and that really hurt us.”
“We said this team really matches up well with us,” Tyrone coach John Franco said. “We knew they were going to give us fits, and they sure enough did.”
While Lucas and Tommy Hicks (16 carries, 133 yards, one touchdown) were leading the Eagles, Kaleb Stamm was having a big game for the Mounties.
Stamm ran for 148 yards on 29 carries and scored on a 50-yard screen pass from quarterback Ryan Whitehead with 17.4 seconds left in the game.
“Stamm did a phenomenal job I thought running the football,” Vroman said. “Even on that screen toward the end, he’s a determined kid. That determination can take him a long way in life because he’s self-motivated. That’s an important life lesson. Tonight he showed it on the field. When the hole is there, he hits it. He doesn’t mess around.”
The 1-4 Mounties scored first early in the second quarter when Whitehead scored from the 1 on a quarterback sneak. Stamm had a 26-yard run on the 41-yard drive.
But Clifford Beck returned the ensuing kickoff 82 yards to the 5. Three plays later, Lucas scored from the 1 on a QB sneak.
Lucas threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Keegan Gwinn with 17.1 seconds left in the first half, giving Tyrone a 14-6 halftime lead.
After Hicks went 38 yards for a score on the first series of the second half, Whitehead completed a 13-play, 69-yard drive with a 11-yard TD pass to Aaron Depto. White hit Matt Martin on the two-point conversion to make the score 21- 14.
The Eagles responded again when Lucas broke a tackle, spun around and darted 61 yards for a touchdown with 2:31 left in the third quarter.
P-O wasn’t done. After Hunter Weitoish returned a punt 31 yards to the Tyrone 24, Nathan Gustkey scored on a 24-yard run.
Lucas added another 1-yard run with 1:54 left. And Whitehead hit Stamm on the 50-yarder with 17.4 seconds left.
The Mounties are back in action at home next Friday against Bellefonte.
“Another Quad-A team. Here we go,” Vroman said. “Triple-A, Triple-A, Triple-A, Quad-A. That’s all we get done doing. It is what it is, but it just gets old not playing someone that’s at least in the ballpark with your enrollment. But we’ll get after it.”
Score by Quarters
PO—Ryan Whitehead 1 run, (kick failed), 8:09.
T—Brandon Lucas 1 run, (Kendall Markley kick), 6:40.
T—Gwinn 3 pass from Lucas, (Markley kick), 0:17.
T—Tommy Hicks 38 run, (Markley kick), 10:41.
PO—Aaron Depto 11 pass from Whitehead, (Matt Martin pass from Whitehead), 3:34.
T—Lucas 61 run, (Markley kick), 2:31.
PO—Nathan Gustkey 24 run, (Rishel kick), 7:01.
T—Lucas 1 run, (Markley kick), 1:54.
PO—Kaleb Stamm 50 pass from Whitehead, (kick failed), 0:17.
Philipsburg-Osceola—Kaleb Stamm 29-148, Nathan Gustkey 5-53, Hunter Weitoish 2-9, Matt Martin 3-7, Ryan Whitehead 7-(-3).
Tyrone—Brandon Lucas 10-154, Tommy Hicks 16-133, Clifford Beck 2-1.
Philipsburg-Osceola—Ryan Whitehead 7-of-12, 2 TD, 2 Int.
Tyrone—Brandon Lucas 6-of-9 39 yds.
Philipsburg-Osceola—Hunter Weitoish 2-47, Aaron Depto 2-14, Kaleb Stamm 1-50, Matt Martin 1-7, Nathan Gustkey 1-5.
Tyrone—Damon Gripp 2-29, Cortlynd Rhoades 1-4, Tommy Hicks 1-3, Keegan Gwinn 1-3, Ross Gampe 1-0.