Tyrone coach John Franco has been back coaching in the borough for four seasons now, and although last Friday’s victory over Bellwood-Antis was his first win in the Backyard Brawl since making his return in 2019, he’s well aware of the benefits and pitfalls of winning his team’s out-of-conference game of the year.

Taken in stride, a victory over B-A can build both confidence and momentum. Taken without a grain of humility, it can easily cause a slide in Week 2 for players who fail to get over the celebrations and pats on the back.

It was something Franco witnessed firsthand in the final few years of his first tenure in Tyrone, which lasted from 1994 through 2011. After defeating the Devils in 2010, the Eagles followed it up by struggling to get by Lewistown. In 2011 – with a team that ultimately played in the state championship game – Tyrone knocked off B-A in Bellwood before losing to Mifflin County in overtime a week later.

Those are not scenarios Franco is interested in duplicating this season, and if Week 1 against B-A was a test of the Golden Eagles’ improved offensive line, then Week 2 against Brookville is a measure of the team’s maturity and whether or not it can compartmentalize success and move on.

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