No game is won or lost on a single play alone, and yet every game has a sequence of events that turn the tide from one team to another. This series delves into the monumental plays that swung momentum for the Golden Eagles in some of their most memorable games.
Anyone who has lived past 30 can tell you that eight years is nothing. It’s a blink of an eye.
But in the world of sports, eight years is an eternity. If your favorite team won its last championship eight years ago, is it really a championship team?
Sports rivalries draw the timeline out further. Lose to your top rival three or four years in a row and you’re experiencing a significant and painful drought. Stretch the losing streak to eight years and it can seem like an eternity.
That’s right where Tyrone was in 1995, one year into John Franco’s first go-round as the Golden Eagles’ football coach. By then, it had been eight long years since Tyrone had last defeated Bellwood-Antis, the top rival on its schedule.
It had been eight years since the Eagles competed with a lot of the teams it had once dominated or at least traded wins back and forth with, but that was slowly beginning to change under the guidance of Franco. Just a year earlier, Tyrone had defeated Bellefonte for the first time since 1988 and Huntingdon for the first time since 1987.
But the Blue Devils were the white whale. Try as they may, the Eagles couldn’t get over that hump, and it was getting embarrassing. Though they had played B-A relatively close in 1994, losing 16-6, it was still their fourth straight double-digit loss to the Devils.
But a strong showing in ’94, combined with a loaded set of underclassmen coming back, gave Tyrone in 1995 something it hadn’t really had in almost a decade – aspirations. There was a feeling this could be a championship team. The thing is, championship teams don’t lose to their regional rival from a smaller classification as frequently as Tyrone was falling to Bellwood-Antis. Something had to change.
If anyone felt the sting of losing to B-A, it was senior Buddy Daughenbaugh. Not only was he a player on teams from 1993 and 1994 who lost to the Devils, but he was a team manager years before, when the Eagles were being gutted with scores like 27-6 in 1989.
If the Eagles were really going to turn things around, it was going to be on the backs of players like Daughenbaugh, and 1995 was his final shot.
So when the opportunity came, Daughenbaugh wasn’t knocking on the door. He kicked the door down with two touchdowns that set the tone for the game and for the season.
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