Franco looks to defense to lead Tyrone past Huntingdon

Eleven different players have scored touchdowns for the Tyrone football team through its first four games.

Let that sink in. Eleven.

It’s an incredible testament to the depth of skill players the Golden Eagles are working with in 2022, but it’s not something Coach John Franco didn’t expect. In all honesty, he knew from offseason training and summertime 7-on-7’s exactly what kind of athleticism Tyrone would be working with when it had the football. The only question was whether the offensive line could step up its game to match he talent of the ball carriers and pass catchers it was blocking for.

It has, and now the Eagles are scoring at a clip not seen in seven seasons.

But again, no surprise to Franco.

What has been a pleasant surprise has been the rapid progress of the Golden Eagles’ defense, a unit that was abused last season, particularly on the ground.

But all that has changed, at least through the first half of the season. Tyrone’s defensive line, led by junior Braden Ewing, is now generating the kind of violent push up front that was conspicuously absent just a year ago. The Eagles linebackers are staying healthy and making plays, flowing to the ball with speed and intention. The secondary has been lights out, producing five interceptions.

The group has already produced a pair of shutouts and is allowing only 4.8 points per game, much better than the 26.8 is was surrendering through four games in 2021.

That’s the squad Franco is turning to Friday when the undefeated Golden Eagles (4-0, 2-0 Mountain League) travel to War Vets Field in Huntingdon to face the 1-3 Bearcats.

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