TYRONE — For the second week in a row, the third quarter turned into a black hole from which the Bellefonte football team could not escape.
Last week, the Red Raiders trailed Central Mountain by three points at the intermission, but yielded three touchdowns in the third quarter and lost 50-14.
Friday night at Tyrones Gray Memorial Field, the Raiders were up on the Golden Eagles 10-6 at the break, but again gave up three touchdowns in the third quarter and dropped a 48-10 decision.
We told them at halftime to go out and play the next 24 minutes like they played the first 24, said Bellefonte coach Duffy Besch. We made a few adjustments that we thought would help them. But theyve got to learn to play the whole 48 minutes. Theyve shown they can compete with everyone on our schedule, its just a matter of finishing.
The Raiders started strong, recovering a fumble at their own 43 and marching to the Tyrone 10, where Tyler Rhoades kicked a 27-yard field goal to give Bellefonte a 3-0 lead with 7:19 still on the clock.
Tyrone then drove to the Bellefonte 9 before turning the ball over on downs.
But three plays later, linebacker Cory Snyder stepped in front of a Jordan Fye pass at the 27 and bolted into the end zone to give Tyrone the lead. The PAT attempt failed when the snap was mishandled.
Bellefonte got the ball back with 6:28 left and marched from its own 49 to the Tyrone 23, where on fourth-and-7, Fye hooked up with Nick Leiter for a touchdown with 2:48 left and a 10-6 lead at the break.
At the intermission, Tyrone had managed only 93 yards in total offense as the Red Raider defense held time and again, limiting the Golden Eagles to only 73 yards on the ground. They finished with 248 yards rushing and 314 in total offense.
We couldnt get in sync on offense in the first half, said Tyrone coach Steve Guthoff. Our defense kept us in the game, which is what we always expect them to do. At halftime we just decided to go out and run our stuff and we did a much better job of it.
The trouble started for the Raiders midway through the third period. A short punt and a penalty gave Tyrone the ball on its own 45, as it needed only seven plays to cover the 55 yards with James Oliver getting the final three to give his team the lead for good. Seth Umholtz made it 13-10 with 4:45 left in the quarter.
The Golden Eagles forced Bellefonte to punt on its next possession and Charles Wilson-Adams returned the punt 41 yards to the Bellefonte 14. On the fourth play from scrimmage, Oliver circled the left side to make it 20-10 with 1:01 still to go.
Two plays later, it was 27-10 as Ben Makdad intercepted Fye at midfield and returned the theft 50 yards for the score. Umholtz made it 27-10 Tyrone before the quarter ended.
Those interceptions returns are big for the momentum they start and the spark it creates, Guthoff added.
Tyrone had four interceptions, two returned for scores. A third pick was also taken back for a touchdown but the score was wiped out by a penalty.
We struggled with some of the coverages they were playing, Besch said. They changed some coverages. I think they were pressing pretty close to the line of scrimmages and our guys didnt adjust.
Tyrone added three scores in the fourth quarter as Erik Walker hit Lucas Woomer for a seven-yard touchdown, and backup sophomore tailback Alec Hunter scored on runs of 35 and 21 yards to cap the scoring.
Bellefonte fell to 2-3 and will visit Clearfield on Friday while Tyrone will visit BEA.