Timon moves on to play St. Francis at the Ralph
Mike Griffin ran for a 17-yard touchdown on the opening drive of the third quarter and the defense forced two late interceptions as the Tigers survived St. Mary’s, 24-14, in the Monsignor Martin Athletic Association quarterfinals on a chilly night at All High Stadium.
Timon moves on to face St. Francis at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
“It was tough,” said junior quarterback Ryan Dougherty. “I give them credit they came out and played hard, but we were able to pull through it.”
Maybe it was a hang over from a tough St. Joe’s game the week before, or maybe it was a little over confidence, but the Tigers came out a little flat to start the game and it cost them early.
On the second play from scrimmage, St. Mary’s running back Nick Vallone broke free for a 49-yard gain all the way down to the Timon 1-yard line. Vallone would then get the ball again on the next play and carried it from 1-yard out for the score.
Timon would answer right back on their first drive of the game as they marched 65 yards – capped off by a 1-yard run from Jackson Brown. Brown was the big horse on the drive as he broke a huge 30-yard run on the second plat from scrimmage.
The Tigers would go up 14-7 early in the second when Brown scored his second touchdown of the game – this again from 1-yard out.
Timon had many chances to extend its lead in the second, but miscues cost them during some of the drives.
Holding penalties killed the Tigers all night as they were able to move the ball only to be called for another holding. Turnovers also proved costly as the Tigers at times had a hard time holding onto the football – due to maybe the frigid weather.
The Tigers would go into the half up 17-7 as Tom Gioia booted a 31-yard field goal.
Timon would come out in the third quarter on fire as they marched right down the field in two minutes – capped off by a 17-yard run touchdown run by Griffin. With Adam DiMillo injured, this was the most action the senior has seen – and the young man took advantage of it.
Pesky St. Mary’s, however, would not give up and was able to cut the lead to 24-14 on a 19-yard touchdown run.
From there both teams would trade punts and the Timon defense would come up big with two interceptions and the Lancers were trying to cut the lead.
The first interception came on the Timon 23-yard line when Jordan Williams stepped in front of the pass in the end zone. The second with just a little over a minute remaining as junior Bryant Fulton jumped the route and intercepted the pass.
“Our defense played great,” said Dougherty. “It was probably one of the biggest factors on why we won the game. They really kept us in there.”
From there, the Tigers would take a knee and move on to play St. Francis. A team they played tough before losing 42-28 at home a couple of weeks ago.
“This is huge for us,” explained Dougherty. “This is where we wanted to be, to play at the Ralph. We have a great opponent in St. Francis and we have to play much better.”
News and notes: The game was played at All High because of unplayable field conditions at Tifft Farm. Timon was still the home team at All High.
This will be the first trip for Timon to Ralph Wilson Stadium. This is the first time the semifinals and finals have been played at the stadium. Timon has been in the semifinals, but they were played at the higher seeded teams home field.
Senior Mike Griffin had a touchdown and a fumble among his 96 yards on 10 carries.
In the first meeting of the season, Akeel Lynch ran for 386 yards and five touchdowns in the win over Timon.