Bishop Timon rolls past St. Joe's, moves on to play Canisius in MMAA title game
Unfortunately for the Tigers, injuries, and the inability to close out games when ahead, cost them more times than they would have liked.
Still, the Tigers were able to overcome their shortcomings and found themselves playing in the MMHSAA semifinals for the second-straight season with a chance to play for their first league title in more than a decade. The only thing in their way was a St. Joseph's squad that was looking to avenge a 17-14 loss to Timon, their first loss to the Tigers in 10 years, just four weeks ago. The Tigers made sure that wasn't going happen.
Lead by senior fullback Jackson Brown, the Tigers dominated both sides of the ball on their way to a 27-10 victory over the Marauders.
"First half we came out flying," said Timon head coach Charlie Comerford. "Our defense was flying around, after that first play. They came ready to play. We kind of knew what they were doing, and we executed well tonight."
The game didn't start out the way Comerford wanted. On the game's first play from scrimmage, senior running back Ilo Noble ran 61 yards to the endzone to give the Marauders a 7-0 lead 15 seconds in. That was the last touchdown the Tigers defense would give up.
Timon took the ball downfield in just 1:21, and Brown punched the ball in from four yards out to tie the game at seven. Then the play of the game happened just a few plays later.
With the Marauders facing a third and long after taking a holding penalty, Adam DiMillo read the eyes of St. Joseph's quarterback Dennis Gilbert and intercepted a pass and returned it 28 yards to the endzone to put the Tigers up 14-7 with eight minutes left in the first quarter. That touchdown turned out to be the game-winning score.
"I saw the quarterback rolling out right, and all week in practice we were running their plays and Nigel Davis, the receiver, is always open, hidden on those plays," said DiMillo. "I read it and came up and made the play on that one."
After Timon forced a fumble on the second play of the ensuing Marauders drive, Brown ran in from a yard out to give the Tigers a 21-7 lead and put the game out of reach for good.
"It was just great," said Brown. "The energy of the team. Everyone was doing their job. Everyone was just playing great."
Timon would tack on two Tom Gioia field goals, and Brandon Belles added one for St. Joseph's later in the game to push the score to the final 27-10.
The win gives the Tigers their first two-win season over St. Joseph's in school history.
"We hadn't beaten them in 10 years, and we finally beat them at homecoming," said Brown. "Now, we beat them again, and it just proves that we brought the program back. Whether people like it or not, we're not going anywhere."
Timon now heads to the MMAA championship game next Saturday for a chance at their first outright league title since 1994.
"We were in this position last year and got buried pretty good," Comerford said. "The kids made a promise that they'd dedicate themselves for the last 12 months and they did. They're kind of reaping the benefits for it now."