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Timon football battles but comes up just short in season opener

Bishop Timon-St. Jude did whatever it took to give itself a chance at posting a victory but came up just short in dropping a 20-12 decision to visiting U-Prep of Section V at Paul Fitzpatrick Field at Tifft Farm.

The game originally started Saturday night but was suspended due to thunder with 2 minutes, 22 seconds left in the second quarter and the guests leading, 14-6. The teams agreed to finish it Monday afternoon.

Timon’s defense pretty much put the clamps on U-Prep during the restart, as the Rochester school struggled for most of the afternoon to move the ball. One of the lone exceptions came with under 2 minutes left, when the Tigers, who had no timeouts left but trailed by two, let their guests score from the 9 in hopes of stopping the conversion and getting a final possession in an attempt to mount a game-tying drive.

The plan almost worked, but the storybook ending wasn’t in the cards for the Tigers (0-1), as they turned it over on downs with 25 seconds left in U-Prep territory.

Timon, which hasn’t won since Nov. 5, 2016, came close to tying things in the third quarter. After Trai Jenkins forced a fumble recovered by Brandon Laury, the Tigers drove 62 yards for the touchdown. Mitchell Theal threaded the needle on a 17-yard pass into the end zone to Jake Blidy. Timon’s run on the two-point conversion got stuffed. The Tigers also saw a drive stall inside U-Prep’s 30 early in the fourth quarter.

“We have to find a way to put four quarters together, whether that’s over a three-hour span or three-day span,” second-year Timon coach Joe Licata said. “I told the guys afterward there are about five or six plays we’re going to look at on film and kick ourselves over. … That’s usually what determines the outcome of the game.”

Unlike last season, where a young Tigers crew just happy to have enough players to field a varsity team took its lumps, this edition of the team doesn’t want to hear anything about moral victories.

“Guys are mad, and I love that.” Licata. “It means they care. We’re going to be all right. I’m proud of the way these kids battled.”

Alex Reinhardt not only scored a touchdown for Timon but was a force at the middle linebacker position.

Timon hosts Utica Notre Dame at 6 p.m. Saturday.

“I feel like we gave it our all,” Reinhardt said. “It’s the beginning of the season. I feel the next game we’re going to bring it more.”

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