MAHOPAC, N.Y. – Mahopac’s football team found the recipe to win the second half last Friday night (Oct. 11) at home vs. Arlington, but that wasn’t quite enough, as the Admirals rode 16 first-half points to a 23-12 win on Homecoming night for the Indians.
The tone was set early, with Mahopac going three-and-out on its first series, resulting in Arlington taking over near midfield, and marching straight down the field for a Kwincey Pease touchdown 4:40 into the game.
Indians quarterback Anthony DeMatteo was picked off on Mahopac’s next series, and the Admirals took advantage again—this time with a 32-yard field goal, good for a 10-0 lead with 4:08 in the first.
Matt Puckhaber blocked a field goal for the Indians with nine left in the half, but with 4:22 left, QB Pease found a wide-open Aston McKenzie for a 76-yard touchdown, good for a 16-0 cushion, which the Admirals took to the locker room.
Mahopac got some momentum going in the third, and scored on a Henry Botchway run with a little over three minutes left in the quarter to make it a 16-6 game.
Then Indians QB Anthony DeMatteo hooked up with Zach Esteves on a 58-yard touchdown in the fourth. But Arlington (4-2) added a fourth-quarter score as well, securing the win.
“Losses are frustrating, but overall, I think we played better,” said Mahopac coach Dom DeMatteo. “We had a chance in the third, we had some momentum, but we couldn’t cash in. But the kids kept playing hard, and you can’t ask for more.
“At 16-6, and after we stop them again, we had momentum,” DeMatteo added. “But we just didn’t execute. We have to do better with field position early in games. We can’t let them drive and score. The real issue is that we have too many three-and-outs - we can’t settle in, and our defense is out on the field again.”
Mahopac (2-4, 0-3) faces an even tougher test this Friday night, when the Indians host Carmel for the teams’ annual rivalry game.
Carmel, which will be looking to take home the Bryan Higgins Memorial Trophy for a fifth consecutive year, is sitting at 5-1, with the Rams’ lone loss coming on opening day to John Jay (East Fishkill). Carmel beat Arlington, 34-14, two weeks ago, and DeMatteo knows it will take a near-perfect game for the Indians to have a shot at an upset.
“This is one of Carmel’s better teams in recent memory,” DeMatteo said. “They’re fast, physical, and present a lot of dilemmas. They’re a well-deserved 5-1. We’d love to get this win, but we’ll have to play an intelligent game, give our best effort, and not be too emotional. And we need to play mistake-free.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday night at Mahopac.