Sports

Young Mahopac Football Team Still Finding their Way

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Andrew Ryan and Mahopac will look to rebound when the Indians host Ossining in their homecoming game on Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.
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LAGRANGEVILLE, N.Y.— A visit to Arlington High School at the undefeated Admirals’ homecoming on Friday night wasn’t an easy task for Mahopac.

The Indians just didn’t have the horses to keep up, as they fell 38-8 on Sept. 23.

“It’s unfortunate because we’re playing a team that is very good,” Mahopac coach Mark Langella said. “Their (school) population is three times our size. We got a very young team, and they took a whooping. [Arlington is] a much better team. They deserve to be on the top of the league.”

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Mahopac knew it was in for a challenge when the Admiral quarterback Austin Heck rifled a 50-yard pass on the first play of the game. The league powerhouse muscled to a 20-0 advantage with about nine minutes remaining in the second quarter. 

But Mahopac junior quarterback Ryan Dugan hit senior Greg Libertino on the right side in the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown pass on the ensuing drive. The Indians trailed 20-6 with seven minutes until halftime after a high snap on the extra point.

Their glimmer of hope stayed lit when Arlington snapped a ball from its own 10-yard line that flew into Mahopac’s end zone for a safety. The Indians, however, spoiled Libertino’s kick return to the 45-yard line by having to punt. The defense held the deficit at 20-8 into the break.

“We just need to start reading our reads,” junior defensive lineman Chris O’Halloran said. “We can win the next two games if we do all we have to do.”

Getting back into rhythm during the second half, the Admirals struck again when Heck snuck into the end-zone to cap a 35-yard drive with three-and-a-half minutes remaining in the third quarter to stretch it out to 29-8.

Dugan was picked off only 30 seconds later by junior cornerback E.J. Escoto, who hustled 27 yards to the house, burying the Indians in a 28-point hole entering the fourth quarter,  which did not feature much excitement.

“We need to get more drive off the ball,” senior offensive lineman Kevin Duffy said. “The other guards and myself need to improve our poses. But I think we did a better job tonight than in the Carmel game.”

Mahopac was trampled for 251 rushing yards and 349 total yards given up.

“The offensive line played well but we could not get open,” Langella said. “We had three underclassmen at fullback who have not played as much at that position. Being down to our third and fourth fullbacks against a team like this is tough. But they gave their best effort and that’s all you can ask for.”

Star senior fullback Dino Milazzo sat out with a concussion that he suffered last week at Carmel. Junior Evan Purdy has been unavailable since injuring his knee in Week 2 against Horace Greeley. Senior Andrew Ryan, who suffered a concussion last week, moved from quarterback to halfback.

Mahopac (1-3) will try to rebound from two-straight losses on Friday night when they host the winless Ossining Pride for their homecoming at 7 p.m.

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