HOPEWELL JUNCTION, N.Y. – Poor field position and an inhospitable host combined to keep the Mahopac football team off balance Friday night in a 33-13 league loss at John Jay of East Fishkill.

John Jay (2-1) kept the Indians pinned in their own end for much of the early going, resulting in a first-quarter touchdown for the Patriots, who added two more in the second, and held a commanding 20-0 advantage at halftime.

“Our field position early wasn’t good,” said Indians coach Dom DeMatteo. “We struggled on special teams, uncharacteristically. We gave them two short fields early, and they scored on them. In the second quarter we played better defense, but then they got a big pass play and scored again (with 1:20 in the half), and it was 20-0. That one really hurt.”

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Mahopac (1-2, 0-2) got on the scoreboard in the third quarter when Vin Bastone scored on a 55-yard run. Bastone added a second score, from three yards out, in the fourth.

But Mahopac also gave up a pair of fourth-quarter scores. Jay QB Luke Mahon ran for two touchdowns and went to the air for a third. Mason Payton and Jordan Croce had touchdowns for the Patriots.

On the ground, the Indians never found any consistency, with Bastone’s 83 yards on 12 carries leading the way. Matt Courtney added seven carries for 18 yards. Quarterbacks Jack Carey and Anthony DeMatteo combined for two completions.

DeMatteo found the positives. “I loved our grit,” he said. “We blocked an extra point, we improved in different areas, and we’re improving on defense. The kids did a good job with the game plan. Special teams is where we struggled—and their punter was very good. But we didn’t help ourselves.

“Offensively, we struggled to sustain blocks,” the coach added. “And we were constantly behind because of field position. We really never got into any kind of flow.”

The team has a chance to grab another win this week, when the Indians travel to Mt. Vernon (0-3) for a non-league, Saturday 1:30 p.m. kickoff.

“We have to make sure we execute,” DeMatteo stressed. “We have to block and tackle better, and get our offense going. And we need our special teams to be back where they were.”