MAHOPAC, N.Y. – On Heroes Night, where the Mahopac High School football program honored heroes of many kinds, it was the visiting Mounties of Suffern who grabbed the spotlight once the smoke settled and the game started.
The Indians weren’t able to get anything going against the Mounties from the start, and mistakes didn’t help Mahopac, as Suffern scored twice in the first 6:35, on the way to a 34-14 victory.
The numbers tell the story: Mahopac—which trailed 27-7 at halftime—was out-rushed, 424-69, with Mahopac earning 139 total yards to Suffern’s 443.
“I thought we panicked a little on defense,” said Head Coach Dom DeMatteo. “That’s not the way we played the (prior) two weeks. Turnovers didn’t help...we misplayed a kick and we’re two (touchdowns) down right off the bat.”
Mahopac (2-3) started with the ball, but a three-and-out resulted in Suffern (3-2) taking over, and scoring a quick TD, less than halfway through the first. Mahopac fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Suffern recovered, and two plays later scored again, and Mahopac was in a hole, down 14-0 with 5:25 in the first.
Senior captain and wideout/DB Zach Esteves picked off Suffern QB Kasey Sullivan late in the first half and went 90 yards for a TD, but the Mounties went into the half up by 20.
The Indians scored their only other TD with two minutes to play, when QB Anthony DeMatteo found Vin Bastone for a 45-yard strike to account for the final margin.
“Zach had an excellent game for us,” DeMatteo said. “An interception, a touchdown, and all he does, he probably had our most complete game.
“But we got down 21-0, and we weren’t playing to our ability on defense,” DeMatteo added. “That can be frustrating. We do something good, then we make a few bad plays that hurt us. John Ryan, Dom Perricone and Adam Montalvo—played really well on the defensive line in the second half. Offensively, we just didn’t make plays. We have to get better. They shut down our running game, and that puts us in a tough spot.”
DeMatteo said the Heroes Night atmosphere was exciting for the team and the program.
“It was a special night,” he said. “It’s important for the community to honor the Kozloski family, and to follow with the (heroes ceremony). It’s great for the school and the community. (Athletic Director) Frank Miele had the idea, and organized it, and it was truly a special event.”
Next up for the Indians is Homecoming Night, Friday at 7 p.m., vs. Arlington. The Admirals (3-2) are coming off a 34-14 loss to Carmel.
“They’re great running the ball, and have a sound defense,” DeMatteo said. “We’ll have to play our best game of the year.”