Sunday, October 27, 2013

Balanced Arlington Surges Past Mahopac

Arlington quarterback Brandon Tobin got free from pocket pressure and zipped a pass to 6-foot-4 receiver Garrett Jones on a double move.

Tobin hauled it in on left corner of the end zone, a 33-yard touchdown strike fattening Arlington's lead to 33-7.

On the ensuing play, Tobin eluded a pair of tacklers upfront and darted 30 yards to the end zone.

 It was all part of a 21-0 third quarter spurt, catapulting the Admirals to a 41-7 thrashing of the Indians Friday night.

A thorough and fluid display of offense, coupled with constant grinding in the trenches set the tone for Arlington (5-3).

This was a consolation game, though it certainly had the vibrant feel of a playoff environment.

Despite its potency of schedule and record well above sea level, Arlington did not qualify for a playoff berth in the ever-controversial Piner System.

“It’s hard to go out by losing a tie breaker in a point system,” said Jones, who was bordered by a ground game that churned out 250 yards.

“We really wanted to show the Section we deserved a playoff spot. We went toe-to-toe with John Jay and beat Ramapo, which was a No.3 seed, so I believe we can play with anybody. We feel snubbed a little bit by not making the playoffs.”

In Mahopac coach Tom Donahoe, the respect was evident.

“What you really witnessed was a very very good football team out there,” said Donahoe of the opponent.

Tobin, who platooned last season, proved his worth.

Under the guidance of Don DeMatteo, revamped Arlington has bounced back from a nightmarish one-win season in 2012. Friday was indicative of the position-to-position depth and development.

 Tobin threw the rock for 136 yards, at a 6-for-14 clip.

 The senior was also paramount to the Admirals’ relentless ground attack, rushing for a game-best 108 yards on 14 carries, amassing 244 total yards.

Deandre Jones hit the ground for 87 yards, his performance punctuated by a 48-yard touchdown scamper in the third quarter.

Sean Horan and Marc Barbieri provided steady targets for Tobin, reeling in 49 and 40 yards, respectively. Jason Harrand also pulled in a 17-yard dart from the senior slinger.

Mahopac’s frustrated compounded.

 The Indians’ running game had buckled and crumbled under a ferocious Arlington defense, which stuffed and gang tackled and fought in unison throughout.

The sight of wide receiver Andrew Neilis, clinging to a pair of crutches and halfback Brendan Donahoe favoring a separated shoulder on the sidelines added salt to the wound.

Donahoe played despite a broken AC joint but had to shut it down in the first quarter, as the Indians rapidly morphed into the Walking Wounded.

“We have about a dozen guys hurt right now,” explained senior captain Donahoe, who will look to play against Clarkstown North in the ensuing consolation game, despite being nicked up.

“We went into the game with positions moved around.

Our starting corners were playing corner for the first time all year. Arlington was the better team (Friday night). Injuries obviously hampered that game and our season, but we have one more game and everyone’s going to try to play, including myself.”

The crippled Indians, bolstered by a core of tight-knit seniors—who’ve played together since Pokeman cards were popping and Nick at Night was the source of entertainment—will live to play another game.  

The team that went eyeball to eyeball with New Rochelle and feasted on Carmel, Mount Vernon, Scarsdale, and Clarkstown North, Mahopac has the opportunity to finish above the .500 mark.

In the Indians eyes, .500 is the watermark for mediocrity.

Tom Donahoe said this year’s team and last year’s, were perhaps the best non-playoff teams he’s ever coached.

The Admirals will prolong its season at Suffern this weekend.

Jones’ attributes Arlington’s bounce back year to strength in all categories.

“Our defense has been solid all year long,” explained the senior.

“We have one of the best coaching staffs in the Section. We answered an early touchdown, recovered a muffed punt and had some solid drives (against Mahopac). We were able to move the ball and keep the defense off the field.”

Playoffs out of the picture, the Admirals will savor one last chance to tack on a final win this weekend.