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Patriots Open With Victory In Tough Road Matchup










CARMEL – Well that’s one way to win a tough season opener on the road.

John Jay High School parlayed two Luke Mahon touchdowns into a 14-9 league win at Carmel on Friday night, but not before also overcoming some questionable officiating in the final minute.

At one point, the Patriots thought they had run the game clock down to 21 seconds when the officials inexplicably set the time back to 44 seconds – enough time for Carmel to get the ball back on a free kick after Jay ran off 11 seconds before taking a deliberate safety.

John Jay head coach Tom O’Hare was beside himself, especially after he had told the referee prior to the final two plays that he was going to burn as much time as he could on a running play. He didn’t plan on the ref ruling that a Patriot player stepped out of bounds – when it appeared he did not – and setting the block back to put more time on the board.

“We preach, and it’s easier said than done, to worry about what you can control. I was out there trying to get an explanation, but at the end of the day you have to play defense whether it’s 22 seconds left or 44 seconds,” O’Hare said. “And at some point, especially when the official is telling you to get back to your sideline, you have concede what just happened and move on.”

Fortunately for the Patriots, Mahon intercepted a pass in the end zone with 14 seconds remaining to seal the victory.

Mahon scored on two short runs and Dan Beal, returning from a season-ending injury last year, played well at quarterback.

“Danny had a great preseason. It’s still new for him but he makes up for it by being a dynamic athlete,” O’Hare said. “Carmel really loaded up the box even if we were in the spread. That’s a good football team that is going to end up winning a lot of games.”

John Jay’s brutal gauntlet of a schedule continues next week against Arlington.

“For us, winning a first game, a league game and on the road, is huge. But we have a lot to improve on and a lot to fix,” O’Hare said. “There’s no reprieve for us.”

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