Had it not been for a couple of tipped passes and one dropped ball, Tommy Heuer’s passing numbers would’ve been even better.
And they were already ridiculously good.
Heuer, Oceanside’s senior quarterback, completed 36 of 46 passes for 354 yards and three touchdowns in the Sailors’ 45-21 win over Massapequa in Nassau I play on Saturday. He also rushed 12 times for 35 yards and a touchdown, and his exploits were enough to earn him Newsday’s Athlete of the Week honors.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been that efficient before,” Heuer said. “It was mostly because of the receivers and the line. They gave me that time in the pocket.”
He can give all the credit he wants to a stout offensive line and talented group of receivers, but Heuer picked apart the Chiefs defense for a 78.3 completion percentage.
A perfect 7-for-7 showing on the opening drive was capped by a 2-yard touchdown run by Derek Cruz, who had 14 catches for 88 yards as Heuer’s primary checkdown option.
With Oceanside trailing 14-10 before halftime, Heuer orchestrated a seven-play, 73-yard drive that ended with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Bernie Diaz for a 17-14 lead. Diaz had 10 catches for 119 yards.
Oceanside pulled away in the second half when its defense forced key turnovers.
“I think he’s just a very good overall quarterback,” Oceanside coach Rob Blount said. “Tommy’s a big part of keeping guys calm.”
To put Heuer’s efficiency into perspective, there have only been 10 single-game performances since the NFL merger in 1970 with higher completion percentages on a minimum of 45 pass attempts, according to Pro Football Reference’s Play Index.
The names on that list include Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger and Matt Ryan, among others.
For Heuer, it was even better that the performance came against Massapequa.
“Beating Massapequa after they ended our season last year, it feels a little better than usual,” Heuer said.
The Chiefs beat the Sailors, 42-7, in a Nassau I quarterfinal last season, adding more to what’s already one of Long Island’s best rivalries. Heuer’s memorable day is just another chapter in what’s become a rich history of exciting games between the two sides.
Though the strong start to his season puts Heuer in position to take the conference by storm, he said his only goal this season is to win a county championship.
“That’s been our goal throughout the whole offseason, and that’s all we really want to do,” he said.
Following a 4-5 season, the Sailors are considered one of Nassau’s most formidable teams. Heuer is at the forefront of what could be a special 2017 season in Oceanside.
“This was a very good start,” Heuer said. “We set the tone for the season.”