When Commack wins, Augie Contressa is usually a big contributor. And the big-play man was in the mix again in Saturday's 38-14 win over Floyd in a pivotal Suffolk Division I football game.
But it was really an old-fashioned defense that spoiled homecoming Saturday in Mastic Beach. Contressa got his 137 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 21 carries, but the Commack defense forced five turnovers and made six sacks to gain the spotlight.
The defensive unit kept Floyd scoreless in the second half. Blake Hawanczak made an interception. Linemen Matt Flood and Derek Drotman both intercepted screen passes. Drotman and Pete Colavito recovered fumbles. Anthony Sievers had two sacks and Ryan Salmon, Jack Pihlkar, Mike Messinger and Contressa added one each.
"We pride ourselves on our aggressive defense," Drotman said. "We're just going to give Longwood whatever we gave Floyd today."
Commack (5-2) will meet Longwood (6-1) in Middle Island in the season finale Friday at 6 p.m.
Trailing 14-7, the Commack defense turned up the pressure.
It started late in the first half with the Hawanczak interception. Commack quarterback Ryan Sheridan, making his second start, then found Hawanczak for a 35-yard touchdown pass with 56 seconds remaining in the half to tie it at 14.
Drotman said it was Hawanczak's interception that swayed the momentum Commack's way. And from there, it was all about Contressa.
"Augie is one of those guys who you can't stop; you just hope to contain him," Commack coach Jeff DiLorenzo said.
The Floyd defense contained Contressa in the first half, holding him to 14 yards on nine carries.
The second half he broke free. Contressa had four carries of 14 yards or longer, including touchdown runs of 30 and 36. That first touchdown gave Commack the lead for good at 21-14.
On his 36-yard fourth-quarter score, Contressa broke through the line and made it into the secondary before stumbling.
He kept his feet moving and hand-bounced to regain his balance, finishing off the touchdown run.
"I just kept running," Contressa said. "My dad always taught me to keep on moving and to use my arm as a third leg if I'm going down. And that's what I did."
Even though it took him awhile to get going, Contressa always had a feeling he'd finish strong.
"I knew in my mind that sooner or later, I would break one," he said. "It was tough running, but it worked."