Commack quarterback Jeremy Weiss reacts after the Cougars scored a...

Commack quarterback Jeremy Weiss reacts after the Cougars scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Suffolk Division I football quarterfinals against Longwood at Commack High School on Nov. 6, 2021. Credit: James Escher

The scoreboard showed a "0" for both Commack and Longwood at halftime. So Commack’s coach made a quarterback change, handing off the job to a sophomore in a win-or-it’s-over home playoff game.

"All week long, we were working both quarterbacks in case we had to do this," Joe Reggio said.

Jeremy Weiss provided an immediate spark in place of senior Matt McGurk and finished 5-for-10 passing for 156 yards and a touchdown. The third-seeded Cougars earned a 28-13 win over the No. 6 Lions Saturday in their Suffolk I quarterfinal.

"I was really excited," Weiss said of this chance. "I was just waiting for my opportunity to play. With Matt up front, it was a little hard. He’s a great player."

Commack (7-2) advanced to a semifinal at No. 2 Floyd Friday at 7 p.m. Reggio said he isn’t sure who will start at QB against a team that beat the Cougars on a late field goal in Week 2.

"I think we’re a much better team now, and we’re so ready for this game next week," Weiss said.

McGurk had an 88-yard touchdown run called back for a hold in the first half, but was 1-for-8 passing. In the second half, he played one big snap at quarterback, plus some running back, receiver and safety. He was the definition of "team player."

"I love Jeremy," McGurk said. "He’s a great kid. For him to go in there and do what he did, he’s something special . . . All I care about is winning."

Weiss, who saw some time in the previous game, found Tristan McMahon on two throws for 53 yards on the opening drive of the second half. McGurk capped it as a QB, running the ball in from the 1-yard line on a play he suggested.

"I said, ‘Get in there,’ " Reggio said.

Longwood (4-5) countered late in the third on a 13-yard TD run by Tyson Taylor, who rushed for 96 yards. But on the next offensive play, Weiss went long for Christian Baldi for a go-ahead, 66-yard score.

Ryan Brady tacked on a 1-yard touchdown run with 7:56 left. But Taylor took off with the ensuing kickoff. The senior raced 95 yards to cut Commack's lead to 21-13.

"Tyson’s very good," Lions coach Sean Kluber said. "… I think he’ll be on everybody’s radar soon."

McMahon ran 4 yards to the end zone with 2:45 remaining, putting it out of reach.

"It was a good year," Kluber said. "I think we overcame some obstacles. We had a teammate [Darrius Jones] pass away . . . I couldn’t ask more from the kids in terms of effort."


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months