Big brother was watching.
Tyler Heuer was cheering, too, from the west bleachers at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium on Saturday night when his name was erased from the Oceanside record book by his younger brother Tommy with 3:47 left in the third quarter.
Tommy Heuer stepped up in the pocket and drilled a dart to Derek Cruz on a post pattern for a 23-yard touchdown pass, his 35th of the season. It broke Tyler’s record of 34 set in 2010. Tommy Heuer also unveiled some new moves, running for two touchdowns as Oceanside cruised past Farmingdale, 42-6, in a Nassau I semifinal.
The No. 1 Sailors (10-0) will play for the county championship next Saturday at Hofstra against the winner of the Massapequa-Freeport game. Farmingdale finished 6-4.
“I couldn’t be more proud of him. I’m ecstatic that he’s handled it so well,” said Tommy, who played QB and tight end at LIU Post, from where he graduated in 2015. He came down from the stands to join his brother on the field after the game. “He was the water boy for us when I set the record. Even then, all he wanted was to be the Oceanside High School quarterback.”
The younger Heuer, a 6-1, 185-pound senior, is challenging the Nassau County single-season record of 38 touchdowns in a season set by Joe Capobianco of Lawrence in 2012 and the Long Island record of 40 set by Jack Coan of Sayville in 2014.
So why was Heuer the Sailors’ leading rusher Saturday night? “It’s the playoffs. It’s time for him to use his legs,” said Oceanside coach Rob Blount. “Teams are trying to stop the pass, putting only five guys in the box. Tommy is real dynamic. He did a great job with his legs, keeping us out of trouble.”
Heuer finished off Oceanside’s first two scoring drives, with TD runs of 5 and 3 yards. When he connected with Cruz (eight receptions, 75 yards), it gave the Sailors a 28-6 lead. “I was excited to run it more,” Heuer said of getting the game plan earlier in the week. “I knew I had to run more. You don’t want to risk an injury by having me run too much in the regular season. But in the playoffs, you’ve got to rock.”
Heuer rolled up 305 yards of total offense. He was his usual deadly accurate self in the pocket (18-for-22, 192 yards, one TD) and slippery when he moved out of the pocket. Heuer ran 20 times for 113 yards, including a 47-yard bolt up the middle on a quarterback draw that set up a 2-yard TD run by Cruz, who had also had a big day with eight catches for 75 yards and a touchdown, plus nine carries for 52 yards and two scores. Dylan Judd added six catches for 74 yards.
So what will big brother say? “It’ll be kind of interesting,” Tommy Heuer said with a grin. “We’ve kind of gone back and forth about it. But I know he’ll be supportive. I still look up to him.”
He can look up in the bleachers next weekend. Big brother will be watching.