Oceanside wide receiver Jake Lazzaro was a game-time decision. A severe hip pointer suffered in last week’s win over East Meadow proved too painful for him to practice all week.
And this was not a game to miss. Oceanside was playing host to Farmingdale in a game of undefeated teams.
Lazzaro walked into coach Rob Blount’s office and said he was ready to go.
“We were going to sit him but he convinced us he was healthy,” Blount said. “He’s our deep threat, the key to our vertical game.”
It may have been the play call of the day.
Lazzaro had a vintage game. He caught eight passes for 231 yards and four touchdowns as Oceanside beat Farmingdale, 34-24, Saturday in a Nassau I football game before a crowd of more than 1,100 in Oceanside.
Lazzaro opened and closed the scoring for the Sailors. He capped a seven-play, 80-yard opening drive with a 28-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Tommy Heuer for a 6-0 lead.
“We went right to Jake on the first drive,” Blount said. “And he was ready.”
Farmingdale (2-1) responded with a 12-play, 63-yard march that resulted in a Briant DeFelice 38-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 6-3.
On Oceanside’s ensuing possession, Lazzaro caught a bubble screen and followed big blocks from Vin Schell and Mike Scibelli for a 64-yard touchdown jaunt down the home sideline for a 13-3 lead.
“I just follow the blocks, they do all the work and clear the way,” Lazzaro said. “We have so many good receivers and any week it could be any one of us. We all want each other to have a big day. I guess today was my big day.”
That may be an understatement.
But Farmingdale is one of those proud, storied programs that never quits.
The Dalers drove 80 yards in nine plays, keyed by a 56-yard run from quarterback Kevin McCormick (10 of 19 for 214 yards and three touchdowns) to get within 13-10. McCormick punctuated the drive when he avoided the blitz and stepped up into the pocket to throw a 25-yard scoring pass to Brian Hayden on a third-and-14 play with 6:34 left in the half.
“McCormick is a resilient player who makes things happen,” Farmingdale coach Buddy Krumenacker said. “This was a good place to see where we’re at as a team and what things we need to work on. We have to get better in every phase of the game.”
Oceanside (3-0), Newsday’s top ranked team, punched in another score before the half ended.
Heuer, who completed 18 of 27 passes for 365 yards, and five touchdowns, engineered a six-play, 64-yard scoring march. He hit Bernie Diaz for a 23-yard scoring pass with 26 seconds left in the half for a 20-10 lead. Halfback Derek Cruz, who rushed for 95 yards on 10 carries, ran a play from the Wildcat formation and went 24 yards for a pivotal first down.
“Our guys are in such a good rhythm with Heuer,” Blount said. “We’re developing as a unit and our chemistry is really good.”
Farmingdale made it a back and forth affair in the second half. Wide receiver Antonio Smikle battled through a hand fight with Lazzaro down the field and into double coverage but still managed to haul in a 48-yard scoring pass from McCormick to make it 20-17.
Heuer countered with another dissection of the Farmingdale secondary and went 77 yards in 10 plays, before Lazzaro caught a 17-yard touchdown pass for a 27-17 lead.
After Diaz recorded his third sack of McCormick to force a Dalers punt, Lazzaro caught a 61-yard scoring pass from Heuer to make it 34-17.
Heuer stepped into the pocket and hit Lazzaro in stride behind the secondary for the final dagger with 2:10 left in the third quarter.
Smikle would add a circus catch for a 63-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to get the Dalers within 34-24. McCormick’s pass bounced off a defender and Smikle wrestled it away from the safety for the score.
But it wouldn’t be enough. Lazzaro caught two first down passes on the final drive to help the Sailors run out the clock.
The day belonged to Lazzaro.