Commack’s Ryan Brady really didn’t like his nickname: "Brady Crunch."
Luckily for the Cougars senior, he continued his clutch play in overtime games and now goes by "Mr. Overtime."
"I love it," he said.
Commack and its fans loved it, too, when Brady scored from four yards on third-and-goal as host Commack outslugged Longwood, 27-21, in double overtime of a thrilling Suffolk Division I football game on Saturday.
When Brady was a sophomore, he made a key play in overtime as Commack won its season-opener against Sachem East, 14-13, on Sept. 15, 2019. But he was more pleased this time, because of the help from his offensive line.
"I didn’t even get touched," Brady said with a big smile. "I don’t care about stats, but I’m ready when I’m needed, whether it’s a block, a run, catching a pass, I’ll do whatever it takes."
The fullback/outside linebacker had six carries for 29 yards, and a catch for 38 yards, and anchored the Cougars defense, which didn’t allow a point in the second half or either overtime period.
Commack (5-1) missed a 42-yard field goal in the closing seconds of regulation in a game that had a tough cross-wind making it difficult for both teams to throw, kick and long snap.
Cougars quarterback Matthew McGurk threw his third interception of the contest in the first overtime.
Longwood (2-3) drove to the Commack 3, but missed a 20-yard field goal that would have ended the game. Longwood players even celebrated, thinking the kick was good. Both officials under the goalposts immediately waved the attempt no good.
Longwood had the ball first in the second overtime, and only managed a yard. The Lions’ 35-yard field goal attempt was blocked by John Darrell. Members of the Commack interior line, which blocked a PAT after Longwood’s first score, noticed a seam with the Lions' line that they could expose.
"On the first [PAT], I held the guard, and Lance [Rhodes] jumped through and got the block," Darrell said. "On the [field goal attempt], he held the [lineman] and I jumped through."
The ball hit Darrell squarely in his chest. "It knocked the wind out of me," he said with a grin. "But it was worth it."
Longwood seemed to knock the wind out of Commack in the first half and led 21-14 thanks to talented wide receiver/cornerback Tyson Taylor.
The senior was moved to tailback and had scoring runs of 28 and 93 yards in the opening 24 minutes. The 5-10, 160-pound dynamo ended the game with 25 carries for 244 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.
"We knew he [Taylor] and [Terrence Robinson] were shifty players," Commack coach Joe Reggio said, "but we didn’t know [Taylor] was going to play running back."
Commack (5-1) found the equalizer when quarterback Matthew McGurk (7-for-20, 178 yards) threw his third touchdown pass, this one to Domenic Pirraglia (2 TD catches) for 10 yards with 10:09 left in regulation.
After the game, Brady was quick to credit the Cougars offensive line: left tackle Zachary Burgess, left guard Darrell, center Maksymilia Sereda, right guard Rhodes, and right tackle Timothy Keher, as well as tight ends Pirraglia and Vincent Rotelli.
"We’re a second-half team," Brady said.
Luckily for Commack, it has "Mr. Overtime," too.