Boy, that Oceanside-Freeport game on Saturday sure did have a lot of playmakers.
First, we saw Oceanside go up 27-7 in the third quarter behind Tyler Heuer's three touchdown passes. But then Freeport answered back with two of Dan Olivier's four touchdown runs and another from Isaiah Barnes to make it 28-27. Then Heuer responded with a rushing touchdown. Finally, Olivier ended it with a 2-yard TD run in overtime for the walk-off, 41-38 win.
All thee of those guys are listed below as candidates for the Thorp Award.
It's no surprise that Oceanside and Freeport ended the regular season as the top two scoring teams on Long Island. The Sailors scored 328 (41 per game), while the Red Devils scored 326, including exactly 41 points in each of their last five games.
Despite the loss, Heuer (pictured sandwiched between two Freeport defenders) had a fantastic game. His three TD passes tied him for the Nassau record of 30 touchdown passes in a season. Former record-holder Randy Mills of Freeport was on hand to see him do it. Barring something incredibly unforeseen, Heuer will break the record on Saturday.
This past Saturday, Heuer was 21-for-36 for 255 yards with three touchdowns, an interception (only his fourth of the season) and a lost fumble. He also rushed for 102 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.
With 1,855 passes yards in eight games (231.875 per game), Heuer is 346 yards behind the Nassau record of 2,201 set by Rob Van Bargen of Massapequa in 2008.
Here is a list of all the candidates heading into the playoffs (players are listed in alphabetical order)...
(To see Bob Herzog's Hansen Award watch, click here.)
Justin Buckley, Seaford: The Vikings senior running back was held out of his team's 42-13 win at Clarke on Saturday with a high right ankle sprain. Two weeks ago against Roosevelt he rushed for only six yards because of the injury. Still, he has 892 yards and 10 touchdowns on 142 carries this season, placing him among the best backs on Long Island. His status for this week's playoff opener against No. 8 Mineola is up in the air.
Donte Colter, Roosevelt: Another solid game for the Rough Riders senior running back, as he rushed for 116 yards and two TDs on 18 carries in a 21-15 win at Locust Valley on Saturday. Colter has rushed for 100 yards or more in all but one game this season. He leads Nassau County with 1,325 yards and the entire Island with 22 rushing touchdowns. He's averaging 9.27 yards per carry for the No. 2 seed in Conference IV, which will take on No. 7 Cold Spring Harbor on Saturday.
Gene Garay, Oceanside: As we mentioned above, Garay is on his way towards plenty of receiving records in Nassau. The senior has caught 46 passes for 876 yards and 11 touchdowns (all Long Island highs), including eight catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday's 41-38 loss to Freeport. Not bad for a kid listed at 5-11, 165 pounds. To see highlights of his first TD on Saturday, click here. His receiving buddy Chris Hughes has 26 catches for 324 yards and seven TDs, which just goes to show you how prolific this Oceanside offense is. Speaking of which...
Tyler Heuer, Oceanside: No QBs on Long Island are even close to the Sailors senior. He is 118-for-184 (64.1 percent) for 1,855 yards with 30 touchdowns and four INTs. He also has eight rushing touchdowns and over 600 yards on the ground. And the stat I track every week because I think it's the most impressive: of the Sailors' 46 touchdowns this season, Heuer has had a hand in 38 of them (82.6 percent). Oh, and by the way, he and Garay also hooked up for a two-point conversion to make it a 35-28 game on Saturday after his 1-yard TD run. To see highlights of the entire game, including his record-tying throw, click here. No. 2 Oceanside will play host to No. 7 Massapequa at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Alex Kahn, Hewlett: The Bulldogs senior QB had no touchdowns for the first time this season, but he didn't need to in a 34-7 win over visiting Plainedge on Saturday. He had a workmanlike 5-for-9 for 63-yard day to go along with 10 carries for 51 yards. He finished the regular season with 12 touchdown passes and four TD runs for fifth-seeded Hewlett, which plays at No. 4 Sewanhaka on Saturday.
Paul Magloire, Lynbrook: The Owls senior QB had a horrible day passing — 1-for-8 for 4 yards. But all season he's relied on his feet to lead Lynbrook to victory and he did again on Saturday, running for 137 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries in a 33-7 win at Sewanhaka. His touchdown, which was from 50 yards out, can be seen here. Magloire finished the regular season with seven rushing TDs and another six passing. He'll lead the top-seeded Owls against No. 8 Manhasset on Saturday.
Dan Olivier, Freeport: The Red Devils running back was brilliant in a 41-38 overtime win over Oceanside on Saturday. He rushed for 118 yards and four touchdowns on 19 carries, and scored the game-winner from 2 yards out in overtime. One play earlier, he ran nine yards on a fourth-and-1 from the 11-yard line to keep Freeport's drive alive. Had he not converted, the game would have ended. On the year, Olivier has 16 touchdowns (13 rushing, three receiving). Said Freeport coach Russ Cellan about the team's final two plays on Saturday: "There was no doubt Dan was getting the ball." Top-seeded Freeport will take on No. 8 Baldwin on Friday night.
Jaquan Smith, Elmont: The Spartans senior tailback scored his team's only two touchdowns, from 47 and 1 yard(s) out, in a 43-13 loss at Carey on Saturday. They were his 17th and 18th rushing TDs of the season, which are second in Nassau to Colter. He and fourth-seeded Elmont play host to No. 5 Mepham on Saturday.
Kevin Wahl, Farmingdale: Heuer wasn't the only Nassau football player breaking records this week. The Dalers senior running back ran for 259 yards and three touchdowns on 35 carries, and caught a 20-yard TD pass in a 35-21 win at Massapequa on Saturday. His four scores give him 30 for his career, which moves him past Jerome Williams '71, who had 28, for the school record. This season, Wahl has 17 rushing touchdowns and four receiving. No. 3 Farmingdale will play host to No. 3 MacArthur on Friday night.
Kyle Zahradka, Carey: The Seahawks QB also broke a school record, one that had been held by his brother Luke. He was 10-for-16 for 239 yards and three touchdowns in a 43-14 win over visiting Elmont on Saturday. In doing so, "passed" his brother as the school's single-season passing leader with 1,276 yards. Luke threw for 1,178 yards in 2008. Kyle is second in Nassau County in passing yards behind Heuer, and has thrown 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions (though he didn't throw a pick on Saturday for the first time in four games).
Honorable mention: Isaiah Barnes, Freeport; Samson Bialostok, Lawrence; Juliano Bove, Carey; Shireem Cobb, Sewanhaka; Ryan Fredericks, Lawrence; Stephen Jahelka, Garden City; Ronell Jones, Floral Park; Tom Joyce, MacArthur; Chris Laviano, Holy Trinity; Terrance Rodway, Uniondale; Niv Sultan, Hewlett, Sal Tuttle, Farmingdale, Evan Vandoros, North Shore; Brian Wint, Sewanhaka, Nick White, Mepham.