It’s all about the rhythm for Oceanside quarterback Tommy Heuer. And when he’s in rhythm the defense gets the blues.
Heuer dissected the Massapequa defense yesterday, completing 36 of 46 passes for 354 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-21 win in a Nassau Conference I football game before a crowd of more than 1,200.
If there were a pitch count in football, Heuer, would have exceeded it. He threw 30 first-half passes as the Sailors opened a 17-14 lead.
“This is the best group of skill players we’ve had in my nine years,” Oceanside coach Rob Blount said. “We have a lot of weapons on the offense and Tommy was as close to perfect as you can get.”
Heuer completed 7 of 7 passes for 49 yards on the Sailors opening drive. Derek Cruz capped the march with a 2-yard scoring run and Francesco Ancona added the kick for the 7-0 lead with 8:23 left.
“The line played well and our receivers got into open space,” Heuer said. “I went through my check downs and found the open man.”
Oceanside threatened to add to its lead but on a fourth down and 5 play, Heuer was buried by Frank Tofano and Daniel Callan for a 13-yard sack to end a 61-yard drive.
The Chiefs took over at the 38 and marched 62 yards in nine plays before quarterback Garrett Gibbons lobbed a perfect fade to Owen Glascoe for an 8-yard touchdown. Eric Marsh added the kick to tie it at 7.
Trailing 10-7, Massapequa’s Connor Payne blocked a 53-yard field goal attempt at the Sailors 48. Two plays later, halfback Alex Surrow burrowed in for a 2-yard touchdown run and Massapequa forged its only lead at 14-10.
Heuer rallied the Sailors on a frenetic 7-play, 73-yard drive, capped by an 8-yard scoring strike to Bernie Diaz for the 24-21 halftime lead.
“That was a big lift for the entire team,” said slot receiver Derek Cruz, who had 14 catches for 88 yards and a score. “Our offense was in complete rhythm.”
And then it was the Oceanside defense came up big at the start of the second half. Defensive back John Natoli intercepted a pass at midfield to set up the Sailors first drive. The leaping theft was the turning point in the game, helping the Sailors open a two-score lead.
“We changed our defense at halftime and went to man coverage,” Natoli said. “I definitely thought it was a momentum shift.”
Heuer directed a four-play, 50-yard touchdown march, capped by his 5-yard scoring run. Heuer connected with Bernie Diaz for gains of 30, 6 and 9 to set up the score and give the Sailors a 24-14 lead with 9:23 left in the third quarter. Diaz finished with 10 catches for 119 yards.
“Our offense is designed to take what the defense gives us,” Blount said. “We throw a lot of short passes but we can also stretch the defense with our team speed. Our guys put in a ton of extra work in the off season and it showed.”
Oceanside outscored Massapequa 21-0 in the fourth. The dagger came on a razzle dazzle play midway through the quarter.
Heuer handed off to Cruz, who went right, stopped, and threw the ball back to Heuer. Wide receiver Dylan Judd, who stalk blocked the defensive back, released the defender and bolted down the visitor sideline wide open to catch a 46-yard touchdown pass from Heuer with 8:55 left for the 38-21 lead.
“We were disappointed with last year,” Cruz said. “We didn’t know how to finish a game last year.”
That wasn’t a problem yesterday.
1 rushing TD