Sometimes giving a solid effort isn't enough.
Commack's Augie Contressa carried 19 times Saturday as his team fell, 12-7, to Connetquot.
After getting only four carries in the first half, Contressa became the go-to player to power the offense in the second, pushing the ball forward on Commack's lone touchdown drive. But then it all came crashing down.
Contressa was stripped on a run with 5:36 left in the fourth quarter, losing a big chance to put the game away. A quality game and a possible win quickly turned into a late loss and a missed opportunity.
Contressa tried to run to the right side, where he encountered two Connetquot defenders. He bounced into his own blocker, ran into more defenders and lost the ball.
"I just gotta get what I can get and deal with it," Contressa said, referring to pushing for an extra yard. "Sometimes you have to know when you reach your point, and I have to start learning when that is."
On Commack's final drive, Contressa ran the ball on four of the team's five rushing attempts, including three straight to open the drive, when he ran for back-to-back first downs. During the drive, he came close to breaking away along the sideline and almost flipped the script on disappointment.
"That's how it is a lot of the times," Contressa said. "Just that one extra guy."
Coach Jeff Delorenzo said the Cougars had success with Tom Dugan in the backfield for much of the first half, so he stuck with him early. But when it came to the deciding moments, he went with the running back that he said was the best in Suffolk County.
"When you have that guy you have to use him [eventually]," Delorenzo said.
Despite his overall performance, Contressa took the result hard. He said his team's record matters a lot more than his own statistics, so Saturday brought frustration.
"It doesn't matter how many yards or touchdowns, all I want to do is win, and that's why I'm real upset today," Contressa said.
Commack (3-2) is coming off two losses in a row -- yesterday's game against Connetquot (3-2) and a 14-7 loss to Lindenhurst last week. Contressa said the team is closer to working out the kinks with each game.
"I just have to silence all the noise and focus on what I got to do," Contressa said.
After the game, he said he told the team that everyone has to focus and that they'll live to fight another day. But for now, one lesson is learned.
"Now we really do know how it feels to lose, and I can tell you that we all hate it," Contressa said.