Tommy Heuer considers himself very lucky.
The Oceanside senior quarterback has plenty of offensive weapons at his disposal, but, on Saturday afternoon, he proved to be the most dangerous one of them all, lifting the Sailors to a 45-21 season-opening victory over Massapequa.
It was the third straight matchup between the two squads, who also squared off in the regular season finale and last year’s county quarterfinals.
“We have the right guys and they're kind of making it easy,” said Heuer, who threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns. “We help each other out. They do what they have to do and it really helps me out. You just want to take care of what you can take care of.”
The Sailors, ranked No. 6 on Long Island by News 12 Varsity, got off to a quick start, marching down the field on their opening possession as Heuer directed the offense with ease, completing all seven of his pass attempts. Derek Cruz capped off the drive with a two-yard scramble into the end zone as five different players notched positive yardage.
“I think this is the best group of skill guys we've had in the nine years that I've been here,” Oceanside coach Rob Blount said. “It makes it hard to defend that and, honestly, Tommy is the guy that makes it work. He gets the ball out of his hands quick and he's smart.”
Massapequa (0-1) seized back a bit of momentum in the second quarter, however, as the Chiefs settled into their offense. Owen Glascoe got his squad on the board, hauling in a corner end zone pass from Garrett Gibbons and Alec Surrow gave the Chiefs their first lead of the game with 2:37 left in the half.
Oceanside (1-0) simply turned the ball over to Heuer.
The standout led the Sailors on picture-perfect two-minute drill, finding Bernie Diaz for a touchdown strike with just 35.1 seconds left on the clock. The play gave Oceanside back the lead but, more importantly, gave the squad an extra boost confidence heading into the break.
“We knew we had to punch one in before the half,” Heuer said. “We just took a breath, marched down the field and did what we had to do.”
The Sailors didn’t miss a beat coming out of the break.
John Natoli picked off ‘Pequa quarterback Kenny Galvin on the second play of the third quarter, setting up Oceanside with prime field position and Heuer made sure to capitalize. He connected with Diaz on three straight passes before scrambling five yards to make it a 10-point game with 9:23 in the third quarter.
Massapequa, ranked No. 7 on Long Island by News 12 Varsity, did its best to rally and the Chiefs made it a three-point game on Angelo Petrakis’ one-yard rush with 10:58 on the clock. Oceanside, which saw a double-digit lead evaporate against ‘Pequa in last year’s postseason, wasn’t worried.
“Last year [we] were all juniors and we wouldn't have responded,” Blount said. “This year, with all those guys coming back, they're veterans and that definitely helped out. There was a big sense of resolve and calm”
The Sailors answered and then some down the stretch. Heuer found Cruz on Oceanside’s next drive for an eight-yard touchdown, Leo Alvarez recovered a Massapequa fumble on the next Chiefs snap and Dylan Judd hauled in a 46-yard strike to wrap up a whirlwind minute and a half of play.
It was more than enough to secure the victory.
“It's crazy. We're all ecstatic, all hyped,” said Cruz. “We want to score. That's really the main. We just want to score. It's definitely so much fun.”
Oceanside knows there’s still plenty of football to play, but the Sailors can’t help but be confident with Heuer under center. They’ve got some wind in their sails now and their sights set on a Long Island championship.
“That's big. Week one, you always want to come out hot,” Blount said. “We'll definitely take this when we can get it and I'm glad we're getting on the bus and going back home with this one. It sets us up nice.”