Oceanside defeated Freeport, 34-6, for a rousing Homecoming victory before an overflow crowd last Saturday.
Led by the arm of Tommy Heuer, the legs of Derek Cruz, the right leg of Francesco Ancona, the ferocity of the defense, and the leadership of head coach Rob Blount, Oceanside (5-0) proved too much for a capable Red Devils team that found the end zone only once.
“Freeport’s offense is awesome; they’re a great program,” Blount said. “Our game plan was to contain their two running backs and I think we did a great job of that. Our defensive line and linebackers did a great job of controlling the defensive side of the ball.”
The running backs for Freeport (3-2), Gregory Pimentel and Aaje Grayson, combined for 161 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries, making up for nearly all of its offense.
Stonewalling them on many key possessions were Oceanside’s defensive standouts Bryan Aguilar, Michael Scibelli, Bernie Diaz, and Dylan Judd. Aguilar (13 tackles), Scibelli and Diaz all recorded sacks on the day, while Judd showed stellar coverage abilities while also infiltrating the backfield as a defensive back.
Offensively, the Sailors’ quick, pass-heavy offense proved too much for Freeport, as Heuer completed 15 of his 21 attempts for 145 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. He consistently picked his spots, throwing darts to receivers Jake Lazzaro, John Natoli, Judd, Diaz and Cruz for first downs and chunk gains.
Cruz caught the lone touchdown of the day from Heuer, while also padding the stat sheet with 91 yards and three rushing touchdowns on 11 attempts. Cruz did a good majority of his work on the ground from the wildcat position. Blount seemed to use Cruz’s dexterity as a capable pass catcher and runner, especially out of the wildcat position, as a means to confuse opposing defenses even further.
“We threw Cruz in the wildcat, something we’ve done in the past, and he came in and ran the ball great for us today. That just gives us another aspect of the game that other teams have to prepare for when playing us,” Blount said.
For all the offensive and defensive success that sparked excitement from the crowd, and for all the adulation directed towards the commencement of the homecoming court, there was no bigger pop than when Ancona lined up for a 57-yard free kick just before halftime.
Freeport was looking to run out the clock after a few miscommunications throughout the first two quarters, and with third and long, it opted for a safe handoff, still backed up in its own territory. Having a timeout to spare, Blount used it with 10 seconds left. Following a punt and an Oceanside fair catch on Freeport’s 45-yard line, Blount sent his senior kicker out for an uncontested 57-yard free kick, in which Ancona nailed to end the half, sending Oceanside’s faithful into a frenzy.
“I think he is the best kicker on the Island,” Blount said. Chuckling, he added, “He already had a school record at 46, and now it’s 57.”
Oceanside looks to stay perfect this Saturday at home against Baldwin, while Freeport looks to rebound at home against Hempstead. Both kickoffs are 2 p.m.