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Dalers Overpower Oceanside to Advance

Shortly after Freeport’s 39-25 victory over Syosset, the Farmingdale Dalers and Oceanside Sailors squared off at James M. Shuart Stadium at Hofstra University on Friday, Nov. 12. In the last meeting between these teams, Sailors quarterback Tyler Heuer nearly beat the Dalers single handedly, throwing for three TDs and running for two, in Oceanside’s 41-17 victory. Heuer set a Nassau County record this season by throwing 34 TD passes.

To open this conference semifinal matchup, Farmingdale received the ball first and started at the 20-yard line. After a 16-yard screen from quarterback Sal Tuttle to receiver Pat Starke, Tuttle hit Starke deep for a 59-yard gain that quickly took the Dalers into the red zone.

From the 9-yard line, Tuttle faked the handoff to running back Kevin Wahl and ran into the end zone for the game’s first points. Less than two minutes into the game, the Dalers led, 7-0.

Oceanside began their first offensive drive at the 27-yard line. They moved the chains once, but after three incomplete passes, they were forced to punt.

Starke caught the punt at the Dalers’ 27-yard line, eluded a defender, picked up blocks and took it down the sideline 73-yards for a TD. The extra point was no good, but exactly three minutes into the game, the Dalers quickly had a 13-0 lead.

The Sailors answered with 65-yard drive down the field. The drive consisted of two 11-yard passes from Heuer and a key 19-yard run by the quarterback to convert a 4th down and 4.

From 12 yards out, running back Nick Sherry took a carry into the end zone for the Sailors’ first points of the game. Less than six minutes remained in the first quarter of play.

The ensuing kickoff was brought to Farmingdale’s 27-yard line. On second down, Tuttle faked a screen pass to one of his receivers, and then drew a high pass to his left side. Receiver Brian Prendergast turned, ran back to get positioned, and leaped to haul it in for a gain of 18 yards.

A handoff to Wahl took Farmingdale into Oceanside’s territory. After passes to Starke and Vinny Schultz, the Dalers were set up at the 7-yard line and were threatening to score again. Tuttle again faked a handoff to Wahl and took it himself for a TD.

The offense stayed on the field, and handed off to Wahl for the 2-point conversion, to make up for the previous missed extra point.

The Dalers led 21-7 with less than three minutes left.

Oceanside stared their next possession at their 37-yard line. After gaining one first down, the Sailors faced a 3rd and 8 at Farmingdale’s 47-yard line.

Heuer took the snap, dropped back, and fired a pass right to Dalers linebacker Mike Palmer, who intercepted it and returned it into Oceanside’s side of midfield. One play later, the first quarter ended, the score 21-7.

Three carries and a pass to Wahl took the Dalers inside the 5-yard line. Tuttle then handed the ball to Prendergast, who took it 4 yards to the right for a TD.

The Sailors’ Heuer led his offense down the field and into Farmingdale territory. From inside the five, Heuer kept the option, and with two tacklers on him, fought his way into the end zone for a TD. The extra point was no good, but Oceanside started to fight back, cutting the lead to 28-13.

Tuttle’s offense moved the chains twice, but after Tuttle’s first incomplete pass of the night (after completing 7 of 7), the Dalers’ punt was downed at Oceanside’s 12-yard line.

Two handoffs picked up a first down, and a big 40-yard run by Heuer set the Sailors up at the Dalers’ 35-yard line. Another run by Heuer gave his offense 1st and goal. On 3rd down, Heuer found his receiver for a 4-yard TD with less than 20 seconds left in the half that made it a one-possession game. At halftime, the Dalers’ once commanding lead had lessened to 28-20.

Oceanside’s opening drive of the second half was short lived, as they could not achieve a first down and punted. Farmingdale’s offense could not get going either, and the Dalers punted it back to Oceanside, who started at their 20-yard line.

On 4th down and inches, Heuer ran it five yards to move the chains. A deep pass from Heuer moved the Sailors to the Dalers’ 27-yard line. A couple of plays later, Heuer dropped back and threw a pass to his left that was picked off by Starke and Farmingdale took over at their own 36-yard line.

Kevin Wahl took an option 27 yards into Oceanside territory, but Tuttle took a hit. The Farmingdale staff tended to Tuttle for several minutes, examining his throwing shoulder. Backup quarterback Derek Santos came in, and two plays later, threw an interception. After a handoff, an 8-yard pass, and a short run by Heuer, the Sailors again faced a 4th down and inches and chose not to punt. Heuer attempted to run again, but Farmingdale’s defense penetrated through the offensive line and forced the turnover on downs. Running back Kevin Wahl then took the snaps, as Tuttle was still unable to return to the field. The Dalers ran the ball into the end zone. Wahl took a snap, and thanks to his blocks, ran 16 yards for a TD just as the third quarter ended. Farmingdale led 35-20.

The following kickoff resulted in Oceanside taking over at their own 29. Heuer tried a reverse handoff to his receiver, but Oceanside lost 11 yards on the play and again turned the ball over on downs. The Dalers then began to work the clock, as Wahl continually took snaps and ran the ball himself. Quarterback Sal Tuttle returned midway through the quarter, but did not attempt a pass. Oceanside sacked Tuttle on 4th and 3 with seven minutes left in the game. Heuer’s first pass of the drive, and ultimately the last of his high school career, sailed over the head of his intended target and was intercepted by Farmingdale defensive back Eric Saur. Seven carries by Wahl brought the Dalers inside the Sailors’ 10-yard line, with less than two minutes to go and the game put away by Farmingdale.

After a timeout was called by Oceanside, Wahl poured it on by taking another carry for a TD and running up the score to 42-20. Farmingdale then sneaked an onside kick and recovered it. One kneel from Tuttle brought the clock down to zero, and the Dalers moved on to their third conference championship game in the last four years.

Kevin Wahl took 28 carries for 177 yards and two TDs. Starke led the Dalers’ receivers with 94 yards and Mike Palmer recorded eight tackles. Tuttle completed eight of nine passing attempts for 162 yards and he ran for two TDs and 17 yards.

Heuer finished 13 of 25 for 135 yards and 1 TD, but three costly interceptions.

The Dalers were scheduled to take on the Freeport Red Devils for the Nassau County Conference I championship at Hofstra University on Thursday, Nov. 18.