Justin Bertone was named Special Teams Player of the Week for his game-winning 30 yard FG with no time left to give the T-Birds the dramatic 15-13 victory over Sachem North. Bertone hit the kick perfectly sending the team and fans into euphoria. He has had an outstanding year and continues to kick the ball off exceptionally well pinning opponents deep in their own territory. On the game-winning kick, Cody Elsis made a terrific hold, Ryan Lanigan provided the great snap, and the line blocked real well. Unbelievable job, men. Once again, the punt and kick returns by Jon Sternbach, Chris Dale, and Mike Pellegrino were outstanding.
Offensively, the T-Birds had three scoring drives, two touchdowns and a field goal. They ran for 149 yards and had 244 total yards. The Offensive Line of Mike Compitello, John Smith, Kevin McHale, Ryan Lanigan, DJ Pamlayne, Alex Lorenzo, and Andrew Grogan get this Week's Offensive Players of the Week for their awesome effort against a very good Sachem North defense. The O-Line continues to put forth an unbelievable effort and get better each week. These guys have paved the way for Joe Zuco, Joe Pellegrino, Chris Dale, Jeremy Leggiero, and Jon Sternbach all season and provided very good protection for Ryan Andersen. Their discipline, heart, and focus is a huge reason why the T-Birds are 4-1. Other players considered were Joe Zuco, who had 103 yards rushing on 17 carries and one touchdown, Jon Sternbach, who had a 17 yard touchdown run and 3 receptions for 59 yards, and Matt Nason who made an unbelievable clutch catch with 3 seconds left, a 24 yard pass from Ryan Andersen, who threw a beautiful ball.
Defensively, the team had another excellent performance. They held a strong Sachem North team to 99 yards rushing on 35 carries. They had two quarterback sacks, forced two fumbles, and had one interception.
A huge credit goes to the D-Line, this week's Defensive Players of the Week. Joe Pellegrino, Kurt Johnson, Kevin McHale, Mike Compitello, Alex Lorenzo, Brandon Carnevale, Nate Alessandro, DJ Pamlanye, and Andrew Grogan played extremely well. They fought with everything they got and were tenacious against a big offensive line. Among that group, Kurt Johnson had 8 tackles and recovered a fumble, Joe Pellegrino had 5 tackles and .5 quarterback sack, Alex Lorenzo had 6 tackles and .5 quarterback sack, Nate Alessandro had 5 tackles, .5 quarterback sack, and forced a fumble and Kevin McHale had 2 tackles and .5 quarterback sack. Other players who played outstanding were Mike Pellegrino, 8 tackles, 7 solo, 2 pass break-ups, and a huge interception on a 2-point play. John Smith who led the team with 11 tackles, 7 solo and continues to be an exceptional leader on the field for the defense. Jeremy Leggiero who had 9 tackles, 2 for a loss in only one quarter of play as he left the game with a minor knee injury. Jon Sternbach, 5 tackles, 4 solo, and 1 pass break-up. Sternbach has also been a terrific leader for the defense all season. Cody Elsis, 5 tackles, 4 solo, and 2 pass break-ups.
The Thunderbirds played an excellent, exciting game in front of an unbelievable Homecoming crowd. The fans were awesome and the entire team thanks all those who came out to support the team. We can't say enough about the energy of the huge crowd. It was an amazing game and an amazing day!