Jeremy Leggiero bulled his way forward for 3 yards and another Connetquot touchdown early in the third quarter and the Thunderbirds put the offense into sleep mode. Leggiero's run capped a 72-yard drive that gave the host T-Birds a three-touchdown lead in its 42-32 win over No. 6 Brentwood in a Suffolk Division I quarterfinal playoff game yesterday.
No. 3 Connetquot (7-2) will meet No. 2 Longwood (7-2) in the semifinal round Friday or Saturday.
Yesterday's game was the continuation of a game suspended by lightning just before halftime Saturday afternoon. Connetquot (7-2) led 35-19 at the time of suspension with 31 seconds left in the half. A large crowd returned for the continuation and saw the Connetquot offense continue to run the ball at will.
"We had a great game plan and we executed our blocks across the line," said Connetquot guard John Smith, who also had 11 tackles and a sack at middle linebacker. "And then it's up to the backs to get into the hole and make it happen."
The T-Birds made it happen to the tune of 467 yards rushing and five touchdowns on the ground. Junior halfback Joe Zuco carried 18 times for 160 yards and a 52-yard touchdown run to open the scoring. And speedy senior Joe Pellegrino had three carries for 111 yards and scored a touchdown for a 21-7 second-quarter lead.
"We had a lot of success up front and those guys have done a great job all season," Connetquot coach Mike Hansen said. "We moved the ball very well."
Connetquot scored on five of its first six possessions, many of them on big runs. The offensive line, led by center Kevin McHale, guards Smith, Brandon Carnevale and Ryan Lanigan, and tackles D.J. Pamlayne and Mike Compitello pounded the Brentwood front.
"Connetquot has had a great season and the staff has turned the program in the right direction," Brentwood coach Steve Peretta said. "I'm very proud of our guys for not giving up. We had to go there twice and play a great team."
Brentwood's Alex Corporan was 22-for-43 for 280 yards, two TDs and three interceptions. He rushed for two scores as the Indians battled back from a 42-19 fourth-quarter deficit.
Defensive back Cody Elsis finished with 10 tackles and two interceptions and defensive end Alex Lorenzo had 11 tackles and five sacks as the T-Birds had Corporan on the run for the better part of the last two days.
"He's a great athlete and they can score quickly," Smith said. "He had us running all over the place. Guys made big plays."
SUFFOLK DIVISION I QUARTERFINAL
Brentwood712013 -- 32
Connetquot211470 -- 42
Con -- Zuco 52 run (Bertone kick)
Con -- Sternbach 7 run (Bertone kick)
Brent -- Corporan 7 run (Saavedra kick)
Con -- J. Pellegrino 72 run (Bertone kick)
Brent -- Alisson 91 kickoff return (kick failed)
Con -- M. Pellegrino 58 run (Bertone kick)
Con -- Sternbach 44 pass from Andersen (Bertone kick)
Brent -- Manzueta 62 pass from Corporan (kick failed)
Con -- Leggiero 1 run (Nason kick)
Brent -- Corporan 20 run (pass failed)
Brent -- Kuhlmeier 9 pass from Corporan (Arp kick)