The Connetquot Thunderbirds played an outstanding all-around game on Friday in their 17-3 victory over Lindenhurst. The whole team played extremely well and as a team they continue to play with a lot of heart and get better each week. Each member should be very proud of themself and understand that what they accomplished will be remembered forever.
The starting defense played an unbelievable game forcing four turnovers and holding Lindenhurst, the leader in points scored in Division I, to three points and under 200 total yards of offense. The defense was all over the field and made play after play when it mattered. They had a goal-line stand that was one for the ages, holding Lindenhurst to no points on seven plays inside the 5-yard line, four of them from the 1. Incredible!
Jeremy Leggiero led the way with 14 tackles, 1 for a loss, and 2 awesome interceptions, which were returned for 45 yards. John Smith had another excellent game making 12 tackles, 5 solo, 1 for a loss, and had a key interception in the first half which was returned for 18 yards. Kurt Johnson played unbelievable on the D-Line making 13 tackles, 2 for a loss, and had a huge fumble recovery that stopped a good Lindenhurst drive. He, also, was a huge presence on the goal-line stand.
The D-Line played outstanding. Alex Lorenzo (8 tackles), Brian McIlvain (7 tackles), Nate Alessandro (5 tackles and a quarterback sack), and Kevin McHale (3 tackles) gave Lindenhurst problems all night at running the football. Dylan Clifford had a great game making 8 tackles, 1 for a loss. Joe Pellegrino played extremely well, being the first one there on the 4th and 1 goal-line stand. He, also, broke up a pass and finished with 5 tackles, 1 for a loss.
The secondary of Jon Sternbach (4 tackles, pass break-up, many great checks), Mike Pellegrino (8 tackles, strong coverage), Cody Elsis (5 tackles, 1 for a loss, great coverage), Matt Nason, and Joe Pellegrino played fantastic making it real tough to move the ball on the T-Birds.
Offensively, the Thunderbirds were led by the running of Joe Zuco (175 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 25 carries) and Jeremy Leggiero (68 yards rushing on 9 carries) behind a phenomenal offensive line of Kevin McHale, John Smith, Ryan Lanigan, Brandon Carnevale, Mike Compitello, DJ Pamlanye, Alex Lorenzo, Andrew Grogan, and Kurt Johnson. The O-Line just mashed people and the runners did their job. Zuco sparked the team on the first play of the game, a 72-yard touchdown run. He, also, clinched the game with his 11-yard touchdown run to seal the victory. Ryan Andersen did a great job of controlling the game, managing the huddle, and leading the team on some great drives. Jon Sternbach had two good catches and Alex Lorenzo, one.
The special teams unit once again was very successful. Justin Bertone made both of his extra points, a 30-yard FG, and had a touchback. Kurt Johnson had terrific snaps, Cody Elsis great holds, and enough can't be said about the kick coverage team on kickoffs. Gregg Sarra, Mike Caiozo, Dylan Clifford, John Smith, and Mike Pellegrino did a tremendous job.
It was an awesome night! The Connetquot Thunderbirds are Suffolk County Champions! The Thunderbirds won their fourth Suffolk County Championship, joining the 1989, 1992, and 1994 teams and are looking to win their second Long Island Championship. What a ride!
Come root on the Thunderbirds in their quest to be Long Island Champs as they travel to Hofstra University to face the Freeport Red Devils on Friday, November 28 at 12 noon. T-Bird Nation!