The Thunderbirds used an all-out team effort to defeat Brentwood on Saturday, 14-7, clinching a Big Four Championship, and hosting a home play-off game for the second consecutive season. The Thunderbirds will host Lindenhurst next Saturday at 1 pm. Many players stood out, playing great games, and helping the team to a huge win.
Defensively the Thunderbirds held one of the best offenses in the County to seven points and 167 yards of total offense. They also had two outstanding goal-line stands. The first one in the 2nd quarter they stopped Brentwood four consecutive times from the 1-yard line. The second one Brentwood scored on 4th down from the 2-yard line.
Leading the way was a ferocious, aggressive defense led by Mike Pellegrino, Tommy McInerney, Ryan Andersen, Joe Zuco, Troy Harvey, Brian McIlvain, and Ryan Lanigan. Pellegrino had ten tackles, seven solo, had two tackles for loss, .5 QB sack, and broke up a pass. T-Mac had seven tackles, four solo, one tackle for loss, forced a fumble, which he recovered, and broke up a pass. Andersen, once again, provided big hits and great coverage, making seven tackles, five solo, one tackle for loss, and broke up two passes. Zuco played a great game at LB with five tackles, one tackle for loss, and broke up a pass. Troy Harvey and Brian McIlvain each had 1.5 QB sacks. Ryan Lanigan, playing under the weather, played great lining up the defense and making four tackles from his LB position. Nick Reisig had two big tackles, including one on 4th and 1 to stop Brentwood's last drive and give the ball back to the offense with five minutes left in the game. Zach Sterling had two key tackles on the goal-line stand. Kevin McHale had .5 a QB sack, and made some great penetration on both goal-line stands. It was an incredible defensive effort.
Offensively the Thunderbirds ran the ball for 379 yards on 50 attempts, almost an eight yard average, behind some outstanding blocking from Kevin McHale, Brian McIlvain, Zach Sterling, Mike Compitello, Ross Grynko, TJ DeGirolamo, Ryan Lanigan, Nick Cascio, Nick O'Brien, and John Zullo. Pellegrino rushed for 251 yards on 23 attempts, and had two beautiful touchdown runs of 40 and 45 yards. Zuco rushed for 88 yards on 16 attempts, and had a outstanding 46-yard run in the 1st half. Zullo rushed the ball eight times for 47 yards, getting big yards to eat the clock at the end of the game. It was an awesome ground-and-pound display.
What a game! Next Saturday the Thunderbirds host the Bulldogs of Lindenhurst in the first round of the playoffs at home.