The Thunderbirds won their third straight game behind an outstanding defensive effort that held Patchogue-Medford to one scoring drive and a total of 130 yards of offense. The team overcame a lot of adversity, played with a lot of passion, and displayed the great heart and unity that this team possesses.
Already two players down the Thunderbirds suffered a huge blow early in the game when Hansen Award candidate Mike Pellegrino suffered an injury to his hip. The injury sidelined him until the 4th quarter and the Thunderbirds had to go on without their leading rusher, scorer, tackler, and sacker. It was a tough task but many players rose to the occasion.
Joe Cirrone was like a wolverine all over the field making play after play. He finished the game with 22 tackles, 11 solo, 2 tackles for loss, and an interception. He played an unbelievable game anchoring a linebacking crew that was without two of their starters, Pellegrino and Ryan Renfroe. For his great game, Cirrone was named a Gridiron Great by Newsday. He now leads the team with 49 tackles and has performed at a great level each week.
Nick Reisig played like a man possessed making a number of outstanding hits and blowing up numerous plays that Pat-Med tried to run his way. He finished the game with 12 tackles, 5 solo, and 1 tackle for loss. Usually asked to cover the opponents best receiver, Reisig has done a fantastic job from his cornerback position through the first three games.
Tommy McInerney continued his excellent season. He added his 5th interception, scored his 3rd touchdown, and provided great leadership for a third consecutive game. T-Mac finished the game with 13 tackles, 9 solo, and made great checks from his safety positon. Offensively he added 2 receptions for 21 yards, 1 return for 20 yards, and some fantastic blocking from his receiver position. Enough great things can not be said about T-Mac this year. His intelligence and talent in football continues to help the Thunderbirds win games.
Sophomore Dan Pamlanye has been an absolute warrior on the field this year. A 2-way starter, he continues to be solid on the offensive line and a beast at his defensive line position. Pamlanye, a very strong player, has been double-teamed a lot this season but continues to make plays. He finished the game with 6 tackles, 3 solo, and some great blocking up front. In each game he continues to play at a high level and display great consistency and improvement each week.
Other defensive players that played well were Mike Pellegrino- 6 tackles, 1 for a loss; Sophomore Tyler Torborg- 9 tackles; Kenny Drew- 7 tackles; Elvis Marchand- 4 tackles, 1 for a loss; and Steve Compitello- 7 tackles.
Offensively the Thunderbirds needed a big spark with the loss of Pellegrino and they got it from Kevin Jadick, Mike Pinto, Steve Compitello, and Mike Cella.
Kevin Jadick continues to have an awesome season. He has shown great leadership on and off the field, continues to make some great plays, and has been real exciting for the fans to watch. Jadick finished the game with 143 yards passing on 9/13 passing and a touchdown. He, also, ran for 21 yards on 4 carries. An excellent leader and teammate, Jadick has taken his senior year on and has excelled tremendously. He is a huge asset to the team.
Mike Pinto had a great game making a team-high 4 receptions for 73 yards. One of his catches, a 52-yard pass and run from Kevin Jadick, was terrific to watch. Pinto has enjoyed an excellent season so far offensively and defensively proving that he is a great football player.
Steve Compitello continues to have an outstanding season. He has been a huge asset with his receiving, returning, and blocking skills. He made 3 great catches for 49 yards. He has been stellar on both sides of the football showing great "football sense" throughout the game.
Mike Cella, a soccer player, played in his first football game...ever. He showed a tremendous leg, great courage, and was the deciding factor in the win on Friday night. He had two terrific kick-offs, one a touchback, kicked a PAT, and kicked a 29-yard FG right before halftime to give the Thunderbirds a 10-8 lead that stood up for the entire second half. A huge asset to any team is a great kicker and we have found one in Cella. He has a lot of upside and will be looked upon to do great things through October and November.
Mike Pellegrino continues to rehab his injury and is doing much better. An absolute warrior with a work ethic like no other, Pellegrino has now rushed for 515 yards and 7 touchdowns through 3 games along with 33 tackles and 4 quarterback sacks. A true team player he was cheering and coaching his teammates through the victory coming back in the 4th quarter to make some key plays.
It is Homecoming on Saturday in Connetquot as the Thunderbirds host the Flaming Arrows of Sachem North. Kickoff is at 1:30 and a large crowd is expected. The battle of two undefeated teams should be a great game to watch.