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Pellegrino leads Thunderbirds to victory.

Posted Saturday, October 30, 2010 by Michael Konsevitch

Pellegrino runs for 277 yards, 4 TDs for Connetquot

Quick Summary

Mike Pellegrino rushed for 277 yards on 34 carries with four rushing TDs to lift Connetquot past host Commack Saturday, 28-21.

Connetquotraquo;s #34 Mike Pellegrino rushes for one of

Photo credit: KEVIN P. COUGHLIN | Connetquot's #34 Mike Pellegrino rushes for one of his four touchdowns. (Oct. 30, 2010)


Mike Pellegrino had blood on the left shoulder of his jersey, blood on his face and both of his elbows were bleeding from turf burns. The Connetquot senior running back-linebacker was clearly exhausted and reaching for his side in the Thunderbirds' huddle after the game.

"What's not bothering me?" Pellegrino said. "I have some nicks and bruises here and there. I just deal with it."

It's much easier to take after a victory and Pellegrino was largely responsible for it. He rushed for 277 yards on 34 carries with four rushing TDs to lift Connetquot past host Commack Saturday, 28-21, in Suffolk Division I football. The win gives Connetquot (6-2) the fourth seed and a home playoff game against No. 5 Northport at 2 p.m. Saturday. The loss eliminated Commack (4-4) from the playoffs.

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"Commack came out and played really well," said Pellegrino, who has 17 TDs on the season. "Every inch was a fight. It was a great game played by both teams. I give Commack a lot of respect."

Commack had the ball at its own 31 with 4:40 left in the game, but after three incomplete passes, the Cougars punted. Pellegrino returned the punt 21 yards and Commack picked up a 15-yard personal foul, giving Connetquot the ball at the Cougars' 39. Pellegrino capped the drive with an 11-yard TD run with 2:30 left.

"He's such a tough kid," Connetquot coach Mike Hansen said. "You see him on the big runs, but on the little runs where he's getting 6, 7 yards and getting hit in the backfield and still turns it into a gain are the ones that keep the drives moving. It's on sheer toughness and energy. He's such an amazing player and he gets it done on defense, too."

Commack took over at its own 33 with 2:22 left and drove to the Thunderbirds' 47. Steven Hartnett batted down a pass on fourth down with 1:41 left. Connetquot then picked up a first down and ran out the clock.

Pellegrino scored on a 32-yard run with 8:28 left to give Connetquot a 21-14 lead. Commack started the ensuing drive at its own 16. Quarterback Tyler Smith kept the drive alive by avoiding a sack and finding Cody Olsen for a 49-yard gain. Smith then connected with Connor McQueeney for a 15-yard TD, the third time in the game the duo hooked up for a score. McQueeney had a defender draped all over him and still hauled the ball in with 5:58 left.

But Pellegrino had 35 of the 39 yards on the winning drive.

"The offensive line got him the holes and he makes one player miss every time," Connetquot quarterback Kevin Jadick said. "It takes three or four people to take him down and he'll still carry guys on his back."


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