Thunder Savio 10s close out season with a tough loss

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The Thunder Savio 10s

The Thunder Savio 10s closed out the 2021 campaign with a visit to Mitchel Field to play Farmingdale in the 5th place playoff final on Sunday morning.  In an exceptionally evenly matched affair,  each team managed 5 possessions, and only one possession resulted in a touchdown.  Unfortunately for the Thunder, the score was notched on the Farmingdale ledger, as the Hawks left the field with a hard-fought 6-0 victory.

The Thunder offense opened the game with an impressive 13 play drive that occupied most of the first quarter.  RBs Henry Campolettano, George Lekanides, Kevin Hegarty, and QB Charlie Ruoff marched the ball 37 yards to the Farmingdale 15, but an illegal contact penalty negated a 10 yard reception by TE Lukas Hamilton that would have put the Thunder at first and goal inside the 5 yard line.  The drive stalled, and the Thunder turned the ball over on downs.  Offensive lineman George Lane, James Dunn, Michael Manley, Aidan Kehoe and Caden Fowler were instrumental in the success of the Thunder drive as they dominated the line of scrimmage.

Untimely penalties unfortunately undid too much of the Thunder offense throughout the game.  On the team’s second possession, TE Luke Herrera hauled in a Ruoff pass and ran it to the Farmingdale 1 yard line, but the play was wiped out by a questionable illegal formation penalty.  In the 3rd quarter, RB Henry Campolettano had his 40 yard sweep of the right end erased by a holding call well behind the play.  These penalties were momentum killers, and the Thunder offense was unable to overcome their impact.

The Thunder defense was ready to respond at every turn of play, and several impressive performances helped keep the game in gridlock.  LB George Lekanides led the team in tackles and recorded an interception, and he was generally a stop sign the entire game.  He executed one tackle, in particular, that will be used as the exemplar of hits for future Thunder players.  LB Ryan Jackson tormented the Hawk RBs, and along with DL Zach LaRosa dumped the Farmingdale QB on a brutal sack that demoralized the opponents.  CBs Owen Grant and Sean Campbell locked down the edges, and DE Will Haskell prevented any big plays from developing.  Interior linemen James Sorohan and Will Griffin effectively clogged the middle and allowed almost no yardage between the tackles.

The only score of the game occurred in the 3rd quarter, after the Thunder offense was forced to punt from its own 1/2 yard line.  Farmingdale took possession at the Thunder 11 and managed to punch it just past the goal line to record the deciding score.

It was a somewhat disappointing end to a long and successful season, but every one of the coaches is genuinely proud of how all of the boys played football this year.  The team contribution led to our winning ways: Joe Capparelli, Cannon Halsted, John Sardelis, John Luca Stile, Whipple Newell, and Luke Savio were indispensable.  We all also can’t wait to see Mikey Griffith kick our first FG next year.

We started with 17 boys as 7s, split into 2 teams as 8s, played COVID flag football as 9s, and finished with 60 kids playing football as 10s for the Fechts and the Savios.  This year we also faced some hardships – we lost Finn Pizzi, William DeBusschere, Ryan Wagner, Ethan Landers, and Antonio Ordas to season ending injuries, we dealt with quarantines, and we played all of the toughest teams in our league.  We want everyone back next year – we have some business to finish – Go Thunder!

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